Several weeks ago, we ran an article featuring 10 keyboard shortcuts to help you quickly design your PowerPoint presentations. The article proved to be the most read piece of content on IT Consultant Republic that week and several TechRepublic members sent e-mails telling us that they wanted more advanced tips.

So, to make sure we’re serving members of all skill levels, we’re featuring several shortcuts and tips submitted by members that we think meet the needs of higher-end users.

Want to insert a picture in your presentation? This shortcut opens your My Pictures folder so you can quickly select a photo.

Moving images can be perfect to highlight a particular concept or to rouse your audience. If you have a .dat, .avi, or .mov file, use this shortcut to insert a movie into your PowerPoint.

It doesn’t take too long to exhaust the default sounds that come with PowerPoint. If you’ve stored sounds on your computer, you can access them with this shortcut.

B or period (.)
During a presentation, if you want to take a break from your slides, you can press the B key or a period (.) to display a blank screen.

You’ve rehearsed your PowerPoint presentation so you’re comfortable giving it to your audience, but what happens when someone wants to look at a chart two slides ago? Do you start the presentation over and look for the right slide? No, just type P to review previous slides.

This shortcut opens the Slide Layout dialog box, allowing you to choose a slide style. For example, if you wanted to begin your presentation with an organizational chart, you would press [Alt]OL and choose the appropriate slide.

[Alt]OK opens the Background dialog box, allowing you to change the background colors for one or all the slides in your presentation.

Perhaps you don’t have a conference room to show your PowerPoint presentation in or you just want to broadcast your slides to other users on your network. [Alt]DOS opens the Broadcast Schedule dialog box.

The [Alt]DT shortcut, from the Slide Show drop-down menu, allows you to select a transition from the Slide Transition dialog box.

If you think animation would liven up your presentation, [Alt]DM will give you quick access to the Custom Animation dialog box.

If you need to access the Options dialog box—which includes six formatting tabs—[Alt]TO will open this from the Tools menu.

Just as [Alt][Tab] allows you to toggle between windows, [Ctrl][Enter] lets you toggle between elements—titles, bullet points, charts—in your slide.

Press [F4] to repeat the formatting command you performed last. For example, if you highlight text and make it bold, pressing [F4] after you highlight the next block of text will make it boldface.

Final notes from members

  • Begin your presentation before you turn on the monitor. Starting your PowerPoint slides with a shot of your desktop can get your presentation off to a poor start.
  • Remember to bring a CD of your presentation in case your laptop stops working. You may have to scramble to find another computer, but at least you’ll still be able to give your presentation.

Do you have more PowerPoint tips?

If you’ve found a way to make PowerPoint work best for your business, tell us about it. Send us your tips or post your comments below.