How to be a PowerPoint Rock Star Part II: Keyboard Shortcuts

Elizabeth Robierockstar Okay, you’ve made the slide deck. Now it’s time for the presentation! If you want to be the Mick Jagger of PowerPoint, then read on…

Start the Show

To start the show, press the F5 function key. Shift + F5 will begin the presentation at the current slide.

Reign in Your Audience

Remember: you’re the rock star! Use the blackout (B) or whiteout (W) keystrokes to temporarily hide a slide and put the spotlight on you and only you. Be sure to use the latter option if in a dark auditorium (or else panic may ensue!).

Any key will bring back your presentation.

Steal the Show

For a memorable performance, use PowerPoint’s various annotation tools to highlight key facts and figures.

Right-click and hover over “Pointer Options” for a full pen, highlighter, and ink color menu (see below).


To go stealth mode, use ctrl + p (pen) and ctrl + e (eraser) for quick, slick annotation. Hitting the e key will erase all marks while ctrl + m enables you to show/hide annotations.

Reorder the Set List

Reordering the set list and looking to improvise? To jump between nonconsecutive slides in slide show mode, press the target slide's order number and then 'Enter'. In 2010, right-clicking the slide will generate a menu of slide numbers and titles for navigation purposes. (See below.)



In 2013, select “See All Slides” to show a visual map:


The Backstage Pass

There’s more! To access a complete list of presentation short cuts, hit the F1 key in slide show mode.

Encore: “The Show Must Go On…”

Hope you’ve enjoyed these tips and tricks! Stay tuned for more on How to be a PowerPoint Rock Star. Up next: Part III: Easy Animation Tricks.


Lissy RobieA former college track star (boasting a sub 5 minute mile) and high school science teacher, Elizabeth Robie is passionate about education and technology. In her spare time, she enjoys running, playing with her dog Seamus, and watching Duke basketball religiously. At Learn iT! Elizabeth teaches the entire MS Office Suite.