Reviewed: Geetesh Bajaj
Date Created: January 16th 2008
Last Updated: February 27th 2009
If you create your share of PowerPoint presentations, you know that you end up doing repetitive tasks all the time -- for the most common commands such as aligning, distributing, grouping, or resizing objects, you have to access the menus and toolbars hundreds of times. The new PowerPoint 2007 makes great improvements in accessing these options quicker -- but the align, distribute, and grouping tools are now more difficult to access than in the previous versions of PowerPoint.
PowerPoint ShortcutTools 2.0, the product I am reviewing is a PowerPoint
add-in which allows users to set defined keyboard shortcuts for specific
ShortcutTools 2.0 is from Arcasoft Solutions, a company based in Zurich, Switzerland. You can learn more, and download a 30 day trial version of ShortcutTools 2.0 from their site.
ShortcutTools 2.0 is a PowerPoint add-in for Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 (XP), 2003, and 2007. It provides a set of shortcut keys for the most commonly used commands in PowerPoint. It also allows users to set their own keys.
My contact at Arcasoft Solutions for this review was Bernhard Stähli - thank you, Bernhard.
Download the installer from the their site, run the setup routine, and follow the instructions.
When installed, the add-in creates an PowerPoint ShortcutTools toolbar
within PowerPoint as shown in Figure 1 -- if you don't
find it there, choose View | Toolbars | PowerPoint ShortcutTools.
Figure 1: ShortcutTools toolbar
Similarly PowerPoint 2007 users will find the ShortcutTools in the Add-Ins tab of the Ribbon (see Figure 2).
Figure 2: ShortcutTools in PowerPoint 2007
Follow these steps to use ShortcutTools:
- Create or open a presentation in PowerPoint.
- Click the ShortcutTools button on the toolbar (refer to Figure
- This brings up the list of shortcut key already available as shown
in Figure 3.
Figure 3: List of Shortcut Keys
- Go to Insert, which again gives all the shortcut available under Insert
(see Figure 4).
Figure 4: Shortcut keys under insert
- As you can see, the actual shortcut keys are displayed within the submenus. However, in PowerPoint 2007, you can only see the actual commands -- the shortcut keys are visible within a tool tip (refer above in Figure 2).
Follow these steps to configure available shortcuts -- remember you cannot configure or edit shortcuts for options that have no shortcuts available within ShortcutTools:
- To set a user defined shortcut for any option, Shift-click the
option in the ShortcutTools menu -- for example, Shift-click the
Insert Circle option (refer to Figure 4 above)
to summon the relevant Shortcut Configuration dialog box shown
in Figure 5 below.
Figure 5: Shortcut Configuration dialog box
Now place your cursor in text box, and press your preferred keyboard shortcut key combination (see Figure 6).
Figure 6: Change the shortcut keys
Press OK to apply.
- You can subsequently find the changed shortcut key in the Insert menu
of the ShortcutTools menu, as shown in Figure 7 -- remember
the shortcut keys display only as a tool tip in PowerPoint 2007.
Figure 6 : Changed shortcut key
- Follow the same procedure to change other shortcut keys, as required.
PowerPoint ShortcutTools 2.0 costs $39.90 for a single-user license. Multiple user licenses are available.
Support is through e-mail, although a community forum is being created.
PowerPoint Shortcut Tools 2.0 is a good investment if you need to use the same tools repeatedly while creating presentation -- it will provide your wrist with some rest, and speed up your workflow. It's the quickest way to get to the Align options in PowerPoint 2007 (that's what I would use it for!).