TOTW: shortcuts to help you use PowerPoint professionally

By: John McGarvey

Date: 12 April 2013

PowerPoint shortcuts{{}}

Giving a presentation can be nerve-wracking. And let's be honest: although PowerPoint is a useful aid, many presenters rely on it too much.

But once you've made sure you're not committing any crimes with PowerPoint, here's a tip of the week (TOTW) with some useful shortcuts to make your presentation run smoothly and professionally:

Presentation gear

The right equipment can go a long way to ensuring a smooth presentation. You might need:

Move through your presentation

Most people who use PowerPoint will know this already. However. if you tend to flail with your mouse to move through your presentation, why not try using the left and right arrows keys instead?

Tap these to step through your presentation one slide at a time - forwards or backwards.

Alternatively...
For a more professional look to your presentations, consider using a presentation remote control. This will allow you to step through presentations without having to stay by your computer. Kensington and Targus both make good models.

Presentation books

Presentation technique matters just as much as the kit you use. Why not get advice from these great books?

How to take a break

If someone interrupts your presentation unexpectedly, or you want to hold a group discussion without the distraction of what's on screen, use these shortcuts:

  • Tap W to turn the screen white
  • Tap B to turn the screen black

Just tap the key again to resume your presentation.

Scribble on your slides

You can literally underline a key point in PowerPoint, by drawing on the screen:

  • Press CTRL + P to turn your mouse pointer into a pen icon
  • Then click and hold the mouse to draw on your slides
  • When you're finished, press CTRL + A

(If you use a Mac, tap the Command key instead of CTRL.)

Alternatively...
You can use a laser pointer to point at key items. These are available for a few pounds - just be careful not to point it in anyone's eyes!

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