For greater flexibility when you present, you can create a main presentation that contains a menu and link the items in the menu to other presentations. When you decide to cover a topic, you click on its menu item to go to the presentation on that topic.
When you’re done covering that topic, you click on a button to return to the menu in the main presentation. From there you can go to another topic.
You may find this method simpler than using custom shows or a Web-style presentation, which I explain in another tip.
First, create your main presentation. You can use Action Buttons for your menu, or any other PowerPoint object. Here’s my menu, which links to six presentations containing various categories of images that can be used as backgrounds:
On the last slide of each subsidiary presentation, you’ll create a hyperlink that goes back to the menu presentation. In fact, if you want, you can link from every slide. To create the link, you can use an action button or an existing object. I don’t like to use the slide’s title (which is at the bottom in these presentations) because the text is underlined when you hyperlink it. So I created an invisible rectangle (no line, no fill) and placed it on top of the title. Then I linked that rectangle. You seem to be clicking the title, but you’re really clicking the invisible, hyperlinked rectangle.
Right-click the selected object that you want to link and choose Hyperlink to open the Action Settings dialog box. (In PowerPoint 2007 & 2010, choose Insert tab> Links> Action.) Choose the Hyperlink To option and choose End Show from the drop-down list. Click OK.
When you use the End Show option, PowerPoint automatically returns to the place where you left off in the presentation that brought you to the current presentation. Therefore, the hyperlink returns you to the menu of the main presentation.
In this example, you could also link directly to the menu’s slide, but if your main presentation has buttons on several slides, using End Show ensures that you return to the slide you left.
Finally, go back to the main menu presentation and add hyperlinks to the subsidiary presentations.