Shapes may look basic or even primitive, but they are the building blocks of almost anything you create on your PowerPoint slides. Fortunately, you are not deprived of choices—PowerPoint provides plenty of shapes categorized into nine types. Among all the shape types, Action Buttons behave a we bit differently. Action Buttons are essentially rectangular shapes that are used as navigation aids to navigate between slides, or even another presentation, document, or a web URL. You insert an Action Button in almost the same way as you insert any other shape:
- Launch PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, open an existing presentation, and select the slide where you want to add an Action Button.
- Select the Home tab of the Ribbon. Within this tab, locate the Insert group, and click the Shape Button to access the Shape gallery that you can see in Figure 1. In the Shape gallery, select the Action Buttons option to open a sub-gallery that provides you with 12 variants of Action Buttons to serve different, default purposes. While some Action Buttons sport icons that remind you of VCR style Play, Rewind, or Forward buttons, others include iconography for concepts such as Home, Sound, Help, Information, etc (refer to Figure 1).
Figure 1: Action Buttons sub-gallery within the Shape gallery
- Within the Action Buttons sub-gallery (or in the Shape Browser), click on the Action Button of your choice to select it, as shown in Figure 1 above. This will change the cursor to a cross hair as you can see in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Cursor changed to a cross hair to indicate shape insertion mode
- Place this cursor on your slide where you want to insert the selected Action Button (refer to Figure 2 above). Now, either click once on the slide to place the Action Button, or click and drag on the slide to create an instance of the Action Button in the size you desire. As soon as the Action Button is placed on the slide, the Action Settings dialog box pops up, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Action Settings dialog box with an Action Button placed on the slide
- Within the Action Settings dialog box, you can change the default behavior of the inserted Action Button. For now, just close the dialog box by clicking the OK button. Notice the new Action Button on your slide, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Action Button inserted
- Since an Action Button is essentially a shape, you can change its appearance by using techniques explained in the PowerPoint Shapes and the Fills, Lines, and Effects tutorials on this site.
- Save your presentation.
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