When you create PowerPoint presentations that will be used or viewed by one person at a time, rather than by a group, you can customise movement using Action buttons.

Using an action button you can take a user to another place in the presentation or offer Yes and No as a choice to progress to the next slide and take the user to different places depending on their answer.

To add an action button, click on the slide to contain the action and chose Slide Show, Action Buttons and choose Action Button: Information and drag to place the button on the slide. When the Action Settings dialog appears, choose Hyperlink to and select the slide to link to. When a user clicks the button they will be taken to that slide.

If you want them to be able to return to where they came from you can add an Action: Return button to the slide you’re sending them to and they can click it to return to where they came from. This is handy for providing a slide with more information on the topic, for example.

You can use Actions without the buttons that PowerPoint provides. So, for example, you can use custom icons or AutoShapes and place them on the slide. Then right click the image and choose Action Settings from the menu. From here you can configure the same action options for the shape as you do for a PowerPoint Action button.

Action buttons can also be used to display an Excel worksheet or chart, a Word document, or even a web page, for example. When you’re creating an action button that should appear on all the slides in a presentation, you should create it on the Slide master by choosing View, Masters, Slide Master. Then the action button will be accessible to all slides in the presentation. If you need to block it from one slide, place an object over the top of it – action buttons under other objects are disabled and cannot be clicked.

Helen Bradley