PowerPoint Basics

Opening PowerPoint
Understanding the screen
Inserting slides

Adding and editing content

Inserting text
Inserting notes, headers and footers
Formatting text and lists

Working with design

Customizing background
Applying and creating templates
Design tips

Working with graphics

Downloading, inserting and editing images
Image Resources for Health & Life Sciences
Drawing and editing objects

Working with animation

Animating text and images
Slide transitions

Adding sound and video

Sounds, narration and music
Video requirements

Graphs and tables

Working with graphs
Importing and linking data from Excel to PowerPoint

PowerPoint online

Hyperlinks and action buttons
Putting up a presentation on the web

Printing and Presenting

Printing options
Running a slide show


PowerPoint DO's and DON'T's
Other PowerPoint websites
Workshop evaluation
(for on-site workshop participants only)

Hyperlinks & Action Buttons

Hyperlinks cause the selection of an object to result in a move to a new location or the performance of an action. This action can be any of the following:

  • Activate a hyperlink: this action causes a different slide in the current presentation, different presentation altogether, a non-PowerPoint document, or even an Internet Web page to appear.

  • Run a program: this action opens another program such as Microsoft Word or Excel.

  • Run a macro: this action opens a program written in Visual Basic for Applications.

  • Play a sound: this action plays a built-in sound or a sound from file (see section on adding sound)

You may turn any object or text on a slide into a hyperlink as follows:

  1. Right-click on the object and select Action Settings (or Select the object, then choose Slide Show menu > Action Settings)

  2. In the Action Settings dialog box, choose either Mouse Click or Mouse Over. Select the button "Hyperlink to" and then select the destination or action (to link to the internet, choose "Hyperlink to URL" and type the web address starting with 'http').

Note: if you create a hyperlink to another slide of the same presentation, remember to include another hyperlink that will allow you to return back. Always preview your action buttons on the slide show to make sure everything works as you want it to.

Action buttons
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As explained above, any object can be turned into a hyperlink. You can, however, create an object to be used specifically as an action button. PowerPoint provides a selection of built-in shapes that can be used for this purpose.

Using action buttons is very similar to drawing objects:

  1. Select Slide Show menu < Action Buttons or click on the Autoshapes menu from the drawing toolbar:

  2. Click one of the button faces and draw the button on the slide using the mouse (see section on drawing for more details). The Action Settings dialog will then appear.

  3. Follow the instructions above for turning an object into a hyperlink.

  4. Use the white box handles to resize the button and the yellow diamond to change the depth of the button:
  5. Right-click on the button or select Format menu < AutoShape to change the fill color, line, and other characteristics of the action button.

  6. To create a custom button, choose the blank button from the AutoShape menu. After you draw the button, right-click on it and choose 'add text' to add a label to it.

A well-planned arrangement of action buttons scattered throughout a presentation can make it easy for someone to view the presentation in any order he or she wants.

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Need help? Email me! varvarak@mail.med.upenn.edu