Once you place Action Buttons on your slide in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows, you can make them do all sorts of actions when clicked. What sets Action Buttons apart from other shape types in PowerPoint is the iconography they contain. For most users, an icon such as a leftwards arrow indicates moving to the previous slide and a rightwards arrow does indicate progressing to the next slide. Another advantage of these icon-equipped Action Buttons is that they are language independent, and can work very well in multi-language and international presentations. In this tutorial you are going to explore the different types of Action Buttons, and their default behaviors.
Action Buttons can be found within the Shapes gallery, which can be accessed from the Insert or Home tabs of the Ribbon. Figure 1 shows the Action Buttons category within the Shapes gallery.
Figure 1: Action buttons category within the Shapes gallery
Action Buttons are of 12 types. These are explained below, from left to right as displayed within the Action Buttons category as shown in Figure 1, above:
- Back or Previous: Takes you to the previous slide.
- Forward or Next: Takes you to the next slide.
- Beginning: Goes to the first slide of the active presentation.
- End: Takes you directly to the last slide in the presentation, skipping all slides in between.
- Home: Moves to the first slide of the presentation. Yes, this is the same behavior as what happens with the Beginning Action Button.
- Information: No default behavior is available for this Action Button type, typically you can use this to link to a slide that has information, such as contact information. Or, you can use it even to link to a web page.
- Return: When clicked, takes you to the most recently viewed slide.
- Movie: No default behavior for this Action Button type, typically is used to interact with a movie (video) file.
- Document: No default behavior for this Action Button type, mainly used to hyperlink to another document such as a Word document, Excel sheet, PDF, etc.
- Sound: No default behavior for this Action Button type, typically is used to interact with a sound (audio) file.
- Help: No default behavior for this Action Button type, typically you can use this to link to a slide that has help information, or a Q&A slide.
- Custom: No default behavior for this Action Button type, this typically has no icon, and you can use as required. Since this variant has no iconography, you can easily add text to this button to identify its purpose. See our Text within Shapes in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial to learn adding text to shapes.