Try These Great Techniques for Selecting in PowerPoint

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated July 2, 2014

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2007, 2010 and 2013

The following selection shortcuts in Microsoft PowerPoint are great timesavers. You can use these shortcuts in 2007, 2010, 2013 and other versions of PowerPoint for Windows. Most of these include the Control key so press Control plus the letter indicated at the same time or press Control and click at the same time.

Related articles: How to Insert Screenshots in PowerPoint and Word (Part 1: Office Tools) and Are You Using These 10 Slide Show Tricks During Your PowerPoint Presentations?

1. Select objects one at a time in order on a slide

In Normal View, click in an empty area on the slide or keep pressing Escape (ESC) so that no objects are selected. Press Tab. Keep tabbing from object to object.

Notably, the tab order is also the reading order of a slide if it is read by an assistive technology program such as those used by users with visual impairments.

2. Select a placeholder on a slide

To select a placeholder on a slide in Normal view, click on its edge.

If you prefer to use the keyboard, keep pressing Escape until no objects are selected and then keep pressing Tab until you have selected the desired placeholder.

3. Select all objects on a slide

In Normal view, click in an empty area on the slide or keep pressing Escape until no objects are selected, then press Control + A.

4. Select all text in a placeholder

In Normal view, click in a placeholder and press Control + A.

If using the keyboard:

  1. Keep pressing Escape until no objects are selected.
  2. Keep pressing Tab until the desired placeholder is selected.
  3. Press Enter.

5. Select a word in a placeholder

In Normal view, click in the placeholder and double-click in the word.

If using the keyboard:

  1. Keep pressing Escape until no objects are selected.
  2. Keep pressing Tab until the desired placeholder is selected.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Press the arrow keys until the cursor is positioned in front of the word you wish to select.
  5. Press  Control + Shift + right arrow.

6. Select specific objects on a slide

Select the first object and then Shift-click on subsequent objects.

7. Select non-contiguous slides in the Slide Sorter

To select specific slides in the Slide Sorter that are not adjacent to each other, in Slide Sorter view, select the first slide and then Control-click on subsequent slides.

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