In a discussion with Dr. Pavel Samsonov, a professor at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the topic of invisible buttons came up. I had encountered them before, so I thought I would explain.
Invisible buttons are AutoShapes with no fill and no line that have a hyperlink attached to them. You use them for two purposes:
If you’re navigating through the presentation, you may want your navigation to seem invisible to create a magical effect. The button may be small or may cover the entire slide.
If viewers are navigating themselves, you may want them to be able to click anywhere on a slide to execute the hyperlink. In this case, the invisible button covers the entire slide.
For example, let’s say you create a quiz that students will navigate by themselves. You may add hyperlinks from a question slide to a Correct and Incorrect slide, depending on which answer the person clicks. Then, you can hyperlink the Correct slide to the next question and the Incorrect slide back to the original question so viewers can try again.
By covering the entire Correct and Incorrect slides with an invisible, rectangular AutoShape, students just click anywhere to get to the right place.
To make the process easier, attach the hyperlink to your rectangle before you make it invisible. Then double-click it and use the Format AutoShape dialog box to change the line to No Line and the fill to No Fill.
In PowerPoint 2007, invisible buttons made this way don’t work! Instead, you need to make the fill 100% transparent. Click the Format tab and then the Shape Fill drop-down list. Right-click the shape and choose Format Shape. In the Fill pane, drag the Transparency slider all the say to the right, and click Close.