Monday, 2 February 2015

Episode 4: Using Action Buttons in Presentation

Action Buttons Help in Transition

Sometimes it becomes necessary to move from one slide in powerpoint to another slide and then come back. This is necessary in order to build up the overall story of the presentation. However, if done manually, it becomes tedious and confusing because it breaks the flow of the presentation. Well powerpoint has a useful but less appreciated feature built in - the action buttons. It is indeed a powerful in creating seamless transitions in any presentation. 

What are action buttons? Well they are simple graphic icons which has embedded features which can be customized according to one's need. In simple words, you can use them to create links, embed video, audio in the slides. 

Where can you find action buttons? The answer is simple. All you have to do is to click on the INSERT tab, then go to shapes where you will get a drop-down. The action buttons are at the bottom of the drop-down as shown in the image below.
Action Button Location
Once you select and place an action button on the slides, you get a pop-up as shown in the image below. This pop-up will have default property set according to the action button type. You can customize the same according to your need. The pop-up has two tabs one determines the action to be taken on mouse click and another determines action to be taken when the mouse pointer hovers over the button.
Action Button Property

You can explore the different types of buttons to see for yourself their default actions. Here I will focus more on how to customize the buttons. Once you get the pop-up, you can two options under both the tabs namely None and Hyperlink to. The second option again has a drop-down with a preset value according to the action button type. The various options in the drop-down are: 
  1. Next Slide: It will take you to the immediate next slide in the presentation
  2. Previous Slide: As name suggests, it takes you to the preceding slide
  3. First Slide: Takes you to the start of presentation
  4. Last Slide: Self explanatory
  5. Last Slide Viewed: Again self explanatory
  6. End Slide: Ends the presentation
  7. Custom Show: You can link to an embedded show 
  8. Slide: It further gives you a pop-up providing you the facility to link the slide to any particular slide in the presentation.
    Note:This is highly useful as adding or deleting a slide in between will not disrupt the flow of the presentation. I prefer this approach always.  
  9. URL: You can embed a web page address. The webpage will open on clicking the button.
  10. Other Powepoint presentation: Self explanatory
  11. Other File; You can embed a video, audio, excel etc.
Besides this you can as well embed macros and programs to them. So this is more or less about action buttons. 

Now a useful tip to design transitions. I usually follow a 3 step process regarding the same:
1. Step 1: Insert action button in a slide and link it to the desired slide.
2. Step 2: On the destination slide insert another action button with link to last viewed slide.
3. Step 3: Test it multiple times to check the flow of presentation.

The advantage of this method is a smooth transition without skipping the presentation.

This is it from my side guys!!! Once gain do let me know if you feel there is any inputs you would like to share regarding the same!!!

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