in this article, you will learn how to create the mouseover text effect in PowerPoint. The secret making this work is to use the ScreenTip functionality of hyperlinks in PowerPoint.

This effect is also called the popup text effect, mouse hover effect, image popup effect, etc.

Regardless of what you call it, the effect is the same, and it’s the ScreenTip functionality of hyperlinks that allows you to do this as you can see in the picture below.

Example of the mouseover text effect in PowerPoint when you hover your mouse over an object

And while you can use hyperlinks to make your presentations more interactive, it’s often this ScreenTip functionality of hyperlinks that are most useful.

To expand your knowledge and learn how to insert, remove, and change the color of hyperlinks in PowerPoint, ​read our guide here.

To expand your knowledge and learn how to insert, remove, and change the color of hyperlinks in PowerPoint, ​read our guide here.

Creating the Mouseover Effect (Step-by-Step)

If this is the first time you are creating this effect in PowerPoint, do not worry. This might seem complicated at first, but it is easy and straight forward.

The trick again is using the ScreenTip functionality of hyperlinks in PowerPoint to display that pop up text effect when you hover your mouse over an object. To get started, simply follow these steps.

Select the object that you want to display the mouse over text for and launch the insert hyperlink dialog box, which you can do one of two ways:

Way #1: Right-click the object, and in the right-click menu select “Hyperlink” to open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

To insert a hyperlink in PowerPoint, right click your object and select Link in the right click menu

Way #2: Hit Ctrl+K on your keyboard to insert the hyperlink

If you plan to insert a lot of hyperlinks, we recommend memorizing the hyperlink keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+K).

The insert hyperlink shortcut in PowerPoint is control plus K

2. Navigate to Place in This Document

In the insert hyperlink dialog box, select Place in this document and select your current slide so you do not jump somewhere else in your presentation if you click the hyperlink

Within the Insert Hyperlink dialog box, navigate to the Place in this Document section on the left, and then on the right, select the slide that you are creating the hyperlink on.

This not only ensures that if you accidentally activate the hyperlink when you present your presentation (by clicking on it) you remain on the same slide within your presentation, but it also opens the ScreenTip functionality which we will use in the next step.

3. Open the ScreenTip Dialog Box

Inside the insert hyperlink dialog box, click the ScreenTip button, type the text you want to display for your mouseover effect, and then click OK

To add the text that you want to display when you mouse over your object, follow these steps:

  1. Click the ScreenTip command
  2. Type your mouseover text
  3. Click OK

In this example, I’ve types the number of electoral votes for the voting map I’m creating.

How much text can you type into a ScreenTip in PowerPoint?

The ScreenTip you type is limited to 256 characters (including spaces and punctuation). 256 characters equates to approximately 49 words, so choose your mouseover text wisely.

Below you can see what the text limitations are to get a sense of how much text you can type into your ScreenTip. Less is more as the ScreenTips always display as small text.

ScreenTips are limited to 256 characters in PowerPoint, which is the equivalent of about 49 words

Note: There is no spell check functionality within the Set Hyperlink ScreenTip dialog box, so double check your spelling before closing the ScreenTip dialog box. Once you have your ScreenTip text ready to go, click OK to close out of the hyperlink dialog boxes and return to your slide.

4. Displaying Your Mouseover Text

Example of the pop up text effect in powerpoint when you hover your mouse over an object in presentation mode

Once you have added your ScreenTip text, to display the screen tip, you simply need to run your presentation and hover your mouse over the object.

  1. Hit Shift+F5 to run your presentation
  2. Hover your mouse over your object and wait a second

In slide show mode, hover your mouse cursor over the object with the hyperlink, and the Screen Tip should appear and display your text.

Notice that as we set the hyperlink to navigate to this specific slide, even if you accidentally click the object, you remain here on this same slide within your presentation.

To expand your knowledge and learn different ways to start your PowerPoint slideshow (including Presenter View), read our guide here.

Note: If you convert your PowerPoint presentation to the PDF file format, all your screen tips are lost. To learn more about which PowerPoint features you will lose when you convert to the PDF file format, read our guide here.


This screen tip trick is great for creating interactive presentations and graphics that you want to walk someone through in your presentation.

Just remember to use these effects sparingly to emphasize a point. That last thing you want to do is add this effect all over the place, diminishing its effectiveness.

Want to see what else you can do with this trick and this vector map of the United States? See how to create an interactive map of the United States in PowerPoint, read our guide here.

For other great PowerPoint tutorials and speed training courses to help get you to Happy Hour, check us out here.


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