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How to Create a Mouseover Text Effect


The fastest (and easiest) way to pull off the mouseover text effect, or roll over text effect in PowerPoint, is using the ScreenTip functionality of hyperlinks.

Yes, you can use hyperlinks to add navigational features to your PowerPoint presentation, but more often than not, it’s the ScreenTip functionality of hyperlinks that is the most useful.

PowerPoint MouseOver Text Step #4 - Final Effect

Video tutorial

Step by step

Step #1: Add a Hyperlink to an Object

Select the object that you want to display the mouseover text for in your PowerPoint presentation and launch the insert hyperlink dialog box, which you can do one of two ways:

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

PowerPoint MouseOver Text Step #1A - Open Hyperlink Dialog Box with Callouts
PowerPoint MouseOver Text Step #1B - Hyperlink Dialog Box

Shortcut for inserting a hyperlink

If you plan on using lots of hyperlinks, you’ll want to memorize the following keyboard shortcut.

This shortcut immediately opens the insert hyperlink dialog box. With the dialog box open, you can also hit ALT+P to open the ScreenTip functionality, which as you’ll see in step #3 below, is where you input the text you want to pop-up.

For more time saving shortcuts, check out our article on the 120+ PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts and how to use them.

Step #2: Navigate to ‘Place in This Document’

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 ensures that if you accidentally activate the hyperlink in Slideshow Mode (by clicking on it) you  remain on the same slide within your presentation.

PowerPoint MouseOver Text Step #2 - Hyperlink to this slide

Step #3: Open the ScreenTip Dialog Box

In the upper right-hand corner of the dialog box, select the ScreenTip button to launch the Set Hyperlink ScreenTip dialog box.

Within the dialog box, type the text you wish to be displayed when you bring your mouse over your object in the Slideshow Mode of your presentation. In this case I’ve typed the number of electoral votes.

PowerPoint MouseOver Text Step #3A - add the screentip

Note: Text Limit – You are limited to 256 characters (including spaces) for the ScreenTip text as shown in the diagram below. 256 characters equates to approximately 48 words…so choose your mouseover text wisely.

PowerPoint MouseOver Text Step #3B - Text Limit

Note: There is no spell check functionality within the Set Hyperlink ScreenTip dialog box, so double check your spelling before closing this 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.

Once you have your ScreenTip text ready to go, click OK  to close out of the hyperlink dialog boxes and return to your slide.

Step #4: Displaying Your Mouseover Text

Now in the Normal View of your presentation, to display your mouseover text, hit SHIFT + F5 to launch the Slideshow Mode from your current slide. Hover your mouse cursor over the object with the hyperlink, and the ScreenTip 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.

PowerPoint MouseOver Text Step #4 - Final Effect

Want to see what else you can do with this trick and this map?

See our post on how to hook up appear and disappear animations to trigger objects to change the states' color on each click.

What's next?

Updated on December 10, 2017

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  • Joe Zito

    Is there a way to make an object appear/disappear on mouse-over/mouse-off?

    • Nuts & Bolts

      Hi Joe, thanks for your question!

      Yes, there is definitely a way to do that, though it’s a bit complicated (you’ll need to add a shape behind your shape, add an action to it that jumps you to another slide where the object is not there…) and adds a lot of ‘dud slides’ to your deck…

      The best way we’ve found is to have objects appear/disappear on the click of a mouse. To see how to do that, check out our post on Using Objects as Triggers for Appear and Disappear Animations.

      If you still want to do it with a mouseover, here’s a quick tutorial: http://www.pptworkbench.com/html/mouse_over_images.htm

      Hope that helps!


  • Cody

    I copied an icon from a website, then created the mouseover text effect, which works in PPT, but when I export to PDF and hover over the icon, the website domain appears… Know any way to export to PDF and retain the text I created?

    • Hey Cody,
      Thanks for the great question! Unfortunately, as far as I know, animations and pop-up effects can’t be exported into PDF – they can only be run natively in PowerPoint.
      If we hear of any work-around though, I’ll make sure to let you know! Or if you figure it out, please do share 🙂

  • BeeVoice

    loooved it, effective, but do you know if i can increase the font size of the pop-up?, thanks

    • Hi BeeVoice, and thanks for the comment! Sadly, there’s no way to format the text in the pop-up.

      However, instead of a hyperlinked pop-up like this, what you could do is put your text in a shape (which you can format to your heart’s content) and apply an entrance animation that is triggered on the click of a shape (and then add an exit animation triggered the same way). You can see how to do it in this blog post.

      You can’t get it to work on a mouse hover, but it’s the only way to get customized shapes/text to appear that we know of.

      Hope that helps!

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  • LindaR

    How do you reuse a PowerPoint slide that contains “mouseover text effect” without having to recreate the text effect in the new deck?

    • Hey Linda, and thanks for the question! You should be able to paste these slides into the new presentation without a problem. You won’t have to re-create the effect, but you will need to tweak the new link…Here are a couple of thoughts:

      #1: If you paste the entire slide from one deck to the other, the pop-up text effect will still work (hyperlinked to itself).

      #2: If you copy and paste just the object, the hyperlink will point to the same slide number that it pointed to in the original deck. In this case, yes…you will need to quickly hit CTRL+K and adjust the link so that it again points at itself.

      Hope that helps!

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  • Moritz

    Hi there,

    I made it to create the mouse over hyperlink. But when I create a pdf out of the powerpoint slide, it doesn’t work anymore. Is it possible to create a pdf and keep the mouseover effect?

    Thank you in advance. best regards

    • Hi Moritz. No, when you save as a PDF, you lose all animations and effects like these. There’s no animation engine in the PDF format, although you can hyperlink to a different part of the document…I do have a couple suggestions though to work around it if you don’t HAVE to have it in PDF format:
      You can save your presentation as a video, with someone walking through the presentation and doing the mouse hover effect.
      You can also save your presentation as a ‘PowerPoint Show’ (.ppsx format), which opens it up as a slide show where the viewer cannot edit the slides. That will preserve all animations/effects.
      However, if you’re trying to PDF it because you don’t want anyone to be able to edit the presentation, this format isn’t perfect, because a recipient can easily rename the file to .pptx and get to the original file.
      So if you need to protect your presentation AND still have an animation, the only way I know of to do that is to save your presentation as a ‘PowerPoint Picture Presentation’, which turns all your slides into pictures and pastes each one onto a PPT slide. You can see our blog post on how to do this by clicking here. Then, you can add animations to your slide and have the mouseover effect appear.
      Hope that helps and let me know if you have any follow-up questions!

  • Brian

    thanks for this tip!!! its very helpful. . .I’ve got a question:is there anyway to embed .swf (Shockwave File) permanently in powerpoint without doing the macros and developer tab stuff?i have an swf animation that is awesome but it always disappear after i exit and shut down my computer . . . .thanks

    • Hey Brian…there’s no other way that I know of…but you shouldn’t be losing your animation when you close your computer. Can you send us the file you’re building? Also, what version of PPT are you using and on a Mac or a PC? Cheers

  • Nicole Good

    This was very helpful and cleaned up my presentation! When I hover-over the text it displays the screen tip but then it has the instruction to press CTRL+ Click to follow the link. Is there a way to get rid of that part? Thanks!

    • Hi Nicole.
      Hm, I’m not seeing that instruction. what version of PowerPoint (PC or Mac, and year) are you using?