K keys

The magic F keys

Those somewhat mysterious F keys at the top of your keyboard do different things depending which program you are using. They have hidden “magic” powers in PowerPoint. These function keys (their official moniker) have little powers that can speed up your PowerPoint experience, because… (drum roll please) they are shortcuts! So, let’s look at what the F keys do and unleash these powers, shall we?

F1: Displays the Help Task Pane. You can probably ask for help on what the other F keys do, but, we move.

F2: Allows you to switch between formatting an object or editing the text inside said object. Voilà:

Picture1 Picture2

F4: F4 repeats the last command or action (but not typing text). For example, if you have a selection of shapes and want to change the colour of all/some – make the colour change to one shape, select the others you wish to change and press F4. Presto chango! Not to downplay the F keys, but Ctrl-y does the same thing as F4.

F5: Easy one this one, slapping the F5 key will play the presentation in slideshow mode from the beginning.

F6: Moves to the next pane in the presentation (clockwise).

F7: When your presentation is finished it is wise to run a spellcheck, obviously. A quick tap on F7 will display the Spelling dialog box for you.

F10: Clever F10 toggles the display of the ribbon shortcut keys, otherwise known as “Access Keys”. To be fair, unless you are a super-advanced user, this is probably of little use or interest!

F12: You should probs click this one as soon as you begin your presentation as it displays the Save As dialog box.

But wait! There’s more… If you combine Shift and the function keys you will uncover a whole new set of shortcuts.

Shift + Function

Shift + F3: Toggles between lower case, sentence case and upper case on selected text.

Shift + F9: Shows/hides the Gridlines.

Shift + F10: Brings up the shortcut menu for the selected item.

Shift + F12: Saves the presentation or displays the Save As dialog box for a new presentation.