Buttons are graphics that you click to go to another location (perhaps another slide or another presentation), buy a product, subscribe to a newsletter, and so on.
Most often, we think of buttons as being on a website, but you can put them in PowerPoint, too. When you put a button on a slide, you hyperlink it so that clicking it in Slide Show view takes you to another location. The concepts are similar. For more information about using hyperlinks in PowerPoint, see “Hyperlink to a specific slide in another presentation, or specific location in another file.”
You can use PowerPoint to create great buttons and I do this a lot.
Turn graphics into images
However you create the button, if you want to use it n a website, you’ll need to convert it to an image. You don’t need to do this step for a button that you hyperlink to another slide or presentation. I cover the procedure in my post, “Use PowerPoint as a graphics program.”
Once you create the image, you may have to resize it. It’s hard to tell in advance how big the button will be on a website. (You don’t have that problem when you use it on a slide.) A good guideline is to decide how big you want the text to be — such as 14 points — and then fit the button around the text.
What’s unique about a button?
Have you ever noticed that buttons look like they should be clicked? What is it about a button that lets you know you can click it to go somewhere or buy something? There are a few properties that many buttons have:
- They have descriptive text
- They look slightly 3D, raised from the surface
- They stand out from the rest of the slide or web page–a different border and fill color or gradient
Many website buttons look different in different situations, such as when you hover over or click the button. Doing this is beyond the scope of this post, but if you know how to do it, you can create slightly different buttons and use them in this way.
6 steps to create a button
Creating a button gives you the opportunity to use many formatting features of PowerPoint. Each button will be different, but here are 6 general steps that you can use. I’ve provided some links to further details.
- Insert a shape (I often like the rounded rectangle) and type the text that you want for the button. Bold text is usually best because it stands out more.
- Make the outline thicker. On the Format tab, choose Shape Outline, Weight.
- Change the fill color. On the Format tab, choose Shape Fill. You may also need to change the text color at this point so that it’s legible.
- Add a bevel for a 3D look. See “Create professional-looking 3D effects with bevels.”
- Add a shadow if you want. A shadow also gives a 3D appearance. See “Slides that pop! Using the 3rd dimension on a slide–Part I: Shadows.”
- Add a highlight. A highlight makes the button look as if light is shining on it. See “Getting a shiny Web 2.0 look in PowerPoint-Part II: Highlights.”
Download some free buttons!
I have some free buttons that you can download in image format on my Change the World Marketing website. Feel free to use them! If you do Internet Marketing, I invite you to sign up for my Change the World Marketing newsletter while you’re there. Just click the button that says, “Click here to get your free master plan + tips.” And of course I made that button in PowerPoint.