The function keys on keyboards don’t get the love they used to, but depending on the app you’re running, they can still be quite handy. Microsoft PowerPoint has some interesting features tucked away behind your function keys. Here’s what they do.


  • F1: When you’re in editing mode, pressing F1 displays the help menu. When you’re in slideshow mode, pressing F1 reveals the slideshow’s controls so you can do things like moving forward or backward in your presentation.
  • Ctrl+F1: Close and reopen the current task pane.


  • F2: When you have an object that contains text (like a text box or other shape), pressing F2 cycles between selecting the text for editing and selecting the object itself for moving or formatting.
  • Ctrl+F2: Open the Print window, where you can preview and print your document.
  • Alt+F2: Open the Save As window.
  • Alt+Shift+F2: Save the active presentation that you’re working on. This will not save all open presentations.


  • Shift+F3: Change the case of selected text. Pressing this combo repeatedly cycles through the following case styles: Initial Letter Case, ALL CAPS CASE, and lower case.


  • F4: Repeat your last action.
  • Shift+F4: Repeat the last “Find” action. This one’s handy because you can use it to browse search results without having the Find and Replace window open.
  • Ctrl+F4: Close the presentation window.
  • Alt+F4: Quit Microsoft Powerpoint. This closes all open presentations (giving you the chance to save changes first) and exits Powerpoint.


  • F5: Begin a slideshow with your active presentation from the first slide.
  • Shift+F5: Begin a slideshow from your current slide. This is handy when testing how the presentation view will look.
  • Ctrl+F5: Restore the size of your presentation window.


  • F6: Move between the Ribbon, worksheet, tabs, and status bar.
  • Shift+F6: Move in reverse order between the Ribbon, worksheet, tabs, and status bar.
  • Ctrl+F6: Switch to the next presentation window when more than one presentation window is open.
  • Ctrl+Shift+F6: Switch to the previous presentation window when more than one presentation window is open.


  • F7: Open the Editor pane and starts a spelling and grammar check.
  • Ctrl+F7: Move the presentation window (when it isn’t maximized).
  • Shift+F7: Open the thesaurus. If you have a word selected when you press this combo, Excel opens the thesaurus and looks up the selected word.


  • Alt+F8: Display the Macros dialog box.
  • Ctrl+F8: Resize the presentation window (when it isn’t maximized)


  • Shift+F9: Show or hide a grid that aids you in aligning objects.
  • Ctrl+F9: Minimize the active presentation window.
  • Alt+F9: Show or hide movable guidelines that aid you in aligning objects.


  • F10: Turn key tips on or off. Key tips display shortcut letters on menus that you can press to navigate menus and activate commands.
  • Shift+F10: Display a context menu. This works just like right-clicking.
  • Ctrl+F10: Maximize or restore the active presentation window.
  • Alt+F10: Maximize the program window.
  • Alt+Shift+F10: Display the menu or message for a smart tag (If more than one smart tag is present, switches to the next smart tag and displays its menu or message).


  • Alt+F11: Switch between the Visual Basic Editor and the previously active window.
  • Alt+Shift+F11: Open the Microsoft Script Editor.


  • F12: Open the Save As window.
  • Shift+F12: Save your presentation.
  • Ctrl+F12: Open the Open window.
  • Ctrl+Shift+F12: Open the Print window.
Profile Photo for Hayley Milliman Hayley Milliman
Hayley Milliman is a former Teach for America teacher turned curriculum developer and writer. Over the past five years, she's written hundreds of articles on everything from Microsoft Office to education to history. She's co-author of the book .
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