Here's our Microsoft Office Tip for.. January 6, 2003
Click Here to see a complete list of all of our previously released Tips!
Working the Toolbars from the Keyboard
In a previous tip, we showed you several handy keyboard shortcuts for working with PowerPoint's menu items. As we mentioned, most of those tips also apply to any Windows programs. There are also tricks to working with toolbars that may not work in all of your Windows applications but are sure handy in PowerPoint.

Press F10 to activate the menu bar. You'll see that the File item on the menu bar changes its appearance; once it does, you can use the Tab key to move to the next menu bar item or press Shift-Tab to move to the previous one. PowerPoint cycles through each menu item, then starts over at the beginning again.

Once you reach the menu item you want, press Enter to open the menu, then navigate to the submenu item you want using the arrow keys.

While Tab cycles through the available choices on any single menu once it's selected, Ctrl-Tab cycles through all the visible toolbars (and Shift-Ctrl-Tab reverses the cycling direction). Once a toolbar is selected, you can press Tab and Shift-Tab to highlight the button or other control you want to work with, then press Enter to activate it.

For example, to change the size of selected text, you'd

* Press F10 to activate the menu bar.
* Press Ctrl-Tab (as many times as it takes to activate the Formatting toolbar).
* Press Tab to move over to the text size box.
* Type in the text size you want.
* Press Enter to accept the new size.

PowerPoint gives you subtle visual cues to let you know which toolbar is selected; if you have lots of toolbars visible, it can be tricky to figure out which one is active. It's worth taking a few minutes to work out the selection order on your system. It will stay the same unless you remove or add toolbars.