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Save Your Clicks: PowerPoint Keystrokes to Save Time Building Your Next Deck

Can you imagine a digital world where CTRL-Z didn’t exist?


First off, let's not get started talking about how much we ALL wish CTRL-Z existed in real life.


Instead, let's talk about how shortcuts - specifically PowerPoint shortcuts - can really save a ton of time when building slides.


I mean, a boatload of time.


A volcano of time? No, maybe not that much.



Oftentimes when we start building our deck, we find ourselves reaching for similar tools.


We repetitively point-and-click our way around a slide using tools in PowerPoint that have keyboard shortcuts that do the same thing - just without the click.


By learning, practicing, and memorizing keyboard shortcuts and keystrokes, we can cut your deck-building time in half!



Keystrokes vary by operating system (and region)


PowerPoint has a plethora of useful keystrokes from the basic cut, copy, paste, to complex commands such as grouping elements.


However, PowerPoint keystrokes often vary depending on your device’s operating system. There are also some commands that are exclusive to Windows devices and vice versa.


While the list of PowerPoint keystrokes is long and winding, we’ve narrowed it down to 8 useful shortcuts to make you a presentation building pro!




Which ones are my favorite? Check out this video:






Alrighty - let's break this down.


Increase and decrease font size

INCREASE FONT SIZE
Windows: [CTRL] + [SHIFT] + [>]
Mac: [] + [SHIFT] + [>]


DECREASE FONT SIZE
Windows: [CTRL] + [SHIFT] + [<]
Mac: [] + [SHIFT] + [<]

How many times do you find yourself reaching for that font size setting? Exactly! This useful keystroke is available for both Mac and Windows operating systems making text size adjustment a breeze.


Send to back and send to front

SEND TO FRONT
[CTRL] + [SHIFT] []]

SEND TO BACK
[CTRL] + [SHIFT] [[]

Unfortunately, this keystroke is a Windows-exclusive feature. This shortcut allows you to edit the position of elements that are stacked on each other. It also allows you to put your key elements on the foreground to establish that sweet visual hierarchy.


Text alignment

CENTER ALIGN
Windows: [CTRL] + [E]
Mac: [] + [E]

LEFT ALIGN
Windows: [CTRL] + [L]
Mac: [] + [L]

RIGHT ALIGN
Windows: [CTRL] + [R]
Mac: [] + [R]

Text alignment keystrokes seem less exciting; however, it still eliminates a click in the process.


Group and ungroup selection

GROUP SELECTION
Windows: [CTRL] + [G]
Mac: [] + [] + [G]


UNGROUP SELECTION
Windows: [CTRL] + [SHIFT] + [G]
Mac: [] + [] + [SHIFT] + [<]

Grouping and ungrouping elements is useful whether you’re making new shapes or simply combining multiple elements to maintain alignment.


Add slide

ADD SLIDE
Windows: [CTRL] + [N]
Mac: [] + [SHIFT] + [N]

This one is a simple but important feature that can help save you time when adding and building your slides.


Drag to duplicate

DRAG TO DUPLICATE
Windows: [CTRL] + [DRAG]
Mac: [] + [DRAG]

If CTRL-C, CTRL-V had a shortcut that involved the mouse, it would be "drag to duplicate." This shortcut of shortcuts allows you to duplicate elements with a click-drag motion-- easier than repeating the ol’ copy-paste.


Maintain alignment

MAINTAIN ALIGNMENT
Windows: [SHIFT] + [DRAG]
Mac: [SHIFT] + [DRAG]

Alignment is a crucial design element that could throw off an entire slide when done wrong. This simple click-drag keystroke locks elements into alignment vertically or horizontally when dragging. Simply hold shift as you drag an element.


PRO TIP: Combine this keystroke with "drag to duplicate" to ensure the alignment of multiple elements!


Rotate at 15° intervals

ROTATE AT 15° INTERVALS
Windows: [SHIFT] + [ROTATE]
Mac: [SHIFT] + [ROTATE]

You can rotate elements without trying to guess which degree you're on. Simply hold SHIFT and drag the rotation handle at the top of an element.





Putting it in action

Keyboard shortcuts are super convenient and they decrease the time you spend building slides by saving you clicks. Knowing these features by heart can potentially cut your slide-building time in half-- very important when you’re running on the clock!


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