Whether you like it or not, PowerPoint is the most widely used presentation tool in the world. It is a necessary medium of communicating in business. Creating presentations can be tedious and time consuming. Making 5-6 mouse clicks to perform a single task over and over is inefficient. There has to be a better way.
Here are 7 easy tips that will save you time and take some of the pain points out of PowerPoint.
Note: The below images are from PowerPoint 2016, the location of the images may vary slightly between versions.
PowerPoint has its set features and ribbon layouts for the casual user, but that’s not you. You’re a heavy user, you deserve better. Customizing your toolbar to include your most commonly used functions will save you an enormous amount of time navigating PowerPoint. It may seem like a daunting task, but trust us, it will take you 2-10 minutes and save you hours.
Click on the dropdown in the Quick Access Toolbar and select More Commands.
Click OK when finished.
Right click on or near any of the ribbons (e.g. Home, Insert, Design, etc.) and click on Customize the Ribbon.
You can create a completely new Tab (e.g. Home, Insert, Design), or Groups (e.g. Clipboard, Slides, Font) within existing Tabs.
Here is an example of some commonly used features to add to your custom Tab.
Users can also add the below recommended command buttons to the Custom Quick Access Toolbar or Personalized Ribbon in PowerPoint.
Format Painter is the default “go to” tool for users to quickly take the format from one object (Font Type, Font Style, Size, Color, Indentation, etc.) and apply to another object; however, Pick Up Style / Apply Object Style is a hidden gem that is a much more versatile tool that will save you time.
Pick Up Style / Apply Object Style lets you select formatting from almost any object within PowerPoint and save it until you want to apply the format. This function is more efficient compared to Format Painter for several key reasons:
Pick Up / Apply Object Style Shortcuts: The shortcuts are quite easy to remember as they are similar to Copy (Ctrl+c) and Paste (Ctrl+v):
Even the novice user is aware of how to copy (Ctrl+c) and paste (Ctrl+v) an object in PowerPoint. A quick copy paste takes seconds, but these seconds add up over the course of a deck, a day, or a year. Duplicate is fast tool that will save you time and maybe even minimize your chances of Carpal Tunnel…
Users can Duplicate an object or multiple objects at a time two ways:
Pick Up / Apply Object Style does a great job of transferring colors from object to object; however, there are times when you will need to pull colors from company logos or other pictures, which the Eyedropper does.
To use the Eyedropper:
Select the Eyedropper shown below.
In order to save time, it is always helpful to memorize or have written down the 2-3 most commonly used RGB color codes for your business. When all else fails, you can simply:
Select More Colors as shown in the image below.
Enter the RGB code you wish to apply.
Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time clicking through folders to find commonly used files, wasting time navigating folder structures for a commonly used file or template. File, Open, Browse, locate your drive, and search through 10 sub folders to find the template you use 5 times a week is torture. Pinning your most commonly used folders or files to PowerPoint will save you from the monotony of clicking through folders time and time again.
Right click on the Presentation or Folder you want to pin and select Pin to List.
Ever wonder why PowerPoint seems to open in a different view almost every time you open a file, especially when the file is shared between many users? This is because PowerPoint opens a presentation using the last view option saved. You can stop the annoying and tedious process of adjusting the view every time you open a file by setting a default view.
Trying to select groups of objects on a complex slide might as well require a microscope. Holding Ctrl and clicking on each individual object not only takes time, but also is often met with accidental clicks that select/unselect unintended objects. Selecting objects by dragging the mouse is inaccurate. Use the Selection Pane to quickly and accurately select groups of objects.
On the Home ribbon, open the Select drop down and click Selection Pane.
A right sidebar will open displaying all the object on your slide. Select multiple objects by holding Ctrl and clicking multiple objects in the sidebar.
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