Hyperlinks and Action Buttons

You can use hyperlinks in PowerPoint to link to websites and other slides and the PowerPoint action button to link to other slides.

Introduction

Hyperlinks and Action Buttons

When you're online, you're using hyperlinks to navigate from one webpage to another. If you want to include a web address or email address in your PowerPoint presentation, you can choose to format them as clickable hyperlinks. It's also possible to link to files and other slides within a presentation. It's easy to do all of this using two tools: hyperlinks and action buttons.

In this lesson, you will learn how to insert hyperlinks using text and objects and how to insert action buttons.

Inserting hyperlinks

Video: Inserting Hyperlinks in PowerPoint 2010

Launch video!Watch the video (3:14).

Adding hyperlinks to your presentation can help readers quickly access contact information or information from the Internet. Additionally, hyperlinks in the form of action buttons are useful for navigating your slide show. To use hyperlinks, you'll need to know how to insert hyperlinks using text and objects, as well as how to insert action buttons.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

About hyperlinks

Hyperlinks have two basic parts: the address of the webpage, email address, or other location they are linking to; and the display text, which can also be a picture or shape. For example, the address could be https://www.youtube.com and the display text could be YouTube. In some cases, the display text might be the same as the address. When you're creating a hyperlink in PowerPoint, you'll be able to choose both the address and the display text or image.

To insert a hyperlink:

  1. Select the image or text you want to make a hyperlink.
  2. Right-click the selected text or image, then click Hyperlink.
    Creating a hyperlinkCreating a hyperlink
  3. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box will open. You can also get to this dialog box from the Insert tab by clicking Hyperlink.
    The Insert Hyperlink dialog boxThe Insert Hyperlink dialog box
  4. If you selected text, the words will appear in the Text to display field at the top. You can change this text if you want.
  5. Type the address you want to link to in the Address field.
  6. Click OK. The text or image you selected will now be a hyperlink to the web address.
    The completed hyperlinkThe completed hyperlink

To insert a hyperlink to an email address:

  1. Right-click the selected text or image, then click Hyperlink.
  2. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box will open.
  3. On the left side of the dialog box, click Email Address.
    Creating an email hyperlinkCreating an email hyperlink
  4. Type the email address you want to connect to in the Email Address box, then click OK.
    Typing the email address and display textTyping the email address and display text

PowerPoint often recognizes email and web addresses as you type and will format them as hyperlinks automatically after you press the Enter key or the spacebar.

To open and test a hyperlink

  1. After you create a hyperlink, it's important to test it. Right-click the hyperlink, then click Open Hyperlink.
    Opening a hyperlinkOpening a hyperlink
  2. Your web browser should open and navigate to the linked page. If it does not work, check the hyperlink address for any misspellings.

To remove a hyperlink:

  1. Right-click the hyperlink.
  2. Click Remove Hyperlink.
    Removing a hyperlinkRemoving a hyperlink

More hyperlinks

In PowerPoint, you can also use hyperlinks to link to resources that are not online. To create a quick way to refer to another slide in your presentation, you can create a hyperlink to that slide. You can even create hyperlinks to files stored on your computer.

To insert a hyperlink to another slide:

  1. Right-click the selected text or image, then click Hyperlink.
  2. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box will open.
  3. On the left side of the dialog box, click Place in this Document.
    Creating a hyperlink to another slideCreating a hyperlink to another slide
  4. A list of the other slides in your presentation will appear. Click the name of the slide you want to link to.
    Selecting a slide to link toSelecting a slide to link to
  5. Click OK. The text or image will now be a hyperlink to the slide you selected.
    The completed hyperlink to a slideThe completed hyperlink to a slide

To insert a hyperlink to another file:

  1. Right-click the selected text or image, then click Hyperlink.
  2. The Insert Hyperlink dialog box will open.
  3. On the left side of the dialog box, click Existing File or Web Page.
    Creating a hyperlink to a fileCreating a hyperlink to a file
  4. Click the drop-down arrow to browse for your file.
    Browsing for the desired fileBrowsing for a file
  5. Select the desired file.
    Selecting a fileSelecting a file
  6. Click OK. The text or image will now be a hyperlink to the file you selected.
    The completed hyperlink to a fileThe completed hyperlink to a file

If you plan on displaying your presentation on a different computer than you used to create it, your hyperlink to another file may not work. Make sure you have a copy of the linked file on the computer you are using to present, and always test hyperlinks before giving a presentation.

Inserting action buttons

Video: Using Action Buttons in PowerPoint 2010

Launch video!Watch the video (3:14).

Another tool you can use to connect to a webpage, file, email address, or slide is called an action button. Action buttons are built-in button shapes you can add to a presentation and set to link to another slide, play a sound, or perform another action. When someone clicks or moves over the button, the selected action will occur. Action buttons can do many of the same things as hyperlinks. Their easy-to-understand style makes them especially useful for self-running presentations at booths and kiosks.

You can insert action buttons on one slide at a time, or you can insert an action button that will show up on every slide. The second option can be useful if you want every slide to link back to a specific slide, like the title page or table of contents.

To insert an action button on one slide:

  1. Click the Insert tab.
  2. Click the Shapes command in the Illustrations group. A drop-down menu will appear with the action buttons located at the bottom.
    Selecting an action buttonSelecting an action button
  3. Select the desired action button.
  4. Insert the button onto the slide by clicking the desired location. The Action Settings dialog box will appear.
  5. Select the Mouse Click or Mouse Over tab. Selecting the Mouse Click tab means the action button will perform its action only when clicked. Selecting the Mouse Over tab will make the action button perform its action when you move the mouse over it.
    The Action Settings dialog boxThe Action Settings dialog box
  6. In the Action on click section, select Hyperlink to:, then click the drop-down arrow and choose an option from the menu.
    Creating a hyperlink with an action buttonCreating a hyperlink with an action button
  7. Check the Play Sound box if you want a sound to play when the action button is clicked. Select a sound from the drop-down menu, or select Other sound to use a sound file on your computer.
    Selecting a sound Selecting a sound
  8. Click OK.
    The completed action buttonThe completed action button

To insert an action button on all slides:

  1. Click the View tab.
  2. In the Master Views group, click the Slide Master command. A blank slide in the style of your presentation will appear. Don't worry about changing anything else.
    Changing the view to Slide MasterChanging the view to Slide Master
  3. Go to the Insert tab, and follow the instructions above to insert an action button.
  4. Return to the Slide Master tab, then click Close Master View. The new action button will now be on every slide.
    Returning to the normal viewReturning to the normal view

To edit, move, or delete an action button inserted this way, click the View tab, then Slide Master. Click Close Master View after making the desired changes.

To test an action button:

After you create an action button, it's important to test it.

  1. Click the Slide Show tab.
  2. In the Start Slide Show group, click From Current Slide.
    Viewing the Slide Show Viewing the Slide Show
  3. Click your action button.
  4. After you have tested it, right-click anywhere on the screen and select End Show.
    Ending the Slide ShowEnding the Slide Show
  5. If your action button did not work as you intended, follow the instructions below to edit it.

To edit an action button:

  1. Select the action button.
  2. Click the Insert tab.
  3. In the Links group, click the Action command. The Actions Settings dialog box will appear.
    Editing an action buttonEditing an action button
  4. Edit the action or hyperlink.
  5. Click OK.

To change the appearance of an action button:

  1. Select the action button.
  2. Click the Drawing Tools Format tab.
    Changing the appearance of an action buttonChanging the appearance of an action button
  3. To change the button style or color, use the tools in the Shape Styles group.
    Changing the style of an action buttonChanging the style of an action button
  4. To change the shape of the action button, click Edit Shape in the Insert Shapes group. Select a new shape from the drop-down menu.
    Changing the shape of an action buttonChanging the shape of an action button

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing PowerPoint presentation. If you want, you can use this example.
  2. Select text, and insert a hyperlink to a webpage. If you are using the example, go to slide 12. Turn the words Financial and Retirement Planning into a hyperlink: http://www.mutualofamerica.com/.
  3. Select text or an image, and insert a hyperlink to another slide in the presentation. If you are using the example, go to slide 2 and make the words Paperwork Process link to slide 11.
  4. Insert an action button that uses sound. If you are using the example, go to slide 12 and create an action button that links back to slide 1.
  5. Change the shape and style of an action button. If you are using the example, modify the shape and style of the action button you inserted on slide 12.