Top 10 PowerPoint Shortcuts to Finish Work Faster


PowerPoint is a tool that’s used by millions of businesses, students, and others around the world. It first debuted as part of the Microsoft Office family in 1987, initially released only for Mac computers. Today, this dynamic platform is available for Mac, Windows, and other operating systems and Microsoft even has a cloud-based Office 365 online version where you can access PowerPoint and other programs right from the web browser. 

For many people, keyboard shortcuts can make work easier in PowerPoint and other programs. Even those who have vision or mobility issues find keyboard shortcuts helpful because they might not be able to use a mouse effectively. Regardless of your situation or why you’re looking for shortcuts that don’t cut corners, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll go over 10 of the most popular (and useful) PowerPoint shortcuts to increase your productivity. 

A note on shortcuts

Before we get started, we should preface that this list is for Windows users that are using the desktop version of PowerPoint. Online users will need to click the “Web” tab in the support document referenced below to get the right keys. Mac users will also have different shortcuts, but for the most part that’s just a matter of replacing “Ctrl” with the Apple “Command” key. 

Now, let’s take a look at some shortcuts that everyone should know. 

1. Ctrl + N

This is the shortcut that will allow you to create a new presentation in PowerPoint. Rather than having to go to the menu and navigate to the section where you select a new presentation, you can simply press this shortcut and get right to work. 

2. Ctrl + M

With this shortcut, you’ll generate a new slide in your existing presentation. It again saves you navigating up to the toolbar and finding the option so that you don’t lose your groove when you’re working on a presentation. 

3. Ctrl + Z

This is one of the most useful (and often universal) shortcuts out there. It’s the magic “undo” shortcut. Whenever you mess up, just press these keys together and you’ll go back to before your last action. In PowerPoint and other Microsoft programs, you can even “undo” multiple times to get to a place further back in your project. 

4. Ctrl + S

Learn this shortcut and use it often. This is what saves your presentation. Everyone has been the victim of a lack of saving and lost work—memorize this shortcut so that you can save as you go until it becomes second nature. 

5. F5

This will allow you to start the slideshow without having to select it from the menu, determine the size, maximize the screen, and then press play. Simply use F5 and your show will start immediately, allowing you to present effortlessly. 

6. Alt + G

Here is a shortcut that will open the Design tab so that you can customize slides and apply different themes. When you have easy access to customization, you can move through your design faster and complete your slideshow with ease. 

7. Alt + A

This opens the Animations tab so that you can add animations to your presentations. Again, having quick access to add features to your slideshow can speed up your total project and save you a lot of endless clicking around. 

8. Alt + R

You can easily access the Review menu with this shortcut. From here, you can check accessibility, add comments, and check the spelling. That way, you know that your presentation is ready to go. 

9. Ctrl + Spacebar

If there’s media in your slideshow, this handy shortcut makes it easy to pause and play. You can use this to test out your presentation while you’re sorting out the timing and other details, as well as to start your presentation and its media simultaneously. 

10. Ctrl + A

This is another universal shortcut that we love. It will essentially “select all” of anything that you have selected at the time. Within a text box, it will select all the text. Within a full slide, it will select all of the contents of the slide. And, if you’re in the slide sorter or thumbnail view, it will select all the slides in your show. 

Do shortcuts really make a difference?

This is a question that several people ask and the answer is yes, absolutely shortcuts make a difference. Think about it like this. If one shortcut saves you even five seconds and that shortcut is for a task that you perform endless times each day, that could add up to minutes each day, hours each week, weeks each year, etc. One shortcut will not hugely increase productivity but utilizing all the best shortcuts for the software that you use will definitely make an impact. 

For more information on available shortcuts to save even more time and get things done quicker, check out Microsoft’s own support document for PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts. Here, you’ll even find options for macOS shortcuts, iOS, Android, and the web-based Office Online, ensuring that you have the right hotkeys to get your work done on the right device. 

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Elizabeth Lockwood is the content marketing associate at She focuses specifically on writing and editing engaging articles, blog posts, and other forms of publication.

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