Using action buttons
Video: Using action buttonsSimilar to hyperlinks, Action buttons in PowerPoint allow you to create specific buttons on your slides and then assign actions to those buttons, such as hyperlinking to a specific slide or accessing a document, a web site, and so on. So, we're going to take a look at Action buttons now, continuing with our TT_Tale presentation, and let's say we go down to the very last slide in our presentation. Let's remove the last two slides, actually. So we'll click thumbnail 25, press Delete on your keyboard and Delete again to remove that other one.
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In PowerPoint for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author David Rivers demonstrates how to create effective slideshows and dynamic presentations using the tools in Microsoft PowerPoint 2011. The course provides in-depth instructions for changing the look of presentations: using built-in and custom themes, formatting text, inserting tables and charts, adding pictures and SmartArt drawings, and adding animation. It also shows how to proof presentations and ready them for viewing, and gives details on the different ways to share presentations. Exercise files are included with the course.
- Exploring the Presentation Gallery
- Adding, removing, and arranging slides
- Working with slide layouts and slide masters
- Using and creating templates
- Adding and formatting text
- Working with tables and charts
- Inserting images
- Adding video and sound to a presentation
- Animating slide transitions and slide objects
- Showing and sharing presentations
Using action buttons
Similar to hyperlinks, Action buttons in PowerPoint allow you to create specific buttons on your slides and then assign actions to those buttons, such as hyperlinking to a specific slide or accessing a document, a web site, and so on. So, we're going to take a look at Action buttons now, continuing with our TT_Tale presentation, and let's say we go down to the very last slide in our presentation. Let's remove the last two slides, actually. So we'll click thumbnail 25, press Delete on your keyboard and Delete again to remove that other one.
Now, we've got just a single conclusion slide, and we want this to be the last slide in our presentation. And when the viewer gets to this slide, we want them to be able to easily go back to the first slide and start over if they want to. So we're going to add an Action button that does that. We can add the Action buttons by going to the Slide Show menu. You'll see Action Buttons, and that little arrow means there are some preset options to choose from, off to the right here. You can draw your own custom buttons, but there are some presets as well, like Home, for example.
This would be good for taking us back to the very first slide, or we could choose First Slide, and just a different looking button. If you want to go to Information, maybe it's a document that you've created and people can access. Same thing goes for Help. Or if you wanted to access a specific document, you can use the Document action button, or play sounds and movies. Let's go to the one that we need that's going to take us back to the very first slide. We'll click First Slide, and all that does is changes our mouse pointer into a crosshair. We're ready to draw the button now.
So, you just go on the slide where you want to draw the button and click and drag. I'm going to make mine extra big so it's obvious here in the bottom right-hand corner by clicking and dragging. And when we let go, we have the button, but we also see the Action Settings open up, and there are two different types of settings we can create here. First of all, what happens when we click this button? The Mouse Click category here down below has it already set up for us because of the preset we chose. It's going to hyperlink us to the first slide, but other options include running a program, macros, playing sounds.
If we go to the Mouse Over section by clicking Mouse Over, we see those same options, but in this case you don't have to click the button. You just have to move your mouse pointer over the button. So all of those options here as well. Let's go back to Mouse Click. We'll just click OK. We now have the button. We can test it out. Let's go to the Slide Show button, down the bottom left-hand corner. We'll give it a click. So we arrive at the last slide. We're in control of the presentation as the viewer. We go over to the button. You notice your mouse pointer changes into pointing finger, indicating this is some kind of link.
When we click it, it takes us right back to slide number 1, and we can start over. Let's press Escape. So those are the presets, but you can create your own out of any object or text box even, for example. Let's say, on our first slide, we want to create some buttons that allows us to jump to the various sections. We have a History section. We have a Sales section and our Conclusion. In that case, we draw our own shapes. Let's go up to the Insert group on the Home tab of the Ribbon here, click the Shape dropdown, and select Rectangles, and let's go to a rounded rectangle perhaps.
There's that crosshair again. We're going to click and drag, let's say, in the bottom left-hand corner here, to create what will be a button that will take us to the History section. So let's double-click inside. We'll type the word 'History.' The formatting is already done for us, but we have access to all the formatting options we do when working with shapes. So if you want to find a different format, maybe a raised button, so it's got a 3-D effect to it. Let's go to the one of these down here near the bottom. There we go.
So, once you've got your formatting, and you've got your button created, it's time to assign those actions. So we'll do that by making sure the button is selected. If it's not, just go over to the button itself and click. And you can place it, of course, by going to the border. You can resize it, and then you're going to go up to Slide Show, and you'll notice Action Settings, just below Action Buttons, is available to us because we have something selected. Now we can also access those from the Slide Show tab on the Ribbon. You'll see an Action Settings button here in the Setup group.
So we will give that a click, and this is the same thing we saw when we created our preset. But in this case, because it's a custom button, nothing has been assigned, no actions here when mouse clicking and no actions when mousing over. So, let's go to the Mouse Click. In this case, we want to hyperlink to a specific slide. So we're going click Hyperlink to. We'll click the button that currently says Next Slide and go down to selecting a slide. So, we've got to find an option here that's going to allows us to choose the slide we want to go. In this case, it's Slide.
Now we get to see little thumbnails of our slides. And as you scroll down, eventually we'll see the History slide. That's the beginning of the History section, if you were to scroll down and look at the section headings over in the Navigation pane. So, when we to click OK, it's now going to hyperlink to History. If you want to hear a sound when you click it, you can do that, if you want it highlighted. I like these things to happen sometimes when we mouse over. So let's go over to the Mouse Over category, and we'll play a sound, just so we know that we're over the button. You can click the dropdown. Lots of different sounds to choose from here, so we'll just scroll down until we see something like Take Off that's going to take us off to the next section.
We can also have it highlighted when we move over it. Clicking that check box means we'll see the button light up in some fashion when we move our mouse over it. So we'll click OK. Now, here's the neat thing. You've got it created. All you have to do is copy it. Let's do a Command+C on the keyboard and then paste it with Command+V. And we'll do it twice because we have a couple of other sections. Now we've got our buttons. We can just move them around and line them up by clicking and dragging their borders. And when we've got them in place, we can start doing some editing with those Action Settings.
So the second one is not History, but its going to be Sales, so just double-click and type Sales. The third ones is going to be the Conclusions, so we'll double-click in there and type in Conclusion. Let's go back to the first button. We'll just click and go up to our Action Settings button. Here you can see it's still hyperlinking to History. In this case, we want to choose different slides so we'll click Slide, and this is going to take us down to our Sales. There's Sales Information right there, and we'll click OK. And then of course we've got our Conclusion, so we'll have to click OK, click Conclusion, back to Action Settings, and this one is going to hyperlink to our conclusion, which happens to be the last slide.
So you can choose the Last Slide, or if you want to be specific, click Slide again, scroll all the way down to the Conclusion, and click OK. When you click OK, you've created your three Action buttons now. They're ready to use. Let's just test this out by going to our Slide Show button. There we go. We're on our first slide. We want to go to History. (Audio playing.) So here you can see it is highlighted around the outside, and we heard our sound.
We might want to remove that if it's too distracting. When we click this button, we're going to be taken directly to the History section. Now, let's just right-click anywhere here. You might want to have buttons that take you to the last viewed slide. You can create action buttons for that or just right-click and from the menu, select that. You'll notice the Conclusion button looks a little bit different. I don't know if you saw what happened there, but let's press Escape. When you click inside a button on the text, the text becomes a link, not the button. So if we go up to Action Settings now - just to fix this up we'll choose None and click OK - now, our text goes back.
It's no longer a link, and we want to make sure we click the button. So go around the border when you see the four-sided arrow. If we go up to Action Settings now, you can see what was set up. There's the copied link to History, and here's where we want to choose the Last Slide or the Conclusion. Let's do Last Slide this time, and click OK. So that's all there is to creating your own custom Action buttons. Remember, you have those presets to choose from, but when you want to create your own custom actions and action settings, you can use any shape, any object on a slide; simply assign the actions, and you're giving your viewer full control over the presentation they're looking at.
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