It’s easy to duplicate shapes by dragging, but while that's a nice way to duplicate five or ten shapes, it's not the best way to create ten, twenty, or more copies. We all know
that you can press Ctrl+C to copy any shape in PowerPoint to the clipboard, and a resulting Ctrl+V
always pastes a copy from the clipboard to the slide -- what many people don't realize is PowerPoint has this almost supernatural keyboard shortcut
called Ctrl+D (yes, the D stands for duplicate), and this Ctrl+D
shortcut does more than just duplicate; in fact it creates a pattern of evenly-spaced and symmetrical shapes! Follow these steps to explore for
- Launch PowerPoint 2016. You will see the Presentation Gallery -- here, select the Blank Presentation to open a blank presentation with a new slide. You can change the Slide Layout to Blank by selecting the Home tab | Layout | Blank option. Now insert a shape on the slide and select it, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Select the shape
- Press Ctrl+D to create a duplicate of the selected shape. Figure 2 shows the duplicate shape
created and placed overlapping the original, circle.
Figure 2: Duplicate instance of a circle created
- At this point of time, avoid using your mouse altogether. Since the duplicate shape will be selected as soon as it was created, any
nudges you make to the shape by pressing the arrow keys on your keyboard should
work. Nudge multiple times in various directions until you are happy with the spacing between the original shape, and the duplicated one (see
Figure 3: Adjust the placement of your duplicate shape
- Now press Ctrl+D repetitively to build the pattern. The next duplicate shapes will retain the spacing and direction between the
first two shapes, as you can see in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Evenly-spaced duplicates are created
- You can similarly create other patterns -- in fact you can also select two or more shapes and then cause all selected shapes to create a pattern, as
shown in Figure 5, below.
Figure 5: Multiple shapes duplicated
- Save your presentation often.
Duplicate Shapes Using Ctrl+D in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Duplicate Shapes Using Command+D in PowerPoint 2011 for
Duplicate Shapes Using Ctrl+D in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado?
Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?
Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.