For Seniors: How to Navigate and Select Text in PowerPoint

You may find that using keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint is more convenient than using the scroll bar. The function of some PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts depends on whether you’re editing in a text box or navigating in a presentation.

Navigating in PowerPoint

The following table lists the most common navigation shortcuts in PowerPoint.

Navigation Keyboard Shortcuts
Press This PowerPoint Text Box PowerPoint Presentation
Up arrow One line up Previous slide
Down arrow One line down Previous slide
Right arrow One character to the right Next slide
Left arrow One character to the left Previous slide
Tab Next tab stop Next placeholder box on this slide
Shift+Tab Next tab stop Previous placeholder box on this slide
Ctrl+arrow key Right arrow or left arrow: one word to the left or right; up arrow: one paragraph up or down Right arrow or left arrow: one word to the left or right;up arrow: one paragraph up or down
Home Beginning of the line First slide
End End of the line Last slide
Ctrl+Home Beginning of the text box First slide
Ctrl+End End of the text box Last slide
Page Down Next slide Next slide
Ctrl+Page Down Next slide Next slide
Ctrl+Page Up Previous slide Previous slide

Selecting text in PowerPoint

To select text in PowerPoint, you can either

  • Drag the mouse pointer across it (holding down the left mouse button)

  • Click where you want to start and then hold down Shift as you press the arrow keys to extend the selection.

When text is selected, its background changes color. The color depends on the color scheme in use. With the default color scheme, the background color is light blue.

The following table shows keyboard shortcuts to help you select text.

Keyboard Text Selection Shortcuts
Press This PowerPoint Extends Selection This Much
Shift+left arrow or right arrow One character in arrow direction
Shift+up arrow One line in arrow direction
Ctrl+Shift+left arrow The end of the word
Ctrl+Shift+right arrow The beginning of the word
Ctrl+Shift+up arrow The end of the current paragraph (if in a text box)
Ctrl+Shift+up arrow The beginning of the current paragraph (if in a text box)
Ctrl+Shift+End The end of the current text box (if in a text box)
Ctrl+Shift+Home The beginning of the current text box (if in a text box)
Ctrl+A All slides
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