PowerPoint shortcut keys are the time-saving solution you never considered. You use shortcuts when writing on a word document (like copy and paste), so why not use them to create printables in PowerPoint. There are quite a few that make designing easier other than the common standard ones.
But why should you even consider using a shortcut? Well, essentially a shortcut key is a combination of keys on your keyboard that completes an action. These shortcuts will save you time, which is essential.
The crazy thing is that you are more than likely already using shortcuts keys without even thinking about it. Consider how you print a document. Most of the time people use the shortcut (CTRL + P). The goal with these nine PowerPoint shortcut keys is to make them so common in your design process that you don’t even think about them.
Since remembering all these new shortcut keys can sometimes be a challenge, I created a PowerPoint Shortcut Key Cheat Sheet (that’s a mouthful) that can be downloaded for FREE. It’s part of my Printables Kickstart Toolkit (which has over 15 different files that can help you create an amazing blog freebie). Print or save the file to your phone for easy access.
Does this sound like a deal too good to miss? If you thought yes, then click this link or the image below to get your shortcut key cheat sheet today!
My All-Time Favorite PowerPoint Shortcut Keys
Psst…if you read my post about Canva’s shortcut keys, then you might notice that some of these are similar. But while the actions are the same, there is a chance the codes aren’t. Each program is a little different.
That is why I recommend downloading my Shortcut Keys Cheat Sheets to make sure you are using the correct key combination and are not wasting your time trying to remember what it is.
1. Duplicate (CTRL + D) or (CTRL + DRAG MOUSE)
I’m starting off with my absolute favorite shortcut and let me tell you why. It is a shortcut for two shortcuts…is your mind blown? Basically, you can replace the copy and paste shortcuts with this one.
One nifty aspect of using the duplicate shortcut in PowerPoint is that if you do it more than two times, it will automatically align and space your element that matches two previous elements. Super cool right?
Only downside to my favorite shortcut is that it only works on the page the element you’re duplicating is located. That means you can only duplicate an element on page 1. You can’t duplicate an element on page 1 for page 2. It doesn’t work. I’ve tried.
2. Group (CTRL + G)
Grouping elements together is a smart tactic that will prevent them from being accidentally changed. You have the options to either group only a specific set or the whole design. It all depends on your needs.
Worksheets or calendars are some of my favorite printables to use the group feature on.
To group elements, select two or more and then apply the shortcut key. Once they are grouped together, the selected elements will go from individual pieces to appearing as a single unit.
Important Note: When resizing the grouped element as a whole, be aware that a text box won’t resize the same way as a shape or image. Instead, you will need to manually change the text size.
What can be grouped? The answer is shapes, images, and text.
3. Ungroup (CTRL + SHIFT + G)
This goes hand in hand with the previous shortcut key. If they can be grouped, then there is a shortcut to ungroup them. It comes in handy for those moments when you need to change details. Maybe you want to add more to the group or take some away.
4. Move Elements (Arrow Keys or Arrow Key + SHIFT)
I wish I had known about this one so much sooner. I have moments where I’m a little neurotic with the placement of elements. And thanks to this handy shortcut, it gets the job done easier than with the mouse. There are two options for this shortcut.
Option 1: Move elements 1 pixel at a time = pressing the arrow key for the direction you want the element to move.
Option 2: Move elements 10 pixels at a time = pressing the arrow key for the direction you want the element moved and the SHIFT key.
5. Insert Text Box (ALT + N,X)
I thought this was only possible on Canva and was pleasantly surprised to learn it’s possible in PowerPoint. The reason I love this specific shortcut is that instead of needing to find the “insert text box” button, I can do it in a matter of seconds with this combination.
Text boxes are a constant when creating printables.
Creative Tip: Create a PowerPoint template to not have to worry about changing the font every time a new text box is added. Learn how to create a template RIGHT HERE.
6. Send Object to Back (CTRL + SHIFT + [) or Send Object to Front (CTRL + SHIFT +])
Here is another shortcut I had no clue of until very recently (like within the past two weeks) but I am already loving it. Adjusting the position of elements is a common need when making a graphic design. Make it a little easier with this shortcut.
What makes this shortcut key a great tool is for when you are playing around with the look of a design and trying to decide how to layer each item.
7. Resize Proportionally (SHIFT + DRAG MOUSE)
Have you ever gotten so frustrated when you tried to resize a shape and the dimensions were changed in the process? Well, you are not alone and I have the solution. You technically can use the lock the aspect ratio OR if it is a quick adjustment, then try this nifty shortcut.
Select the object and use the shortcut key. That’s it. The only element (that I know of) that you can’t resize proportionally is a text box. Like I said earlier, to change the size of the text box increase or decrease the font size.
Creative Tip: You can select more than one object and resize proportionally together.
8. Change Case (SHIFT + F3)
PowerPoint’s case change shortcut is great because you can scroll through the different cases to see which one you like best. You can switch between the three options (sentence case, lowercase, and uppercase).
This particular shortcut is much better than the manual option. Because you have the ability to switch between the three cases easily compared to having to drag your mouse to the text format section, open the drop-down menu, and select the case (which then disappears until you decide to change it again).
9. Insert a Link (CTRL + K)
Adding a link is a great tool to make a printable more powerful. Depending on what is being created, a link can be used to connect to a specific blog post. I like to think that this method kills two birds with one stone (sorry birds).
What does it do? The answer is instant access to a more detailed post for more content AND redirecting people back to your blog.
Simply highlight the text or select the element (you are not limited to text only) that you want to have the link and enter the shortcut keys. A nifty detail is that you aren’t limited to only linking to a webpage. Other ways to link include specific pages in your document, a new document, or even an email address.
Best Tip for Learning PowerPoint Shortcut Keys
The only way to learn them is to use them consistently. Getting to the point where you use the shortcut keys without thought takes time. So every time that you open PowerPoint, I want you to actively design with the shortcut keys. That means each time you consider doing the manual method, stopping and instead apply the shortcut.
To help make it easier to remember these time-saving shortcut keys, grab my free PowerPoint Shortcut Keys Cheat Sheet from my Printables Kickstart Toolkit resource library. Print it out or save it to your phone because this handy cheat sheet will make it much easier remembering all the options available. If you don’t have the cheat sheet within the site, it is less likely you will make the effort to learn the shortcut keys. Click the image below to get your cheat sheets AND access to the Printables Kickstart Toolkit right now.
Final Thoughts on PowerPoint Shortcut Keys
To me, they are awesome and easy to use (once you get used to them). They do take some time building that memory into your fingers, so start as soon as possible. Practice makes perfect.
Let’s do a quick recap on all the shortcut keys for bloggers:
- Duplicate (CTRL +D) or (CTRL + DRAG MOUSE)
- Group (CTRL + G)
- Ungroup (CTRL + SHIFT + G)
- Move Elements (ARROW KEYS or ARROW KEYS + SHIFT)
- Insert Text Box (ALT + N,X)
- Move Object to Back (CTRL + SHIFT + [) or Front (CTRL + SHIFT + ])
- Resize Proportionally (SHIFT + DRAG MOUSE)
- Change Case (SHIFT + F3)
- Insert a Link (CTRL + K)
While you might not use all of the PowerPoint shortcut keys listed above, I bet there is at least one that can help make designing easier and save a good chunk of time spent working on your printable. It may not save you hours in one sitting but all the little amounts can add up over time.
The more efficient you are at creating printables, the quicker you can move onto other blogging tasks.
Before You Head Out…
What is your favorite PowerPoint shortcut key that was shown in this post? Are there any that I didn’t mention? Did you even know that there were shortcut keys for PowerPoint?
Tell me about it in the comments below or contact me here.
Happy Days –