Custom Slideshow in PowerPoint

Usually used within a big presentation, a custom slideshow is a sequence of slides that expresses some exact idea or represents a particular subtopic. Custom slideshows can run by clicking on a hyperlink during presentation playback or be launched within the PowerPoint’s Slide Showtab, where you see the list of your custom shows.

How to create a Custom Slideshow

To create a Custom Slideshow in PowerPoint 2013

  1. Create or open a presentation that has more than one slide.
  2. Select the SLIDE SHOW tab.
  3. Click Custom Slide Show to expand the menu, and then select Custom Shows.
    PowerPoint > SLIDE SHOW > Custom Slide Show > Custom Shows
    Note: if you click on a show’s name above, this custom show will start playing back in PowerPoint.
  4. Click New to create a custom Show or Edit an existing one.
    The Custom Shows window in PowerPoint. Three shows are currently added.
  5. Give a distinctive name to your show, select the appropriate slides and click the Add button. Use the arrows on the right if you want to change the slide order in your custom show. Then click OK to apply changes.
    The Define Custom Show window in PowerPoint. Moving Slides in presentation to slides in custom show.

How to play a custom slideshow

To make a custom slideshow start on a hyperlink

  1. Right click on the text or shape and select Hyperlink.

    Right-click menu for a shape

  2. Select Place in This Document on the left-hand menu.

  3. Scroll down the list until you see Custom Shows and select the one you need (Custom Shows: Birds).

  4. Click OK to apply.

    The Edit Hyperlink window in PowerPoint. Set Place in This Document > Custom Show play on this link.

Tip: if you want to take the user back to the hyperlink menu after the custom show is ended, check Show and return in the Edit Hyperlink window. If you don’t check this option, the playback will end with the end of your custom show.

Custom Show Types

Let’s apply these ideas to real situations. Below, you can see two custom show types that can improve your presentation.

2 charts for different Custom Show types: Different Paths and More Info.

Type: Different Paths

The PowerPoint presentation file illustrating Different Paths concept.

A single presentation can be repurposed for different groups of people and provide each of them with the most suitable scenario.

The diagram above shows six slides that can be viewed in a row. However, the first slide contains a menu that lets you choose a particular path through the presentation.

If a viewer selects Link 1, the “red” sequence will be shown (Slides 2, 3 and 6).


In case the Link 2 is selected, the “blue” sequence will come up (Slides 4, 5 and 6).

Note: Custom slideshows may share some slides in common, like Slide 6 in this example.

Download Free PowerPoint Custom Slideshow Sample: Different Paths ↓

Type: More Info

The PowerPoint presentation file illustrating More Info concept.

If you want to add some explanatory sections (branches) to your presentation that may be opened only by clicking on a button, you can do it by applying a combination of hidden slides and custom slideshows.

In this diagram above, you can see a presentation that consists of six slides, but Slides 3 and 4 are hidden. These slides are grouped in a custom slideshow that can be activated by clicking on the More button.

To create a hidden custom slideshow

  1. Select one or more slides in the thumbnail column on the left.

  2. Right click on the selection and click Hide Slide.

    Right-click menu when selecting slides in a PowerPoint thumbnail's sidebar. Select Hide Slide.

  3. Go to SLIDE SHOW > Custom Slide Show and create a show from the hidden slides so you can use this additional descriptive branch.

Then assign a hidden custom show to a link

  1. Select an object (text, shape, picture, etc.) to assign a hyperlink.
  2. Right click and select Hyperlink.

  3. Select Place in This Document, then select a custom show that we have just created.

  4. Important: Check the Show and return option.

  5. Click OK.

    The Insert Hyperlink window. Check the Show and return option.

Download Free PowerPoint Custom SlideShow Sample: More Info ↓

Make a custom slideshow

Now that you can create custom shows and assign them to hyperlinks, let’s do a little practice. Download the sample presentation below and add custom slideshows to it.

Download Free PowerPoint Sample to create Custom Shows ↓

After you are done, publish your presentation with iSpring to a Web format and compare with the following result:

Posted in Presentation Tips & Tricks