Add commands to your presentation with action buttons

Use an Action button to do an action in your presentation, such as going to the next or a specific slide, running an app, or playing a video clip. There are two basic steps for setting up an Action button:

  • First, you pick an action button from the Shapes gallery

  • Then you assign an action that will occur when (during Slide Show) you click the shape or point the mouse at it.

The idea is that when you deliver your presentation, you can click or point at an action button to:

  • Go to the next slide, the previous slide, the first slide, the last slide, the most recent slide viewed, a specific slide number, a different PowerPoint presentation, or a Web page.

  • Run a program

  • Run a macro

  • Play an audio clip

Shows dialog for setting up Action Buttons in PowerPoint

Put an action button on your slide

Some examples of built-in action button shapes that you can find in the Shapes gallery include right and left arrows (commonly understood symbols for going to next, previous, first, and last slides), for playing videos or sound bites, and more.

Shows the Shapes menu on the ribbon in PowerPoint with Action Buttons highlighted

  1. On the Insert tab, click Shapes, and then under Action Buttons at the bottom of the menu, click the button shape that you want to add.

  2. Click a location on the slide, and then drag to draw the shape for the button.

  3. Keep the dialog box open and go to the next procedure.

Assign an action

If you want the action to occur when the action button is clicked, do the following steps on the Mouse Click tab of the dialog box.

If you want the action to occur when the action button is simply pointed at, do the following steps on the Mouse Over tab of the dialog box.

  1. To choose the action that will take place when you click or move the pointer over the action button, do one of the following:

    • Choose Hyperlink to and then select the destination (for example, the next slide, the previous slide, the last slide, or another PowerPoint presentation) that you want the hyperlink action to go to.

      Note:  To link to a file created by another program, such as a Word or Excel file, in the Hyperlink to list, click Other File.

    • Choose None to use the shape without a corresponding action.

    • Choose Run program, then click Browse to locate the program that you want to run.

    • Choose Run macro and then select the macro that you want to run.

      The Run macro settings are only available if your presentation already contains a macro, and when you save the presentation, you must save it as a PowerPoint Macro-enabled Show. (For more information about macros, see Run a macro.)

    • If you want the shape that you chose as an action button to perform an action, click Object action, and then select the action that you want it to perform.

      The Object action settings are only available if your presentation contains an OLE object. See Assign an action to a picture or an OLE object for more details.

    • To play a sound, select the Play sound check box, and then select the sound that you want to play.

  2. When you've finished choosing your action, select OK.

  3. To test the action you've selected, choose Slide Show > From Current Slide to open the presentation in Slide Show so that you can click the action button.

See Also

Assign an action to a picture or an OLE object

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