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3 Ribbon Guide Shortcut Strategies for Investment Bankers

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Get the Most Out of Ribbon Guides

Now that you understand what Ribbon Guide shortcuts are, this article will lay out a few key pointers on how to get the most out of them.

Before reading the article, take a look at the video below for an explanation of Ribbon Guide Strategies.

If you want to jump in and learn all of my best tricks for using PowerPoint like this, check out my PowerPoint Crash Course.


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#1. Do not try and memorize all the Ribbon Guide shortcuts

Keep in mind that every command and feature in PowerPoint has a Ribbon Guide shortcut associated with it. That is way too many shortcuts to try and memorize.

For example, as you can see in the picture below, the Home tab alone as 148 Ribbon Guide shortcuts.

Instead of trying to memorize them all, instead simply pick them up when you need them and then forget about them until you need them again.

For example, if you are frequently navigating back and forth to the bullet point dropdown menu to add bullet points to your objects, that would be a great Ribbon Guide shortcut to pick up (Alt, H, U).

For examples of some of the best Ribbon Guide shortcuts for Investment Bankers and Consultants, read my article on Ribbon Guide Shortcuts.

#2. Ribbon Guides Shortcuts are not always the best

Just because you can use Ribbon Guide shortcuts to get at any command or feature in the PowerPoint Ribbon does not mean that they are always the best shortcuts to use.

A lot of commands and features already have easy to use Hold shortcuts, which as almost always shorter (and faster) to use then digging your way through the Ribbon.

In the picture below, you can see that the Hold shortcuts are half the length of the Ribbon Guide shortcuts to the same commands.

This is also why, even with all of the visible keyboard shortcuts in PowerPoint, Hold shortcuts are still so important.

#3. Beware of customizing your Ribbon

If you open your PowerPoint options dialog box (File, Options) you have an option to Customize Ribbon. While this might seem like a good idea at first, there are two reasons why I DO NOT recommend doing this.

Reason #1: Ribbon settings are tied to the computer you are using. That means that if you customize your Ribbon and then use a colleague’s computer to adjust a presentation, you will be completely thrown off.

On top of that, it is easy to accidentally remove a command or feature that you didn’t mean to remove, and then you have to go find it again.

Reason #2 (and most importantly): All the customizations you need to double your productivity in PowerPoint can be done using your Quick Access Toolbar, which you will learn about in the next article.

The Quick Access Toolbar was built to be customized like this, so don’t bother trying to tweak your Ribbon.


Ribbon Guides represent one half of Microsoft’s newest shortcut system. Using their shortcuts, you can access any command or feature PowerPoint, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best shortcut sequence for the task.

Using the Ribbon Guide strategy points above will help you determine which commands and features are best reached using your Ribbon Guide shortcuts.

In the next article, you’ll learn about the second half of Microsoft’s newest shortcut system, which is 100% customizable and 100% awesome.

Up Next …

In the next lesson, I’ll teach you about QAT Guide Shortcuts.

By Taylor Croonquist
I’ve had millions of dollars of funding riding on PowerPoint pitch books and proposals that needed to be perfect, and I was sick of working on them until 3AM in the morning only to have a boss or client decide to change 90% of it when they reviewed it the next morning. So I geeked out on PowerPoint: I joined groups, bought books, went to conferences and worked backwards through everything I thought I knew. I took the most time intensive tasks that waste your time and figured out how to get PowerPoint to do them for you. After more than a decade of pursuing PowerPoint proficiency, I’m excited to teach it to you!
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