Hyperlinks are hard workers in the world of PowerPoint. They can be used for the obvious reason (i.e., to link to a web address), and that’s a great tool when using PowerPoint to create documentation, training materials, sales presentations, or other materials meant to be interactive.
In a typical speaker presentation, jumping out to a live website is not done that frequently—it’s more likely that web content will be shown as screenshots if included. So the heavy-lifting for hyperlinks here is usually in constructing navigation. You can create interactive menus, branching paths, and optional pop-ups using hyperlinks within your presentation.
Either way, PowerPoint makes hyperlinking very easy. Let’s look at two examples:
1. Create a hyperlinked Content slide. Set up the slide with the section titles or headings you want to include. Then select the text to be hyperlinked. Go to the Insert tab and choose Hyperlink.
When the Hyperlink dialog box opens, select Places in This Document.
Click on the slide you want to link to, then say OK.
Done! The hyperlink is now visible on the Contents slide.
The same steps can be used to hyperlink text and/or graphics on any slide to any other slide in the presentation. Or choose a different category in the Link to: pane on the Hyperlink dialog box, and create links to Files (another presentation, a Word doc, Excel spreadsheet, etc.) or to Web Pages.
2. Create an Action Object. A slightly different method makes it quick and easy to build navigation buttons and other clickable objects. First, pull down the Shapes menu on the Insert tab, and choose one of the Action Button designs. (They are at the very bottom.) Drag to draw the button on the slide, and a dialog box will open automatically. Choose the action you want to attach—in this case, Hyperlink to:, then URL.
Put in the web address when prompted, and the hyperlinked button is done.
Tip: Once the process is complete, you can change the appearance of the action button if you like—just select it and apply any colors, effects, etc., that fit the design. To change the shape itself (make a square button into a hexagon or a fluffy cloud, for example), select the button, click on Drawing Tools, then Edit Shape. Now choose Change Shape from the drop-down and take your pick!
Hyperlinks are easy and powerful. And the addition of navigation and interaction can take an ordinary PPT to the next level of functionality.
- Use hyperlinks only where they make sense and add value.
- Integrate action objects into the design.
- Make sure the viewer can easily recognize hyperlinked material.