Everyone uses PowerPoint to create presentations. Even a child can create presentations. But there is something in our brains that keeps telling us to use CTRL + C and CTRL + V to duplicate PowerPoint shapes.

We see this happening all the time. Someone wants to show us something. They open PowerPoint and start with a new presentation. On the first slide, they insert a textbox and type some text in it. Then they want to populate the slide and start copying that first shape by using the mandatory CTRL + C for copy, and CTRL + V for paste. They then paste the copied shape a number of times till you get several layers of your shape, on top of each other. Something like here in this image.

several layers of your shape on top of each other

Your purpose is to copy a shape a number of times, succeeded. But now you have a hell of a job to re-organize your shapes on this slide. There is a much more productive way when you follow the following technique. Select your first shape and press CTRL + D to duplicate it.

first just duplicate your shape only once

Re-organize and align the pasted shape as you want to have it.

align your pasted shape

When you are done with the alignment of the second shape, then use CTRL + D several times again to make your other copies of the shape. Note that you don’t end up now with your shapes layered on top of each other, but now the pasted shapes respect the same alignment as you did between the first and second shape. The result is that your duplicated shapes are perfectly aligned and placed on your slide. Most likely you don’t have to move shapes around on your slide anymore. They just fit.

perfect duplicated shapes aligned automatically

Conclusion

The efficiency here is not that you used only 50% of the key strokes. Previously you were using CTRL + C and CTRL + V. Now, you will use CTRL + D only. The trick here is that your pasted shapes are not layered on top of each other but perfectly aligned as you did on the first duplicated shape. Note that CTRL + D works on a slides as well. Select the slide that you want to copy at the left in the slides overview pane, and press CTRL + D to duplicate it at once.

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