3 Quick Improvements to Your Powerpoint Workspace

Especially if You're Designing

Steve Sheets, Technical Director

Steve Sheets

Aug 30, 2018

Tips for Designing Powerpoint Slides

Whenever I'm working in PPT, there are a few tools I find myself using constantly when doing any work inside the program as they help to eliminate clicking around in search of formatting options and make it much easier to select the proper object on crowded slides. I open these immediately when doing any work inside the program. 

1) The very first thing I like to do is right-click anywhere on or around the slide. A right-click menu will open. Click the bottom option, it should say "Format (object you clicked on)". Clicking this format button will open your formatting pane and put nearly all of PowerPoint's best design features on the right edge of your screen.

2) Next, I like to do is press Alt+F10 to open the selection pane. This can also be done by clicking on the Arrange button on the home tab and choosing Selection Pane from the bottom of its menu. Those familiar with Adobe products will compare this to Adobe's Layers panel. It's a very useful place for selecting otherwise hard to get to objects as well as toggling their visibility and rearranging their stacking order. You can also re-name the objects to help yourself and others work with the file.

If you really want to be a pro, once the selection pane is open, pressing F6 will activate your selection pane which can then be navigated with the arrow keys. Pressing Enter or Space will activate the highlighted object and allow you to type into it or begin other edits, pressing escape will take you back out of the object to continue navigating with your keyboard. Alt+Shift+9 and Alt+Shift+1 will expand and collapse your groups for faster or more detailed navigation. Control+Shift+S will toggle the visibility of an object. You can also rename objects here which can be a lifesaver for locating objects or navigating complicated animations. Please note, if you have the animation pane open then F6 will not jump straight to the selection pane. However, tab and shift+tab can also be used to navigate between objects.

Once those panels are open—voila, my digital workspace is ready.

3) The only thing left is to keep plenty of paper handy and if I don't have notes and sketches to work from, it's time to fill some pages

Go forth, have fun, and deck out those slides!

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About The Author

Steve Sheets, Technical Director

Steve is a designer with high expectations for a final product but he tends to obsess over process too. He likes to know the many ways to get things done, the advantages of each and their oh so scary pitfalls. Perhaps that's why he has a Mac and a PC?

"Workflows are one of the few times in life where the best way tends to be the easy way, the trick is figuring out what's 'easy' for your specific situation."

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