I was browsing through images at an online stock photo service, when I came upon a section of photos that were devoted to dials, buttons, knobs, and other gizmos that looked like they were supposed to do something. Here was one of many:
I wondered to myself why there would be so many photos like this of generic dials and then I began to wonder what one might do with them.
I downloaded the one above, which appears to be a speed setting for…something. So I made up a device that might have this knob on its face—I called it a Turbometer—and then pretended that I was in charge of creating a self-running tutorial PowerPoint file for it.
It is not exactly common knowledge that you can assign actions to items that you draw in PowerPoint, allowing them to function just like hyperlinks on a website.
The numbers around the dial are not objects onto themselves, but as you can see below, it is a simple matter to draw little circles over them.
Using the Action Settings dialog box, each circle can become a hyperlink to another slide in the file. Once you assign the hyperlinks, make the circles invisible by removing any fill and outline. Actually, I have gotten in the habit of setting a solid fill color to 99% transparency, as there are certain circumstances in which a completely invisible object causes problems during interactivity. A 99% transparent object will never be seen so it is for all intent and purpose an invisible object.
When the file is shown, it will seem like the numbers themselves are the click points for navigating through the slide show. Click a number and get information about what that speed means to your health and/or inner being.
If this is your first time working with Action Settings, it might call for a bit of reverse engineering, so download the PowerPoint file and go wild…