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PowerPoint FAQ: Linking in PowerPoint

You can use hyperlinks to jump to another slide within the current presentation, a custom presentation, or to navigate within the presentation. Even though you can set a hyperlink to any object that you can put on your slide, PowerPoint provides specific built-in buttons that make this task easier. The next two steps will discuss both options.

Hyperlinking Using Your Own Object
To Hyperlink to a specific slide using any object:
  1. Right-click your object, select Action Settings.
  2. Click the Hyperlink to dropdown arrow and click Slide.
  3. Select which slide to link to in the window provided.
  4. Click the Highlight click check box at the bottom left.
  5. Click OK
Hyperlinking with PPT

Hyperlinking Using Built-In Action Buttons
To link to the next slide:
  1. From Slide Show Menu, select the Action Buttons option.
  2. Left-click on the arrow pointing to the right.
  3. Move the cross hairs that appear to the position on the slide where you would like that button to reside.
  4. Click the left mouse button to set your new action button in place. After your new button is placed on the slide, a dialog box shown in the previous step appears with the correct setting.
  5. Click OK
Hyperlinking with PPT

Other Hyperlinking Options

The Action Settings Dialog box provides several other hyperlinking options. Here is a brief description of these options.

Hyperlink To
You can set an action setting to hyperlink to the next slide, previous slide, first slide, last slide, last slide viewed, any specified slide (as explained earlier), or even a slide in another presentation. This last option is great to break up a large presentation into several smaller files. The user will never know that you are linking from Slide 30 of presentation 1 to Slide 1 of presentation 2 if the designs are similar, etc.

Run Macro
This is an advanced feature using PowerPoint's built-in programming that can allow you to expand the capabilities of PowerPoint beyond your own imagination. Basically a macro is a set of instructions. For example, you can have a button on a slide that while the user is viewing the presentation, they can click the button and print out the current slide. If you think about it, the regular menus are not available while you are in Slide Show mode so some special programming method must be used to provide this capability. A macro can do that.

Object Action
This option is rarely used since it only provides actions to objects that are inserted using the Insert, Object tool. Once the object is inserted (such as an icon for a Word Document), you can set the Object Action of that icon to Open or Edit the document.

Play Sound
You can assign a wav file to any object such that when you click on the object in Slide Show mode the sound will play. This feature is different from inserting a sound object on a slide or assigning a sound to an animation.

Mouse Click/Over
Each of the above action settings can be assigned to a mouse click or a mouse over. We highly recommend against using the mouse over feature because it is too easy to accidentally move the mouse over an object at the wrong time, which could foul up the flow of your presentation.

GOOD LUCK! Holler back if you need assistance.

Bill Foley, Microsoft MVP (PowerPoint)