About hyperlinks and action buttons

In Microsoft PowerPoint, a hyperlink is a connection from a slide to another slide, a custom show (custom show: A presentation within a presentation in which you group slides in an existing presentation so that you can show that section of the presentation to a particular audience.), a Web page, or a file. The hyperlink itself can be text or an object such as a picture (picture: A file (such as a metafile) that you can ungroup and manipulate as two or more objects, or a file that stays as a single object (such as bitmaps).), graph, shape, or WordArt (WordArt: Text objects you create with ready-made effects to which you can apply additional formatting options.). An action button is a ready-made button that you can insert into your presentation and define hyperlinks for.

Hyperlink and action button

  1. Hyperlink
  2. Action button

If the link is to another slide, the destination slide is displayed in the PowerPoint presentation. If the link is to a Web page, network location, or different type of file, the destination page or file is displayed in the appropriate application or in a Web browser.

In PowerPoint, hyperlinks become active when you run your presentation, not when you are creating it.

When you point to a hyperlink, the pointer becomes a hand Pointer in the shape of a hand, indicating that it is something you can click. Text that represents a hyperlink is displayed underlined and in a color that coordinates with your color scheme (color scheme: A set of eight balanced colors that you can apply to slides, notes pages, or audience handouts. A color scheme consists of a background color, a color for lines and text, and six other colors selected to make slides easy to read.). Pictures, shapes and other object hyperlinks have no additional formatting. You can add action settings, such as sound or highlighting, to emphasize hyperlinks.

Use action buttons when you want to include buttons with commonly understood symbols for going to the next, previous, first, and last slides. PowerPoint also has action buttons for playing movies or sounds. Action buttons are most commonly used for self-running presentations — for example, at a booth or kiosk.

When you create a hyperlink to something other than a slide, its destination is encoded as a URL (Uniform Resource Locator) (Uniform Resource Locator (URL): An address that specifies a protocol (such as HTTP or FTP) and a location of an object, document, World Wide Web page, or other destination on the Internet or an intranet, for example: http://www.microsoft.com/.) such as http://www.microsoft.com/ or file://Computer Name/Shared Folder/FileName.htm. When you create a hyperlink to a page or file on a local file system, the hyperlink destination is represented by the path (path: The route that the operating system uses to locate a folder or file; for example, C:\House finances\March.doc.) to the file, such as C:\Documents and Settings\myname\My Documents\file.xls

You can create hyperlinks that are absolute links (absolute link: A hyperlink to the exact location of a file on a file server, the World Wide Web, or a company intranet. Absolute links use an exact path; if you move the file containing the hyperlink or a hyperlink destination, the link breaks.) or relative links (relative link: When a hyperlink uses a path based on a relative link, you can move the file that contains the hyperlink and the hyperlink destination without breaking the hyperlink. Move the file that contains the hyperlink and its destination together.).

ShowSetting a hyperlink base

ShowTesting and repairing broken hyperlinks

Before you give a presentation, you should always check for broken hyperlinks and test hyperlinks to external destinations. A broken hyperlink is one that has an invalid destination — when the hyperlink is clicked, PowerPoint or the Web browser displays an error. The cause might be as simple as a URL that was mistyped, or a hyperlink to a destination that was moved or deleted.

Applies to:
PowerPoint 2003