[Webinar Recording] Oops…Geeking out with Hyperlinks & Triggers in PowerPoint

 

…The art and science of crafting more interactive and flexible presentations.  Has it ever happened to you? You are giving an important presentation and nearing your dramatic and powerful close…when a member of your audience asks a question…which leads to two questions…and then four…and then a complete tangent…and before you know it, you have five minutes left and 20 Two weird computer geeks having fun on computerminutes of slides to blast through, just so you can get to your dramatic and powerful close. Which by then will be ruined.

At times like that, your slides confine you, they don’t help you. In this recorded session with Presentation Summit’s Rick Altman, he looks at an under-utilized set of tools designed to help you break free of the linear way most of us think about using PowerPoint.

  • Manage time through basic hyperlinking
  • Create flexibility with Actions and Triggers
  • Integrate other slide decks with Inserted Objects
  • Blow the minds of your audiences by anticipating their questions
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Rick Altman2ABOUT OUR SPEAKER: He is one of the most prominent commentators in the presentation community today. Rick is the author of 15 books and is the host of the Presentation Summit, the internationally-acclaimed learning event for presentation professionals. An avid sportsman, he was not a good enough tennis player to make it onto the professional tour. All the rest of this has been his Plan B.

 

Transparent Hyperlinks in PowerPoint

There are many people who add hyperlinks in PowerPoint slides all the time. Some do it for obvious reasons, such as

Link Network Hyperlink Internet Backlinks Online Concept

to link to other slides in the same presentation. Others do it to make PowerPoint more powerful as a presenting tool – they hyperlink to other presentations or even to Excel files or PDFs. Ultimately, hyperlinks add value to your presentation.

Hyperlinks have pros and cons. We already discussed the pros. The disadvantage with a hyperlink raises its head when you don’t want to click on a hyperlink, but the audience knows that there is a hyperlink you don’t want to click! How do they identify a hyperlink? Look at Figure 1, where the underlined text clearly represents a hyperlink.

hyperlink-text-powerpoint-04

  Figure 1: A conspicuous hyperlink

You can overcome this problem by making this link transparent, as in “invisible”. However, it should still be a link!

Follow these steps to learn how you can create transparent links in PowerPoint:

1. Insert a shape that covers the text you want to use as a hyperlink, as shown in Figure 2 below.

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                                                     Figure 2: A Rectangle shape covers text

2. Now add a hyperlink to this shape. You can create hyperlinks to within the presentation, outside the presentation, and to web pages. Test your link in Slide Show view.

3. We now need to make the Rectangle invisible while still making the link work. To do so, right-click the shape and choose the Format Shape option from the resultant contextual menu (see Figure 3).

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Figure 3: Format Shape

4. This action will open the Format Shape Task pane shown in Figure 4. In older versions of PowerPoint, you may see a Format Shape dialog box instead.

You essentially need to change your fill to 99% transparent and your line to invisible. To do so, make sure you select the Solid Fill radio button (highlighted in red), set its Transparency to 99% (highlighted in blue), and choose the No line radio button (highlighted in green).

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Figure 4: Change fill and line attributes

5. Your text will also now be visible behind the transparent Rectangle (see Figure 4). Test your link in Slide Show view.

Why 99% Transparent?

Why did we use the 99% Transparent option, and not choose the No Fill option instead? That is because of compatibility with older versions of PowerPoint. In PowerPoint 2013 or newer versions, even a No Fill option will get you the hand cursor when you hover over the hyperlink in Slide Show view (see Figure 5). However, in older versions, a 1% Opacity value (that is what 99% Transparency means!) is needed to get the clickable cursor.

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Figure 5: Hover to see the cursor

Old habits die hard, and we still recommend that you use 99% Transparency rather than No Fill. Moreover, there’s no harm in making sure that everyone is happy!

 

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Geetesh2Geetesh Bajaj is an awarded Microsoft PowerPoint MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for over a decade now. He has been designing and training with PowerPoint for 15 years and heads Indezine, a presentation design studio and content development organization based out of Hyderabad, India. Geetesh believes that any PowerPoint presentation is a sum of its elements–these elements include abstract elements like concept, color, interactivity, and navigation–and also slide elements like shapes, graphics, charts, text, sound, video, and animation. He has authored six books on PowerPoint and trains corporate clients on how to plan, create, and deliver presentations.  For more information on Indezine and Geetesh, click here.

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