While in a strange place in an application, you can add action buttons to your PowerPoint slide to make your presentation more interactive and easier for the viewer to use.
These action buttons can make your presentation easier to navigate and make your slides behave like web pages.
Before adding action buttons to your PowerPoint presentation, carefully consider how your audience will use your presentation. Should action buttons be visible on slides, or just take up a small area at the bottom or side?
How will the viewer use the buttons, and will navigation with action buttons only confuse the message your presentation is trying to convey? Once you’ve answered these questions, you can add action buttons to your presentation knowing that they will help, not confuse the viewer.
Add action buttons to a PowerPoint slide
Open a new PowerPoint slide presentation and decide where you want to place the action buttons.
The bottom is a logical choice, but you may prefer to have the Next and Previous buttons to the left and right of the slide. In this case, make sure there is enough space in these places for the action buttons.
Let’s say you just want to add Home, Previous Slide, and Next Slide action buttons to your presentation. To get started, click the “Insert” tab on the ribbon and find a section of the ribbon called “Illustrations”.
Find and click the button in this section called Shapes.
When you click on this button, you will notice that PowerPoint opens up a long menu with many different types of shapes that you can add to your presentations.
At the very bottom of the list, find the Action Buttons section and click the button with the house image.
Now that you have pressed the Home button, you need to place it on the slide. Position the mouse pointer approximately where you want the button to be and hold down the left mouse button.
Drag the mouse until the button is about the size you want, and release the left mouse button.
PowerPoint will immediately open the Action Preferences window. As it turns out, the default settings are exactly what you need.
Notice that on the Mouse Click tab, the Hyperlink To option is already checked, and the First Slide link is already selected from the dropdown menu.
Note that there are also options that can be set when the user hovers over the button, and you can even customize the button to run a program, run a macro, play a sound, and other events. When you are done exploring this window, click the “OK” button.
Go back to the Shapes button in the Insert menu and find the Action Buttons section again at the bottom of the menu. This time, click the left-pointing arrow button.
As before, place the button on the slide and PowerPoint will open the Action Preferences window. Note that the default settings are what you need for the Back button. Click the OK button. Using the same procedures as above, place the Next Action button on the slide.
When you’re done, you should see the Home, Previous, and Next buttons appear on your slide. If you are not comfortable with the colors, position, or size of the buttons, you can change them just like any other object in your PowerPoint presentation.
Action buttons that are underutilized by many presenters can make it easier for you to navigate your presentation during your presentation or for a viewer who has a copy of your presentation. Action buttons let you instantly jump to another slide or even run an application or macro.
To make your presentation more interesting, you can even play audio when you or the viewer press a button. Experiment with some of the action button customizations to make your presentation more interactive.