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To and fro’ with hidden PowerPoint slides

May 17, 2012

action buttonsMany people dislike PowerPoint’s inherent linearity. Presenters – almost exclusively – go from one slide to the next in a fixed order every time. However, it’s easy to create a button that jumps to any slide in your presentation. This post describes a technique for creating a hidden slide to which you can jump and then go back.

  1. Create a presentation with a slide you want to call up multiple times. It could be anything — a slice of the periodic table, a time line, a special photo …
  2. Go to a different slide
  3. From the menu select [Home > ] Insert > Shape > Action Button.
    (these directions were created on a Mac – it’s slightly different in Windows)
  4. Choose an icon you like from the menu; I suggest the letter I in a circle.
  5. Now draw a small box that will become your button.
  6. When the “Action Settings” window comes up, choose Hyperlink to: Slide…
  7. Select your destination slide and click OK. You now have a button on one slide. Try it!

Make the button appear on all slides.

  1. Go back to the slide where you made the button.
  2. Select and cut the button.
  3. From the menu, select Themes > Master Views > Edit Master > Slide Master
    [Windows: View > Master Views > Slide Master]
  4. Paste the button and move it out of the way – perhaps the bottom right.
  5. Close the master view and try it out.
Create a “return” button
  1. u-turn arrowGo to your special slide
  2. From the menu select [Home > ] Insert > Action Button.
  3. Choose an icon; I suggest the u-turn arrow.
  4. Draw a box for your button.
  5. In the “Action Settings” window, choose Hyperlink to: Previous Slide
  6. Click OK
  7. hide slideHide the button you created earlier by moving this one on top of it.
  8. Hide your special slide. On the menu, choose Slide Show > Hide Slide

There are lots of other ways to use action buttons. I’d love to learn about creative strategies which readers have tried.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 17, 2012 11:04 pm

    Good idea, specially keeping the slide as hidden, so it doesn’t accidentally get switched to.

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