Many use Microsoft PowerPoint to create and share presentations for school, work, and more. And, while Microsoft did a solid job making PowerPoint relatively easy to use, some tips and tricks can make your presentation-creating experience much more enjoyable and productive.
We will reveal some of the top Microsoft PowerPoint tips and tricks in this Microsoft Office tutorial.
Tips And Tricks For Microsoft PowerPoint
How can you get the most out of Microsoft PowerPoint’s features and save time when creating presentations? By implementing the following tips and tricks into your routine that can turn even PowerPoint beginners into experts.
Use PowerPoint Templates To Avoid Starting From Scratch
Some people prefer to create their PowerPoint presentations from scratch, as they like a customized look/feel and already have ideas for what they want to do in terms of design. Others, however, prefer using PowerPoint templates to save time, have a cohesive design, and avoid the need to select layouts, backgrounds, fonts, etc.
To find a PowerPoint template to ease your presentation-creating process, click on File and then New. You can tweak most templates to give them a more personalized feel and save them to use later on.
Add Frequently-Used Commands To The Toolbar
The PowerPoint toolbar houses the most standard and popular commands used when creating presentations, but you can customize it to add your favorites for quick access. Here is how:
- Click on File
- Select Options
- Click on Quick Access Toolbar
- Under the Choose commands from dropdown menu, select All Commands
- Select the command you want to add to the Quick Access Toolbar
- Click Add
- Click OK to finalize the process
Go Live With F5
Presenting information to a crowd of people is nerve-wracking enough, but if you make a mistake right from the jump, you may have an even harder time making your presentation. To get off to a smooth start, press the F5 key on your keyboard to launch your presentation from the beginning instead of using the clunky menu or clicking the small icon on the lower right-hand portion of your screen.
Who is this PowerPoint shortcut ideal for? Anyone who has a malfunctioning trackpad or a mouse that has a mind of its own who wants to avoid as many hiccups as possible when presenting.
While a simple F5 press will work on some machines, others will need to hold the Function key (Fn) prior to hitting F5. And, if you are using macOS, you will need to press a combination of Cmd + Shift + Return instead of F5 to get the same results.
Those shortcuts work for launching your PowerPoint presentation from the beginning. What about launching it from a specific slide? To do that, go to the slide you want to launch and hit Shift + F5. On macOS, the shortcut is Command + Return.
Repeat Your Last Command in Microsoft Office
Here is a time-saving tip that works in PowerPoint and all other Microsoft Office apps.
When you want to repeat your last command, press F4.
Line Up A Slide’s Elements With Ease
Are you a perfectionist when it comes to your slides? If so, you could waste a ton of time moving each element around with your arrow keys or mouse until everything gets lined up, or you could simply use the Snap to Grid function to get things done much quicker.
To use the Snap to Grid function to line up a slide’s elements with ease, do the following:
- Go to the View menu
- Check the boxes for Ruler, Gridlines, and Guides (this will make lines appear on your slides to help with positioning and alignment)
- Click the small button of the downward-pointing arrow below the Guides checkbox and to the right of Show
- Once the Grid and Guides menu pops up, check the box next to the Snap objects to grid option
With this option enabled, objects will automatically lock onto the closest gridline when you move them around. You can also tweak the spacing in the Grid settings to get it as precise as you desire.
It is worth noting that if you have trouble getting an object into a desired position, even with the Snap option enabled, you can click on the object and move it around by holding the CTRL button and pressing the arrow keys.
Find Objects Fast in PowerPoint
As your PowerPoint presentation grows with objects, finding a specific one can be time-consuming unless you use the Tab key. Using Tab lets you find an object fast by quickly cycling through them – also known as applying focus to the object.
If the object you need to find is in a group, select the group to start. Then press Tab to cycle through objects in that specific group to save even more time.
Save Time When Copying Shapes
Can you copy and paste text and objects in your PowerPoint slides by using the typical CTRL + C followed by CTRL + V? Sure, but if you are copying a shape and trying to create a symmetrical pattern, things could get clunky as you try to move the newly created shape to its desired position using your mouse or arrow keys.
You can save yourself time and manual work when copying a shape and creating a symmetrical pattern by doing this instead:
- Click on the shape you need to copy
- Hold CTRL + Shift as you click and hold your mouse button on the shape
- Slide your mouse up and down or sideways to create a new copy of the shape that is perfectly aligned with the original
This shortcut saves you from nudging the new shape where you want it since copies typically overlap the original. And, if you need to repeat the process to create more perfectly-aligned shapes in a symmetrical pattern (no nudging needed), simply press CTRL + Y.
Add A Laser Pointer To Your PowerPoint Presentation
A laser pointer can be handy when making a PowerPoint presentation, as it can help you pinpoint essential parts of a slide. In addition, many find that the simple act of using a laser pointer and having it in their hands can calm their nerves. What happens if you forget your laser pointer or its batteries run dry during your presentation? If so, do not fret, as you can use a pointer within PowerPoint to get a similar effect.
With your PowerPoint slideshow active, move your mouse around or use your trackpad. You will notice a cursor appears on the screen. Press and hold CTRL and then click and hold your left mouse button, and that cursor will transform into a laser dot that you can move around and use to emphasize the highlights of your slides as you speak.
Reposition Objects By A Single Pixel
Small objects can be tough to reposition in PowerPoint, especially if you have an uncooperative mouse. The next time you have an object that needs to be moved slightly, select it and use your arrow keys. This will allow you to reposition it one pixel at a time for a more precise movement than your mouse may be able to provide.