It’s often useful to create a menu for your first or second slide. Here are some scenarios:
- To facilitate easy navigation to anywhere in your presentation
- To allow your audience to choose the order of the content, for a non-linear, live presentation
- To allow viewers to navigate through an online presentation
Use an updated interface style
A recent design trend uses tiles to create a visual menu. You’ve probably seen this type of tile menu in Windows 8/8.1, but others have used it as well. This type of menu is easy to create in PowerPoint.
Here’s an example.
Create the shapes
Hallmarks of this style is colorful squares and rectangles laid out in a grid. PowerPoint’s alignment tools make it easy.
Start by inserting a square. If you click the Rectangle shape on the Home tab and simply click on the slide, you’ll automatically get a square. You can then resize it by dragging on any corner but to maintain the perfect square shape, press and hold the Shift key as you drag. Or, you can click the Rectangle shape, press and hold the Shift key and drag the square on the slide to the size you want.
Before going any further, with the first square selected, click the Format tab and choose Shape Outline, No Outline.
Tip: To quickly fill the slide with squares, place the first square about where you want it and press Ctrl+D. Move the duplicate to the right of the square, making sure it is perfectly aligned with it–not higher or lower. Look at PowerPoint’s alignment guides and you’ll feel the second square click into place. Then press Ctrl + D again until you have the squares you want. Finally, select all of the squares and duplicate them in a second row. You want the vertical and horizontal distances to be the same.
Some of the shapes will need more space, so you can turn them into rectangles that take up the space of 2 squares. Simply delete one of the squares and drag the side handle of the remaining square until it lines up with the right side of the square above or below it. Again, you should see alignment guides to help you. You might want to make these changes later, after you fill in the content and see how much space it needs.
Format the shapes
Fill the shapes with the colors in your theme colors. Remember that this style uses lots of bright colors. Then enter text into some of the shapes and insert images into others.
To fill a shape with an image, select it and on the Format tab, choose Shape Fill, Picture. In the dialog box, you can insert pictures from your computer or online sources.
Note: If you use the Bing search, you’ll need to check the Creative Commons license to make sure that you can comply with it. For example, you might need commercial use and modifications allowed. But in order to legally use the image, you need to provide attribution in the form of a label on the slide. You’ll need to do that separately. If you can purchase images, I recommend 123rf.com for over 35,000,000 legal, low-cost, high-quality images. (This is an affiliate link, but you should know that I use 123rf when I need to buy images.)
Hyperlink the tiles
Finally, hyperlink the tiles to complete the tile menu. Select a tile, and go to Insert tab, Hyperlink. Choose Place in This Document and select the slide you want to link to. Click OK.
You can also hyperlink to other files and websites.
I cover details of creating a menu in two older posts that I think you’ll find helpful:
Have you used a similar technique? What was your experience? Leave a comment?