Use Keyboard Shortcuts to Insert and Format SmartArt in PowerPoint

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated September 10, 2017

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 (Windows)

If you’re creating and formatting SmartArt objects in PowerPoint, you can use the following keyboard shortcuts in Normal View. Shortcuts that appear with “>” are sequential shortcuts so Alt > N > M would mean press Alt, then N and then M.

If you are a keyboard only user, check out our article No Mouse? Using Keyboard Only Navigation in Microsoft Office.

Recommended article: How to Quickly Remove All Animations in PowerPoint Presentations

1. Insert a SmartArt object

Press ALT > N > M. The gallery appears. Press tab to move to the list of layouts. Keep pressing arrow keys until the desired SmartArt object is selected and then press Enter.

Below is the SmartArt Gallery in PowerPoint:

PowerPoint SmartArt dialog box.

2. Select a SmartArt object

Keep pressing Escape until no object is selected and then keep pressing Tab until the desired SmartArt object is selected.

3. Move between shapes in a SmartArt object

Select the SmartArt object or one shape in the SmartArt object and then keep pressing Tab to move to the next shape.

4. Display the Text Pane

Select a SmartArt object and then press Alt > JS > X.

5. Switch between the Text Pane and the SmartArt object

Press Control + Shift + F2.

6. Select multiple shapes using the Text Pane

Select a line of text in the Text Pane and then press Shift + down arrow to select additional shapes.

7. Indent text in the Text Pane

With the cursor positioned in a line of text in the Text Pane, press Tab.

8. Outdent text in the Text Pane

With the cursor positioned in a line of text in the Text Pane, press Shift + Tab.

9. Increase the size of a shape

With a shape selected, press Shift + up arrow or Shift + right arrow.

10. Decrease the size of a shape

With a shape selected, press Shift + down arrow or Shift + left arrow.

11. Increase the size a shape in small increments

With a shape selected, press Control + Shift + up arrow or Shift + right arrow.

12. Decrease the size of a shape in small increments

With a shape selected, press Control + Shift + down arrow or Shift + left arrow.

13. Reorder a shape up within the SmartArt object

With a shape selected, press Alt > JS > U.

14. Reorder a shape down within the SmartArt object

With a shape selected, press Alt > JS > W.

15. Move a shape

With a shape selected, press an arrow key to move a shape in the direction of the arrow.

16. Nudge a shape in small increments

With a shape selected, press Control + an arrow key to nudge in the direction of the arrow.

17. Open the SmartArt Layout Gallery

Select the SmartArt object and press Alt > JS > L > M.

18. Rotate a shape by 15 degrees

With a shape selected, press Alt + right arrow or Alt + left arrow.

19. Rotate a  shape by 1 degree

With a shape selected, press Control + Alt + right arrow or Control + Alt + left arrow.

20. Reset a SmartArt object

With the SmartArt object selected, press Alt > JS > E. This will remove all custom formatting.

 

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