Switch to another presentation seamlessly

Do you sometimes need to switch to another presentation? Without leaving Slide Show view? Here is one method.

Step 1: Insert the second presentation as an object


  1. Display the slide where you want to be able to branch to another presentation.
  2. Choose Insert> Object.
  3. Choose the Create from File option.
  4. Click the Browse button and navigate to the other presentation. Double-click it to return to the Insert Object dialog box.
  5. Click OK. You’ll see an image of the first slide of that other presentation. You can resize it to make it smaller if you want. Here you see it at the lower-right corner of the slide.


Step 2: Animate the other presentation to open it

powerpoint-tips-switch-to-another-presentation-3You can add an animation that opens the other presentation in Slide Show view. This is an unusual use of animation and many people aren’t aware of it. Follow these steps:

  1. With the object (the other presentation) selected, in PowerPoint 2007 and 2010, click the Animations tab. In PowerPoint 2007, click Custom Animation to open the Custom Animation task pane.
  2. In PowerPoint 2007, in the Custom Animation task pane, choose  Add Effect> Object Actions> Show. In PowerPoint 2010, click Add Animation> OLE Action Verbs> Show and click OK. The Show action will open the other presentation in Slide Show view. If you choose Edit or Open, you’ll get Normal view.

Step 3: Set a trigger for the animation

If you go into Slide Show view now and click anywhere, you’ll go to the other presentation. This might be what you want, but if you want to have the option to go to the next slide of the original presentation instead, you need to set a trigger so that the animation only happens when you click the object. In this way, you have a choice–go to the next slide or go to the second presentation. Here are the steps:

  1. In 2007, the Custom Animation pane should still be open. In PowerPoint 2010, click the Animation Pane button on the Animations tab.
  2. Click the down arrow to the right of the animation listed in the task pane and choose Timing. The OLE Action dialog box opens. (OLE Action is just the name of the animation that you applied.)
  3. Click the Triggers button and choose the Start Effect on Click of button. From the drop-down list, choose the Object you inserted. It will have a name like Object 3. Click OK.

Go into Slide Show view and test. When you click off the object, you should go to the next slide. When you click the object, you should go to the second presentation. You then go through the second presentation. When it’s over, you return to the same slide you left and can continue in the original presentation.

What other methods exist for switching to another presentation?

You can use a custom show.  I explain how here.

You can use a hyperlink. I explain how here.

In Windows, you can switch to another presentation that is open by pressing Alt+Tab. You see a bar with icons for all open programs and can repeatedly press the Tab key (while holding down the Alt key)  to move through them. But Alt+Tab isn’t nearly as seamless as the method I’ve described here.

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