Issue #157 April 15, 2008

PowerPoint Tip: Using Hyperlinking

Last newsletter I pointed you to an article on designing presentations for delivery via a web conferencing system. Today I follow that up with an article on delivering that presentation via the web facility. The full article is on my web site at (if the link doesn’t work because it is too long, just go to the articles page on the web site and you’ll see it there) In today’s newsletter I want to expand on one of the topics in the article. Too many times when we want to bring content from outside PowerPoint into our presentation, we see a distracting technique used. The presenter exits their presentation, we see them start up another application, find their file, open it and then continue. There is a much cleaner way to do this – hyperlinking. In PowerPoint, you can add a hyperlink to any text or shape. By selecting the text or shape, you can then click Insert – Hyperlink in PowerPoint 2003 or PowerPoint 2007. You will see the options for hyperlinking to files or even web sites. If you have a Word document or Excel spreadsheet that you want to open during your presentation, don’t link to the Word or Excel program. Any link to an executable file brings up a warning during your presentation and still forces you to find the file you want to open. Instead, link to the actual document or spreadsheet file. Windows is smart enough to know that the file type should be opened in the correct program, so it automatically opens the program and that file for you. During your presentation, when you get to the slide with the hyperlink, you will have to activate that link. Most presenters move their mouse over the link and click on it, just as you would if you were on a web site. This can be distracting. Instead, use a little known trick. By pressing the Tab key, you will be able to select the text or shape that has a hyperlink (you will see a thin white dashed line box around the hyperlinked object). Then press the Enter key and it will activate the hyperlink. This method is less distracting for your audience. Once you are done typing in Word or doing calculations in Excel, you need to save your work and go back to your presentation. To do so, all you need to do is exit Word or Excel. You can click on File – Exit, but there is an easier way. Most Windows programs, including Word and Excel, can be closed by press the Alt+F4 key combination (hold the Alt key down and press the F4 key). This is a quick, less distracting way to move from the document or spreadsheet you were working on back to your presentation. If you want more detailed instructions on hyperlinking, including how to create link buttons and use hyperlinks to other PowerPoint presentations, check out my e-book “Guide to Advanced PowerPoint Techniques” on the web site at .