Here is the next blog post in my series of tech hacks for assistants. Yup, we are looking at PowerPoint today. I LOVE PowerPoint. There are so many wonderful things you can do with PowerPoint and the software really does allow you to be incredibly creative. As most of you will be asked to put together a slide deck for your Executives it is important that you are pretty confident on PowerPoint – hopefully these hacks will help.

I’ve put together a mixture of hacks for the design element of PowerPoint and also the presentation side of things. If you do any presentations these tips will help you feel more confident. If you don’t do much public speaking, you can pass the tips on to your Executives which will make you appear super duper helpful!

  1. To change the size of the PowerPoint slide, go to FILE > PAGE SET UP > type the height and width you want > OK.
  2. To align all of your images, select all of the objects you want by clicking on one of them, then hold shift and select the rest. In the menu click ARRANGE > ALIGN OR DISTRIBUTE > Chose the type of alignment you want.
  3. To create your own unique animation, go to the ANIMATION > Click on the DOWN ARROW > CUSTOM PATH. Once you select the custom path you will be able to draw your own animation.
  4. To zoom in or out of a slide (for emphasis on say a chart or a picture) go to PRESENTER VIEW > click the MAGNIFYING GLASS. DRAG the magnifying glass to the place where you want to zoom in and > CLICK AGAIN. Click the Magnifying Glass to zoom back out to the main slide.
  5. To add audio to your presentation, Click the INSERT tab > AUDIO > Audio ONLINE > Browse your computer for the file > PLAY IN BACKGROUND so that PowerPoint knows to play the audio in the background of the presentation.
  6. Hold down CTRL and click the SLIDE SHOW VIEW to display a preview of your slides in a new window.
  7. A PowerPoint file size can be too large to upload or email. Fix this by selecting an image > FORMATTING > COMPRESS PICTURE in the ADJUST GROUP.
  8. To create an invisible hyperlink – Insert a square and format it to NO FILL and NO LINE. Select the shape and click CTRL+K. Paste the link into the address box and click OK. This is a good solution if you do not want any of the text to appear different, but need to include a link in your slide.
  9. To control the presentation from your computer, click F5 to start the presentation and N to advance through the slides. To go back to the previous slide, click P.
  10. To open a hyperlink while presenting, tab to the link you want to open and click ENTER.
  11. To move back to a previous slide in the deck type the slide number and click ENTER.
  12. To make the screen black, click B or the period key.
  13. To apply or remove a white slide, click W or COMMA.
  14. To end a presentation, click ESC.
  15. To create a video of your presentation, click FILE > SAVE AND SEND > CREATE VIDEO
  16. To resize an element while maintaining the proportion hold down SHIFT while resizing.
  17. Once you have started presenting, you can sop the curser appearing on the screen by clicking CTRL+H. If you need it to reappear, click A.
  18. To duplicate images, click CTRL while also clicking and dragging the image.
  19. Using the Selection Pane (right hand side of the home bar) will allow you to see all of the different elements of the slide and makes it much easier to select individual objects.
  20. During a presentation you can turn the cursor into a pen by click CTRL+P. This allows you to draw any shape, underline or highlight an area on the slide.
  21. Clicking CTRL+T will bring up the task bar on your computer which means you can quickly access other files.
  22. Hold down the SHIFT key when drawing a line to get a straight line.
  23. Hold down the SHIFT key when drawing an oval to get a round circle.
  24. Hold down the SHIFT key when drawing a rectangle to get a square.
  25. Hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the normal view icon to view the Master slide.
  26. Click SHIFT+F3 to change the case of letters.
  27. Hold down the CTRL key while clicking the SLIDE SHOW VIEW button when you are editing a slide deck. This will open a preview window so you can see that slide in slide show mode.
  28. Hold down the CTRL key while turning the wheel on the mouse to zoom in and out of the slide
  29. Hold down the CTRL key plus the HOME key to go to the first slide
  30. Hold down the SHIFT key while clicking on the slide sorter view to get the handout master view.
  31. Hold down the SHIFT key while pressing ENTER to get a blank line without a bullet point.
  32. Hold down the SHIFT key to select multiple objects on a slide at the same time.
  33. Hold down the CTRL key plus the END key to go to the last slide in your presentation.
  34. CTRL + A (on the Slides tab) to select all objects.
  35. CTRL + A (in slide sorter view) to select all slides.
  36. After creating your own PowerPoint template remember to save it as a Design Template (.pot) for future use.
  37. CTRL + A (on the Outline tab) to select all text in your slide show.
  38. CTRL + D to duplicate (make a copy of) the selected slide.
  39. CTRL + G to open the grids and guidelines dialog box.
  40. CTRL + M to insert a new slide.