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While the Ribbon makes it easy to access most of PowerPoint's commands, many Power users would rather activate commands without constantly reaching for the mouse. This is particularly helpful if you're repeating the same set of steps. Once you get the keyboard sequence in muscle memory, it's much faster than clicking. Here is how to navigate ribbons and dialog boxes using key tips. So let's say I'm on Slide 2 and I want to resize this text. I'll go ahead and highlight it. Now press Alt on your keyboard. On some keyboards you can also press the F10 key. Now little letters appear over each of the tabs and the Quick Access Toolbar has a 1, 2, 3 on the buttons.
Some of the letters are the first letters of the tab name. Context-sensitive tools like the Drawing Tools over here always start with the J. Next press the letter for the button you want. So I want to be on the Home ribbon, so I'll press H. I want to change my Font Size and notice the FS, so I'll type FS. Now I'm in the Font Size and I'll type 24 and press Enter. My font has now changed to 24. Now that might have seemed a little long, but watch what happens when I do it in rhythm.
I'm going to go down to Slide 9 and highlight this text down here, so again, Alt+H, FS 24. That was faster than reaching for my mouse, changing the Font Size and putting my hands back on the keyboard. So now you can also use the keyboard to navigate the ribbons. Let's go down to Slide 11. I'm going to actually insert an image without even touching my mouse. Again, press Alt on your keyboard to activate the ribbon. Now we already saw that you can press the letter of the tab that you want, but you can also use your left and right arrows to switch from ribbon to ribbon. I'm going to hit the right arrow once to go to Insert. Now I'll press the down arrow and it takes me by buttons and I'll use my right arrow to move over to picture, and then hit Enter to activate the command.
Navigate to the folder that has the picture that you want. Notice my cursor is flashing down in File name. If I hit Shift+Tab, I can go up to my Files and then I'll press my Down arrow one time to highlight the picture that I want and press Enter to insert it. Now let's change the size of this picture just by using the keyboard, although, I do have to press my mouse one time to go to the Size Group and click the Launcher button. I can now press my Tab keys to scroll through all the items in the dialog box, and if I need to go up, I'll hold down the Shift key and then press Tab to go backwards.
I can use Up and Down Arrows on my keyboard to adjust the numbers or to change the Size quickly, I can just type the dimension that I want and press Tab. Also notice that many of the commands have little lines under one of the letters. So for example, if I want to turn off the Relative to original picture size, I'll hold down the Alt key and tap R, and it unchecks itself. Notice the Close button in the bottom right corner of the dialog box is outlined in blue. That means that I can just hit Enter which is the same as clicking the button.
Now that I've my picture, I can use my arrows on my keyboard to move it, although, this is one case where it will be faster just to pick it up and drag it. By learning to navigate ribbons and dialog boxes with your keyboard, you can get a lot of your frequent tasks done faster than you can by reaching for your mouse every time.
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