Making Your Slide a Return Button in PowerPoint 2010

During a recent Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 training session, I was demonstrating a feature. It was how to add an action to text in order to link to a different slide in the presentation, and then adding a button to return to the original slide. One of my participants noted that his slides already had a lot of content, so he didn’t want to add another graphic. Was there a way to click anywhere on the slide to return to the original slide? Turns out, there is and it’s not that difficult! Let’s take a look.

You can link an action to any object on your slide, including text. You can also insert Action Buttons to do specific things in a presentation. Action Buttons are commonly used in PowerPoint to create links within the presentation.

Suppose, like my student, you already have a lot of objects on your slide, and you don’t want add more clutter. Our solution was to create a transparent Action Button that covered the entire slide. This way, when he was making his presentation, he could click anywhere on the slide to trigger the action.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, click the More button.
  2. In the Action Buttons section, at the bottom of the Shapes drop down, select the Action Button: Custom.

  3. Draw a button that covers your slide. The Action Settings dialog box opens.
  4. Click the Hyperlink to: button, and then the drop down to select your action.

    If you select the Slide… option, a list of slides in your current presentation will display (include hidden slides) and you can link to any of the slides in the list.
  5. Once you’ve selected your action, click OK.
  6. Right click the button and select Format Shape.
  7. Make sure Solid fill is selected, and change the Transparency: to 100% (If you select No fill, your button won’t be clickable).
  8. Click Close to close the Format Shape dialog box.
  9. On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, select the Shape Outline drop down and select No Outline.

At this point, you’ll have a transparent button that covers the whole slide. If you need to edit any of the objects that are under this button, open up the Selection and Visibility pane.

  1. On the Home tab, in the Editing group, click the Select drop down, and select Selection Pane.
  2. The Selection and Visibility pane opens. You can use this pane to select any object on you slide and make changes to it (I’ll post more about this very handy PowerPoint tool in the future).

You can test out the button by running your presentation (F5) and navigating to the “big button” slide. Click anywhere on the slide, and whatever action you’ve assigned will be activated. Pretty cool!

For more, check out our upcoming Microsoft PowerPoint 2010 training classes!

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