PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts for Slide Show Presentations

by Dawn Bjork, MCT, MOSM | The Software Pro

iaap-keyboard-shortcuts

Whether you use a mouse or a remote control to navigate through a PowerPoint slide show presentation, it is often faster and handy to use keyboard shortcuts. Here is a selection of PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts for slide shows to try for your next PowerPoint slide show:

  • Run a slide show: [F5]
  • Run a slide show from the current slide: [Shift] + [F5]
  • Advance to the next slide (any of these): [Right][Down], N (for Next), [Spacebar][Page Down] (or click the left mouse)
  • Return to the previous slide (any of these): [Left][Up], P (for Previous), [Backspace][Page Up]
  • Go to specific slide number: type slide number and press [Enter]. This is one of my favorite tips to quickly skip past slides or to return to a previous slide. To display the slide number temporarily in a handout, choose Insert > Header and Footer, check Slide Number, Apply to All. Repeat steps to turn off after printing handouts.
  • Display a black screen or go back to slide show: Bor [Period]
  • Display a white screen or go back to slide show: Wor [Comma]. (Use carefully as the bright screen can be distracting to an audience).
  • To draw on the screen (annotations), press [Ctrl] + P to enable the Pen mode. Use your mouse to draw directly on the slide. To change the pen color or to enable other tools (Laser Pointer, Highlighter) to emphasize your slide content, right-click on a slide and left-click on Pointer Options. You’ll also see options for the Eraser or if you’ve added annotations, you can press E to erase at any time. Or, right-click on a slide and left-click on Pointer Options where you’ll see options for the Eraser or to Erase All Ink on Slide.
  • To switch from the Pen mode back to the Arrow, press [Ctrl] + A. Or even better, press [Ctrl] + H to hide the pointer or pen to avoid displaying a distracting or moving mouse pointer.
  • End a slide show: [Esc]
  • Help during slide show (displays these and other keyboard shortcuts): [F1]

Note: You can also right-click anywhere on the slide show screen for a shortcut menu with many of these same actions. Handy although your audience will also see this shortcut menu.

Click here to download a handout of PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts and discover more PowerPoint tips and tricks.


IAAP works with the best trainers in the industry to ensure you have relevant, engaging, practical content at your fingertips. This blog is written by a speaker with a program in the IAAP Approved Programs database. Search by name or keyword to find their contact information and book them for your Branch or Region event. 

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Dawn Bjork is The Software Pro®, a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), and is a certified Microsoft Office Specialist (MOSM) Master and Microsoft Office expert. Dawn is passionate about sharing smart and easy ways to increase your software productivity through her work as a technology speaker, software trainer, computer consultant, and author of 9 books. Discover more software tips, techniques, and timesavers at TheSoftwarePro.com. Dawn also shares oodles of daily tips on Twitter and Facebook.

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