Navigating Through a Presentation: MS PowerPoint

Dennis Faas's picture

PowerPoint has myriad ways to navigate in a presentation.

In addition to the navigation methods you've probably used (such as: left mouse button to advance, Backspace key to back up, Esc to end), PowerPoint also supports a wide variety of mouse and keyboard shortcuts:

  • To advance from one slide to another, or perform the next animation on the current slide, you can click the left mouse button -- but you can also press Enter, N (for Next), page down, right arrow, down arrow, or the spacebar. You can also right-click the screen during a presentation and choose Next.
  • To move to the previous slide, or activate the preceding animation on the current slide, you can press Backspace -- but you can also try P (for Previous) page up, left arrow, or the up arrow. Or you can right-click the screen and choose Previous.
  • To end a presentation, in addition to the Esc key, you can right-click and choose End Show.

An almost-complete list of navigation controls is available by right-clicking the screen during a presentation and choosing Help, by pressing F1 or by referring to the Help topic "Slide Show Controls." Most of the controls are obscure, but a few might be worth memorizing:

  • B (for Black) or pressing the period key toggles between displaying a black screen and showing the current slide.
  • Similarly, W (for white) or pressing the comma key toggles a white screen.
  • Tab cycles among all the hyperlinks on a slide.

Most folks don't know it, but pressing the Home key during a presentation returns you to the first slide. Similarly, pressing the End key sends you to the final slide.

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