This article is dedicated to the bit hitting combination of PowerPoint and PDFs, and three particular use cases that will have these two giants working together in perfect harmony: how to convert PowerPoint to PDF on Windows and macOS, how to convert PDF to PowerPoint, and how to insert a PDF into PowerPoint.
Want to build some interactivity into your PowerPoint slides? Here are two easy entry-level ways that you can turn your PowerPoint slides into dynamic and interactive material for eLearning.
How to hyperlink in PowerPoint
Hyperlinks sound a lot more complicated than they actually are. They work like any button or box on a website. By clicking that box you’re sent to another page. So from the ‘Search’ button on Google to the ‘Buy it now!’ on Amazon – you’re already pretty familiar with them.
But did you know you can build them into PowerPoint presentations? In the same way that you can link round a web page, you can link round a presentation.
The advantages of this are that your presentation is no longer linear. You can skip out whole sections and focus on the bits that are relevant. During a test you can link back to the theory for a recap. You can create easily navigable menus just like website home pages.
So how do you create such wizardry?
It’s probably best to hyperlink objects within your presentation. Technically you can hyperlink almost anything in PowerPoint: text (down to a single letter), pictures, objects etc. but it’s best to stick with what looks familiar to your audience (so that’s going to be boxes, arrows, and buttons).
Once you’ve chosen your element, right click and choose the option Link.
A pop-up window will appear and on the left hand side you want to choose the option Place in This Document. A list of your slides will then appear.
Choose the one you want to link to, hit OK and you’re sorted.
Remember – you can use hyperlinks in PowerPoint in all sorts of ways to navigate around your presentation. It might help to think of it like a web page instead of a presentation. A potential starting point is creating a clickable menu for your slides – find out how by using our guide.
If you’ve got a complicated PowerPoint presentation, your hyperlinks might get overwhelming. It can be difficult to know which slides are hyperlinked and where those links go. Our incredible, free add-in BrightSlide has a super useful tool for getting your links in order. Under the BrightSlide tab select Review (under File & Master), then click Hyperlinks > Tag Hyperlinks With Comments.
It does what it says on the tin, every hyperlink in your deck will have a comment attached telling you where that link goes. Download BrightSlide here!
Using triggers in interactive PowerPoints
The wonderful thing about triggers, is triggers are wonderful things! They, much like a hyperlink, are applied to a specific element on your slide, and you can add an animation so that something happens when you click that object. Think of this like an internal hyperlink on your slide. You’re staying within the slide itself, but you can click things and have them change in any order – the person viewing the presentation has control.
This can be really useful for building quizzes where your participants have multiple choice questions to answer.
So first of all make your elements (the list of possible answers). Animate them so they appear as you want, then add a Font Color animation. Choose green for the right answer and red for the incorrect answer (if you’re going for the typical look).
Next go to the Animation tab at the top of the PowerPoint window and make sure you have your Animation Pane open. In the Animation Pane click on one of the Font Color animations – you’ll then see at the top of the Animation tab that you have the word Triggers.
Click on this and you’ll see that you get the option On Click Of. When you select that, you’ll see that all the elements on your slide are listed. Click on the one that matches your element and there you have it. When you play your slide in show mode you’ll be able to click it and the answer will change colour according to whether it’s right or wrong.
Interactive PowerPoint: Taking it further
You should be able to do a lot in PowerPoint with just hyperlinking and triggers. I’ve given you a few very simple ways to use both of these tools, but as you start to use them for yourselves, you’ll see how many different uses they have.
There will inevitably be things that you want to do that are just beyond the limits of PowerPoint. But there are some great pieces of software that plug into your PowerPoint and give you that option of building more sophisticated interaction. Learn more about PowerPoint triggers in this blog post. Google Slides user? Learn how to create an interactive presentation in Google Slides.
Have any SOS interactivity needs? Post a comment below and we’ll try and sort you out!Leave a comment
Principal consultantView Hannah Harper's profile
Masking effects are a great way to jump-start your image slides in PowerPoint. They not only look great, but also serve many a practical purpose. We've come up with a few ideas for creative ways to combine masking and animation in your presentation.
- PowerPoint design
- Comments: 10
Having lots of image slides in a presentation can be great, but sometimes they don't do the heavy-lifting they ought to with your message. Using shapes as stencils to create masking effects in PowerPoint is a really easy and effective way to make your image slides stand out, and communicate something more. Here are three ideas you can try
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