Sections in PowerPoint.  Yes, PowerPoint now allows you to create sections.  This is obviously useful for organization, but it is especially helpful if you want to create a slideshow that you don’t necessarily want to go through in a set order.  This, in turn, is also extremely useful if you are sharing a slideshow asynchronously and it doesn’t necessarily need to be in a set order.  Day 49 of 365 Ideas for Office 365 is yet another #OnlyinPowerPoint.

Benefits of Sections when Creating Slideshows

One benefit of PowerPoint sections is that they function like headings in a word document.  In Word, if you hover your cursor over or next to a heading, a little arrow appears.  Clicking on that arrow “opens” or “closes” the content under that heading.  It toggles between showing and not showing what is under that heading.  That same arrow appears next to sections in the list of slides on the left side of the screen.  Click the arrow, and all the slides in that section are hidden.  Click the arrow again and they reappear. 

This is mostly useful as you are creating your slideshow, especially with lengthy presentations with many slides.  It helps you focus.  It’s also helpful for rearranging, as you can move one entire section and it’s slides together.

Benefits of Sections While Presenting or Sharing a Slideshow

But the main purpose of PowerPoint sections is for creating links within your slideshow to bounce from one section to another.  This is done through the Insert tab, under the links button.  It is another type of Zoom– a section zoom.

Click on Insert tab, then links, then zoom, then section zoom

When you create a link to a section zoom, the presentation skips ahead to the first slide in that section.  Once you create a section, you can also drag that section header onto a slide to create a zoom link from that slide to that section.

Linking a section zoom to a slide

As you progress through the slides from there, using the arrow keys or advancing slides on a handheld presenter, it goes through all the slides in that section, then returns to the slide you zoomed there from.

Section Links automatically lead back to the slide you zoomed from

You can then zoom to any other section if you have created a section zoom for them, or continue through the slides in order.

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