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Link to Word Bookmarks from PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how you can link to specific locations in Word documents from PowerPoint 2013.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and higher






Yes, you can link to a Word document from a PowerPoint slide object. We have already explained this process within our Linking to Any File in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial. However that process only links to the Word document. Most of the time, this will open the Word document with the first page active. But what if you wanted to link to page 33 of a 50 page Word document? This is doable but it must be one of the least well known secrets ever known!

Follow these steps to get started:

  1. Make sure that both the Word document you want to link to, and the PowerPoint presentation you want to link from are within the same folder in your computer (see Figure 1 below).

    Word and PowerPoint files within the same folder
    Figure 1: Word and PowerPoint files within the same folder
  2. Open the document you want to link to within Microsoft Word. Make sure your cursor is active within the part of the Word document that you want to link to. Optionally select some text, as shown in Figure 2, below – this selection is optional and not necessary, but your cursor must be active in the area you want to link to.

    Area selected in Word document
    Figure 2: Area selected in Word document
  3. Now access the Insert tab of the Ribbon, and click the Bookmark button (within the Links group) as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2, above.
  4. This will bring up the Bookmark dialog box shown in Figure 3. Type in a name for your Bookmark as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3. Then click the Add button highlighted in blue within Figure 3. Save your Word file and exit.

    Add a Bookmark
    Figure 3: Add a Bookmark

    Bookmark Naming Limitations

    There are some limitations for a name you can provide for a Bookmark in Microsoft Word:

    • You cannot use more than 40 characters
    • You cannot use spaces in your Bookmark names
    • Bookmark names need to start with a letter.
    • If you need to separate words, you can use the Underscore but Dashes are not permitted.
    • You cannot use several special characters such as /, ^.
  5. Now open your PowerPoint presentation and navigate to the slide where you want to add a link.
  6. Now select an anchor on any slide. An “anchor” is any slide object that you can select, as explained in our Anatomy of a Link tutorial. As you can see in Figure 4, we selected a basic Rectangle Shape.

    Select your anchor
    Figure 4: Select your anchor
  7. With your shape selected, access the Insert tab of the Ribbon. Then click the Hyperlink button as shown highlighted in red within Figure 5, below.

    The Hyperlink button
    Figure 5: The Hyperlink button
  8. You can also press the Ctrl + K keyboard shortcut instead of clicking the Hyperlink button. Want more keyboard shortcuts? Get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences e-book.

    This will bring up the Insert Hyperlink dialog box that you can see in Figure 6. Make sure you select the Existing File or Web Page option in the sidebar, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6.

    Link to a Word document
    Figure 6: Link to a Word document
  9. Next choose the Current Folder option within the Look in area, highlighted in blue within Figure 6, above. Select the Word file within the same folder that already has a Bookmark added. Then within the Address area, suffix the file name with a # sign, and also the name of the Bookmark that you want to link to, as shown highlighted in orange within Figure 6. The format you will use is:

    <FileName>#<BookmarkName>

    Finally, click the OK button, highlighted in green within Figure 6.
  10. Now play the presentation in Slide Show view. Click the anchor to test the hyperlink. Also do note that you can thus link to multiple Bookmarks in the same Word document! So one anchor in your PowerPoint may link to a Bookmark on page 16 of your Word document whereas another anchor may link to another Bookmark in the same Word document on page 19.
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