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How to Hyperlink in PowerPoint

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Hyperlinking in PowerPoint allows you to jump around within your presentation or open documents outside of your presentation without leaving slide show mode.

This allows you to create interactive and non-linear presentations. Common things you might use hyperlinks for in PowerPoint are:

  • Hyperlinking to another slide in your presentation
  • Open a document or file on your computer
  • Open a page on the internet
  • Open another PowerPoint presentation or slide show
  • Create a pop-up text effect in PowerPoint

The other cool thing about hyperlinks in PowerPoint, is that they automatically convert to the PDF file format. For details, see our guide here.

Note: You can not add hyperlinks tables or groups of objects in PowerPoint.  If you have a group of objects, you will first need to ungroup them.

Duplicate shortcut

CTRL + SHIFT + D

Duplicate slide shortcut

CTRL + SHIFT + D

These keyboard shortcuts work in PowerPoint 2007, PowerPoint 2010, PowerPoint 2013 and PowerPoint 2016.

Hyperlinking to another slide in PowerPoint

To hyperlink to another slide in PowerPoint, simply select the text or object (see hyperlink best practices below) that you want to use as your trigger and open the Hyperlink dialog box

To insert a hyperlink, from the Insert Tab, click the Link drop down and select insert link

To add a hyperlink to another slide, simply:

  1. Select the Text or an Object on your slide
  2. Open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box (Ctrl + K on your keyboard)
  3. Within the dialog box, Select Place in this Document' on the left
  4. Choose the slide you want to hyperlink to
  5. Click OK

After adding a hyperlink, simply run your presentation in slideshow mode and click the link. For details on different ways you can start a PowerPoint slide show to text your links, read more about it here.

You can also click through to a hyperlink in the Normal View of your presentation by holding the Ctrl key on your keyboard and then clicking the hyperlink.

Instead of using hyperlinks to jump around your presentation, you can also use action buttons. To learn about action buttons, see GFC Global's blog post here.

Hyperlinking best practices

When given the choice of what to use as your hyperlink trigger, the general best practice is to use objects rather than text. That’s because you have little control over the default hyperlink text formatting as pictured below.

comparison of what hyperlinked text versus a hyperlinked object looks like

Both objects in the picture above have the same exact hyperlink applied to them and notice the difference.

When you add a hyperlink to text, it has the underlined formatting, where as the object itself does not apply that formatting to your text.

On top of that, the reason that hyperlinked text is not popular, is that the text color changes after you have used it as pictured below.

Example of what the text looks like after a hyperlink has been clicked

If you do decide to use Text Hyperlinks in your slides, you can always change the used hyperlink formatting by resetting your hyperlinks.

On the flip side, if you want to remember what you have already clicked in your presentation, text hyperlinks are a great option. That's because the used formatting gives you a sense of what you have already clicked through to in your presentation.

If you are using text hyperlinks in your presentation, after testing them out, you might want to rest them to reset the color (so they don't appear to have been used).

To reset a text hyperlink in PowerPoint, simply:

  1. Select the hyperlinked text
  2. Open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box (CTRL + K on your keyboard)
  3. Immediately click okay

Clicking ‘Okay’ automatically resets the used hyperlink formatting back to the default unused text hyperlink formatting.

If you do go with text hyperlinks, the used formatting gives you a sense of what you've already clicked within your presentation. This means that you won't waste time navigating to something you've already covered.

That said, you will need to reset the text formatting each and every time before you give your presentation.

To remove a hyperlink, right click the hyperlink and select Remove Hyperlink

To remove a hyperlink in PowerPoint:

  1. Select the hyperlinked text or hyperlinked PowerPoint object
  2. Right-click
  3. In the right-click menu select Remove Link

Regardless of what the link was pointing to, removing a hyperlink automatically removes the text hyperlink formatting and breaks the link that you (or someone else) created. 

If you have a Microsoft Office 365 subscription, there is a new way to add hyperlinks in PowerPoint with the Zoom transition (or what I call Zoom slides below).

To create a Zoom transition, simply click and drag a slide from the Thumbnail view on the left of your presentation, onto the slide you are currently using as pictured below.

Click and drag a slide from the thumbnail view onto your slide to create a zoom slide

Once you have created a  Zoom slide, selecting it on your slide opens up the Zoom Tools Format tab, giving you a variety of different formatting and transition options to choose from.

For example, do you want your Zoom transition to return to the slide it started on?

If yes, then in the Zoom Tools Format tab Zoom Options, simply select Return to Zoom (see picture below).

To adjust your zoom slide settings, from the Zoom Tools format tab make your select in the Zoom Options group

Selecting Return to Zoom means that after jumping to your Zoom slide, when you advance your slideshow, you will automatically return to the jumping off point within your presentation.

That allows you to create a dashboard like effect within your presentation, clicking to and from different slides within your presentation from a single slide. For example, you could present your audience with options - have them vote - and then click the link to jump to that section of your presentation.

While this might seem complicated, in fact you are just creating a fancy hyperlink (with a cool zoom effect).

For a FULL walk through of how to create a Zoom link and everything you can do with it,  see the Presentation Guild's full training webinar here.

First off, Hyperlinks are meant to work in Slideshow Mode.

So before troubleshooting your hyperlinks, make sure you have tried them first in the Slide Show mode of your presentation (see video below for your slide show shortcuts).

If your hyperlinks are still not working, the likely cause is that your hyperlink is broken. That is, whatever you were hyperlinking to has been deleted or moved. If this is the case, you simply need to rest the hyperlink.

To reset (or fix) a hyperlink in PowerPoint, simply:

  1. Make sure you have access to the file, slide or location you want to hyperlink to
  2. Select your hyperlinked text or object
  3. Open the insert hyperlink dialog box (CTRL + K on your keyboard)
  4. Set up your hyperlink to the correct slide, document or location on your computer
  5. Click Okay

Clicking Okay, your hyperlink should work again now that you’ve set it back up to the correct location or file.

Another clever use of hyperlinks in PowerPoint is to leverage the ScreenTip functionality to create the pop-up text effect in PowerPoint.

For an example of what this looks like and how to set it up, see our step-by-step guide here or watch the short video below.

Conclusion

Adding hyperlinks in PowerPoint is a great way to create choices within your presentation.

That is, giving your audience a choice and then jumping to topics within your presentation that they are most interesting in learning more about.

If you enjoyed this article, you can learn more about our PowerPoint training and free tutorials here.

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Updated on May 22, 2019

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