Here's our Microsoft Office Tip for.. February 17, 2003
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Controlling Your Slide Shows--Part 1 of 4
Most of us just click our way through presentations one slide at a time. Mouse-click. New slide. Mouse-click. New slide. Most of the time, that's just fine. It's simple and it gets the job done. But once in a while you'd like to do a little more (or maybe you have to work with a little less . . . ever have your mouse go bad right before an important presentation?). Whatever the case, PowerPoint lets you use the keyboard to do anything you could do with the mouse--and a lot more.

For starters, choose Tools, Options and go to the View tab. In the Slide Show options area:

Clear the Popup Menu On Right Mouse Click check box. This disables the usual right-click pop-up menu and enables you to better control your presentation. You'll be able to back up a slide by right-clicking the mouse in addition to advancing by left-clicking.

Clear the Show Popup Menu Button check box. This removes the menu button that PowerPoint otherwise adds to your shows. One more distraction gone. You'll learn how to replace all its functions with keystroke shortcuts in this and following tips.

If you want your slide show to end with a black slide, leave the last check box selected. If you'd rather the show simply quit after the last slide, deselect this option also.

These are all settings that apply to PowerPoint itself, not each individual presentation. There are other options you can set for each individual presentation; you'll learn about those in upcoming tips.

For now, try out the new settings you've just selected. Open a presentation and choose View, Slide Show (or press F5). Use the left and right mouse buttons to navigate forward and backward through your presentation to get a feel for how it works. And here's one more nifty trick we'll leave you with:

Type a number on either the regular number keys or the numeric keypad, then press Enter. PowerPoint goes directly to that slide. For example, to go directly to slide 15 from the first slide in your presentation (or any other), type 15, press Enter, and you're there.