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4. Useful Keyboard Shortcuts for Text
Navigating and selecting text can be done very quickly with a few simply keyboard shortcuts. Find out how to use these shortcuts in this lesson.
Why use keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint?
- When typing text, we have two hands on the keyboard
- As a result, keyboard shortcuts are a faster way of selecting and navigating text
- These helpful shortcuts apply to Excel and Word, so are well worth learning
Keyboard shortcuts - horizontal movement
CTRL + →: Move cursor one word at a time
HOME: Move cursor to first character in a line
END: Move cursor to last character in a line
SHIFT + →: Select one character at a time
CTRL + SHIFT + →: Select one word at a time
SHIFT + HOME / END : Select the rest of line
Keyboard shortcuts - vertical movement
CTRL + ↓: Move cursor one paragraph at a time
SHIFT + ↓: Select one line at a time
CTRL + SHIFT + ↓: Select one paragraph at a time
CTRL + A: Select all the text within the textbox
Keyboard shortcuts - formatting
CTRL + I: Add italics
CTRL + B: Bold text
CTRL + U: Underline
CTRL + [: Decrease text size
CTRL + ]: Increase text size
If you have a lot of text on a slide such as this example shown here, it’s likely you’ll have two hands on the keyboard most of the time while typing. Repeatedly reaching for the mouse to move the cursor or to select text can become time consuming. And instead I like to use some keyboard shortcuts to select and navigate text.
Most of these shortcuts also work in Microsoft Word and Excel, so they’re well worth committing to memory.
Let’s start with the simplest way to move the cursor and that’s with the keyboard arrows. So if I press the right arrow key, you can see that the cursor moves to the right one character at a time.
If I’d like to move a little faster, I hold Ctrl and press the arrow key, and this moves to the right one word at a time.
If I’d like to skip back to the first character in a line, I press the Home key.
And if I’d like to skip to the last character in a line, I press the End key.
Let’s go over those shortcuts again very quickly.
Just using the arrows, we’ll move one character at a time, hold Ctrl and an arrow key to move one word at a time, the Home key to move to the first character in a line and the End key to move to the last character in a line.
To select text, instead of moving the cursor we simply hold Shift and apply the same shortcuts we used for navigating text.
So for example, if I hold Shift and use the arrow key, it selects one character at a time.
If I hold Ctrl and Shift and an arrow key, it selects one word at a time.
And if I hold Shift and press the Home key, it will select the full line.
Let’s repeat these shortcuts one more time.
So hold Shift and the arrow key to select one character at a time, hold Ctrl and Shift to select one word at a time, and Shift and End to select the rest of the line.
Now let’s take a look at navigating vertically.
By pressing the down arrow key we jump one line at a time.
By holding Ctrl we jump one paragraph or one bullet at a time, so that’s the arrow key to move one line at a time and Ctrl and the arrow key to move one bullet or paragraph at a time.
As you can probably guess, if we hold Shift, we select one line at a time, and Ctrl and Shift and we select one paragraph at a time.
If you want to select all of the text within the shape, we press Ctrl + A.
Once you have the desired text selected with these shortcuts, you can now apply styling changes such as adding italics, bolding the text, adding an underline, increasing or decreasing the size of the text, and many other changes that I’ve shown in previous lessons.
Although there are many more shortcuts available in PowerPoint, given that we normally have one hand on the mouse when creating shapes, I don’t tend to use them.
However, when typing, we have two hands on the keyboard and shortcuts can save you quite a lot of time.
I’ve used a number of different shortcuts today and it might be difficult to recall all of them immediately.
So that you have easy access to these shortcuts, I recommend going to the show notes below this video, copying the shortcuts and pasting them onto your desktop or a notepad where they’ll be close at hand.
After a couple of days, these shortcuts will be committed to memory and you’ll no longer need the show notes.