Whether it’s Office 2016 or any other version, Microsoft Office remains the world’s most popular home office suite. So why do so many of us struggle with the basic time saving shortcuts and hotkeys to help us make the most out the three main programs that we use on a daily basis, at work or home?

Useful Time Saving Shortcuts for Microsoft Office Programs

Microsoft PowerPoint

PowerPoint is the archetypal modern office workers’ companion. Everyone has found themselves grappling with a last-minute PowerPoint presentation at some stage in their careers, replete with pie charts, graphs and perhaps even a bit of snazzy animation if you’re feeling brave. Some love Powerpoint as a visual means of communicating, while others hate it… but everyone is in universal agreement that the key to its successful use in either case is to keep each slide brief and engaging to avoid torturing colleagues with the infamous “Death by PowerPoint” scenario.

Top 3 Useful Shortcuts

  1. Anyone who’s ever struggled with an unwieldy hierarchical diagram will know that grouping images or inserts together when moving them around simultaneously can be a lifesaver. Just press Ctrl+G to group and Ctrl+Shift+G to ungroup
  2. Is the cursor ruining the flow of an embedded image or visual slide? Press Ctrl+H to hide the pointer
  3. Need to create a dramatic effect, or stop suddenly during a slideshow presentation? You only need to press one key! ‘B’ or ‘W’ to turn the screen black and white, respectively, or press ’S’ to stop the slideshow altogether

Microsoft Word

Perhaps the most enduring and prevalently-used program in the Microsoft Office package is Microsoft Word. In terms of usability, it’s the most well-known programs in the suite and the .doc format is the most established forms of the written electronic document generally shared among schools, universities and businesses worldwide. While there are a number of free alternatives to the most commonly-used word processing program, each claiming a variety of advantages over the original, Word remains the standard program across most official file sharing occurrences.

Top 3 Useful Shortcuts

  1. Want to emphasise some words in a sentence? Ctrl+Shift+A will format all selected letters into CAPITALS
  2. Accidentally deleted something you shouldn’t? Try Ctrl+Z to undo your mistake (and breathe a sigh of relief at the same time)
  3. Wanna Save but need to select to a different location? Alt, F, A pressed in that order will open the ‘Save As’ option

Microsoft Excel

Not just for bookkeepers and accountants, Excel is Microsoft Office’s clever cell-calculating sheet capable of counting on behalf of the user. The tabular layout of Excel means that it’s suitable for everything from drawing up timetables to progress report timelines.

Top 3 Useful Shortcuts

  1. Is your formula stubbornly displaying the wrong measurement in its calculations? Press Ctrl + ~ to toggle through the available options
  2. If you need to create a chart using a particular range of data, you can handily do so by pressing F11 while selecting the desired cells
  3. To remove all doubt around the meaning of the content of your table, you can add comments that provide further space for information. Press Shift + F2 to open a comment box


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