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In PowerPoint on Windows, you will be able to use a number of keyboard sequences which help you access various menu commands. These keyboard sequences are combinations that start with pressing the Alt key followed by a few more characters in succession. But with Mac versions of PowerPoint, this approach doesn't work. You can do something similar but even then, the process and the results are both a little different. Let's learn more in this tutorial:
- Make sure you have a presentation open in PowerPoint. Now, press the Ctrl + F2 key combination (or Ctrl + Fn + F2, if you use a smaller keyboard on a Mac laptop). Doing so will activate the Menu Bar with the Apple Mac symbol, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1, below. This is an indication to signify that the Menu Bar is activated.
Figure 1: Menu Bar activated
- Is the key combination Ctrl + F2 (or Ctrl + Fn + F2) is not working? Refer to our Troubleshooting Menu Activation in PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac tutorial to know what you can do to make it work again.
- Now type the first letter of the Menu command that you want to select. If you want to select one of the two menu commands that start with the same first letter such as File and Format, then quickly type the first two letters of the command that you want to select. In Figure 2, below, you can see that we selected the Insert option just by typing the letter 'i'.
Figure 2: Insert option selected by typing the letter 'i'
- Hit the Return key on your keyboard to open the drop-down menu for the selected command. Figure 3, below, shows the Insert drop-down menu that we accessed by pressing Return key when the Insert menu option was selected.
Figure 3: Insert drop-down men activated by pressing the Return key
- When the drop-down menu of the selected option is opened, type the first letter of the option that you want to select within the drop-down menu. Again, to select one of the options that start with identical words, you need to type multiple letters. We typed 's' and 'm' 'to select the SmartArt option within the Insert menu, as shown in Figure 4, below.
Figure 4: Typing 's' and 'm' within Insert drop-down menu selects the SmartArt option
- If you select an option that includes a sub-menu, hit the Return key again to activate the sub-menu. We activated the SmartArt sub-menu by pressing the Return key after the Insert | SmartArt option was selected, as shown in Figure 4, above.
- When the required sub-menu is open, type the first letter (or the first few letters, if required) of the option that you want to select within the sub-menu. In Figure 5, below, you can see that we typed the letter 'm' when the SmartArt sub-menu was active, this selected the Matrix option. Hit the Return key again to execute this option.
Figure 5: Typing 'm' within SmartArt sub- menu selects the notes Matrix option
Menu Bar Does Not Activate?
So, the keyboard sequence we used to insert the Matrix SmartArt on your slide is:
Ctrl + F2 > i > Return > sm > Return > m > Return
These keyboard sequences may at first appear long and convoluted, but once you get used to them, they can be very useful and quick when you want to access these options without a mouse.
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts
Do you want more keyboard shortcuts?
Explore our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences Ebook that is updated for all PowerPoint versions.
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