K is for Keystrokes.

With many PowerPoint hours clocked up across our business, and many last-minute deadlines, learning how to speed up those clicks has not only helped us move quicker, but has also helped to make our lives easier. Some simple keyboard shortcuts can improve ways of working and get the most out of PowerPoint.

We’ve summarised some of our favourite and the lesser-known keystrokes we use every day as masters of this humble tool.

F4 or Ctrl + Y

One of our all-time favourites, this key lets you repeat your last action. For example, you might want to change the colour of various shapes across multiple slides to blue. All you need to do is select one of these shapes, click the blue you need, and then click through all the shapes hitting F4 to update. Ctrl + Y also does the same trick.

Shift + enter

Great for formatting text, this one lets you soft return within a text box to retain line spacing (and not default to paragraph spacing), giving you control of how the text sits and looks within a shape. To use, simply click in your sentence where you want the soft return, then hold down shift and press enter.

Ctrl + mouse click + drag

A quick and easy way to copy a shape or text box on your slide and position it quickly. Hold down Ctrl, click the object you want to move, and drag it to somewhere else on the slide – this will make an exact copy which you can then place where you need it.

Shift + drag

This one lets you scale your objects in proportion. Simply click on an object, hold down shift, click and hold one of corner points and then drag out to size.

Alt + direction arrows

Click on a shape or object, hold Alt key and then use your left or right arrow direction keys to rotate.

Ctrl + mouse click.

To select multiple items on a slide, hold down Ctrl and simply click all the objects you need. Great if you want to change colours quickly or delete all selected items.

Ctrl + direction arrows

This one helps you with precision placement of your shapes. Click on a shape you want to move or position, hold Ctrl while nudging it with the arrow keys. This will move the shape pixel by pixel, making your positioning more accurate.

Ctrl + Z

Undo last action.

Ctrl + mouse wheel

To zoom in and out of your slide, great if you have a complex animation or graphic you want to edit.

Ctrl + C / Ctrl + V / Ctrl + X

Copy / paste / cut – great short cuts for quick formatting.

We hope you found these keystrokes shortcuts interesting, and can use them to boost your efficiency going forward. If you would like to enroll in our “Storytelling” training to learn more about how to use PowerPoint effectively and create sensational presentations, get in touch by emailing studio@maxwellrogers.co.uk.

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