Adding a Clickable Callout to a PowerPoint

by Tammy Columbo
Christopher Robbins/Photodisc/Getty Images

Insert animated, clickable callouts in Microsoft PowerPoint presentation slides so when the user clicks on a designated area of the slide, a text bubble appears. To make the callout appear only when clicked, associate the callout with a trigger shape. Assign the trigger shape to an area on the screen that, when clicked, displays the callout instead of advancing to the next slide.

Step 1

Open the presentation to edit in Powerpoint and then click the first slide to contain a callout.

Step 2

Click “Basic Shapes” in the AutoShapes section of the Drawing tool.

Step 3

Click the desired shape for the trigger and then drag the shape onto the slide. Adjust the size of the shape by dragging the sides or corners of the shape to cover the desired area on the slide. The trigger should be large enough for the user to be able to find and click during the presentation. Note that the trigger will be invisible, so the shape will not cover up the artwork on the slide once the trigger is configured.

Step 4

Click the “Callouts” option in the AutoShapes section of the Drawing tool and then click a callout shape. Drag the shape to the slide and then drop the callout on top of the trigger shape. Adjust the callout shape, as desired.

Step 5

Click inside the callout shape and then type the text to show on the slide pop-up.

Step 6

Right-click the callout to reveal the context menu. Click the “Custom Animation” option in the context menu to open the Custom Animation control panel.

Step 7

Click the “Add Effects” drop-down box and then click “Entrance.” Click “More Effects.”

Step 8

Click the “Faded Zoom” option and then click “OK.” The effect is added to the Custom Animation pane.

Step 9

Click the effect to open the associated drop-down menu and then click “Timing” in the drop-down menu to open the Faded Zoom Timing dialog box.

Step 10

Click the “Start Effect on Click of:” radio button then click the name of the trigger shape in the drop-down menu. Click “OK” to save the settings and close the dialog box.

Step 11

Right-click on the trigger shape in the slide then click “Format AutoShape.”

Step 12

Slide the “Transparency” slide to “100%.” This setting will make the trigger shape 100 percent transparent. Click “OK” to save the settings.

Save the presentation then press “F5“ to test the slide. Click the trigger shape to test the callout.


  • Information in these steps applies to Microsoft PowerPoint 2013. Instructions may vary for other versions of the software.


Photo Credits

  • Christopher Robbins/Photodisc/Getty Images

About the Author

Based in the live music capital of the world, Tammy Columbo continues to work in the information technology industry as she has done for more than 10 years. While living in Austin, Columbo has contributed to high profile projects for the State of Texas, Fortune 500 technology companies and various non-profit organizations. Columbo began writing professionally in 2009.

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