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Looping Presentations - But not all of them!

This tutorial guides you through how to link different presentations together, but with the added advantage of being able to choose which presentations will loop continuously until you press the "Esc" key.
It's great for: looping tutorial

  • Having a looping presentation at the beginning of a show while the audience gets into a room. e.g. Advertisers logos looping until the presentation is ready to start
  • Telling the audience when the presentations will start
  • Keeping all the different presentations separate and at a manageable size
  • Avoiding the annoying black screens in between presentations like you get with the list (.LST) method using the powerpoint viewer
  • It doesn't require you to click on any hyperlinked buttons to call up any of the presentations, just press the "Esc" key to stop the looping presentation. Simple!
  • FREE Downloadable files available at the end to see how it's done
  • This is OUR original powerpoint looping tutorial - often imitated but never bettered


This technique works by having what we will call a show presentation. The show presentation effectively calls up all the other linked presentations and then displays them. The trick is to have a common slide that is identical on all the presentations. The common slide must be the very first and last slide of all the linked presentations. The linked presentations can be using any template, it simply doesn't matter. When you display the show presentation, powerpoint will display the common slide (from the show presentation), when it has displayed the common slide, it will then load up the next linked presentation and display it automatically, again it will show the common slide. This is how it makes it seamless. You don't have to click any buttons on the screen. You don't have to stop the presentation and load up the next one. Sounds complicated? Then follow this step by step tutorial:

Step by Step Tutorial:

1 For this tutorial we will create a directory / folder on our computer called C:\Tutorials\Looping t2-folde.GIF Looping
2 Put all your presentations in this directory. For this tutorial we will just have two presentations that we will link to, (Looping.ppt is the presentation that will loop, and linked01.ppt is the actual presentation) and our show presentation.
t2-3file.GIF files
3 Using powerpoint, save one of your presentations as "Show01.ppt". This is the presentation that will call up all the other presentations.
4 Make a common screen as the first slide in this presentation.
It's important that any background images are actually on this page and not on the "slide master".
It's also important that this slide is using the layout called "blank", as this helps powerpoint from re-formatting your common slide when you paste it into other presentations
t-common.jpg (32398 bytes) t-blank.gif (12512 bytes)
5 Now for the clever stuff!
Choose the Insert Menu, Click on Object and the following will appear
click object change from create new...
6 Click on Create from file and the following will appear
t2-c-fil.gif Looping Tip
7 Click on the "Browse" button and navigate to your first presentation that you want displayed when you run the show.
8 Click on your first presentation (in this case Looping.ppt) and click OK.
t2-brows.gif looping
9 Click on "Link" and you should see the following
t2-link.gif tutorial
10 Click on "Display as icon" and then click the "OK" button
t-d-icon.gif (1791 bytes)
11 The following icon will appear
t-ppticon.jpg (23603 bytes)
12 Click and drag the icon off to the edge of your page
t-dragof.jpg (15623 bytes)
13 You've successfully linked a presentation into your show presentation.
Now to tell powerpoint to display the linked presentation.
Right click the icon and select "Custom Animation"
t-custom.gif (6250 bytes)   t-c-menu.gif (20930 bytes)
14 Change the "Entry animation and sound" from "No Effect" to "Appear"
t-c-appe.gif (4329 bytes)
15 Click on the "Play Settings" tab, change the "Object action" from "Don't Play" to "Show"
t-c-show.gif (3742 bytes)
16 Click on the "Timing" tab, make sure that the "Start animation" is set to "Automatically" and "0" seconds after previous event. This way powerpoint will automatically load your linked presentation without any user intervention.
17 As an extra step you could add a note to yourself, again off the edge of the screen, just above the powerpoint icon. For example:
t2-notes.gif Looped Link
18 To link in the rest of your presentations. Copy this slide by choosing the "Insert" menu, and select "Duplicate Slide". Delete the powerpoint icon at the edge of the screen.
Repeat steps 5-17
19 For each linked presentation you must add the "common" slide as the first and last slide. So powerpoint will display the same slide when it jumps from each linked presentation and back to the "show01.ppt" presentation.
t-tptail.jpg (64289 bytes)
20 To make your "looping" presentation loop:

Choose the "Slide Show" menu, click on "Set Up Show", make sure "Loop continuously until Esc" is ticked.

Under "Advance Slide" tick "Use timings if present"

t2-setup.gif - i wish it was sunny today

21 To tell powerpoint how long to display each slide:

Choose the "Slide Show" menu, click on "Slide Transition", Under the "Advance" settings, Tick "automatically after x seconds":

Typically about
5 seconds is long enough to display a logo.
10 seconds for a couple of lines of text.
15 seconds for a page full of text.

Make sure the "On mouse click" is ticked also. This will give you to option of advancing the slides using the keyboard or mouse if you so require.

t2-advan.gif - today it is raining

22 Save It

That's it!

To display the actual show, all you need to do is load the file called "show01.ppt" and display it. Please note when you load the presentation powerpoint will display "this presentation contains links - Do you want to update them"...Always choose "Yes" to this question. Powerpoint will do the rest.

To stop the looping presentation just press "Esc" on the keyboard once and powerpoint will exit from the looping presentation back into show01.ppt. press the right cursor key/left mouse button to continue the presentation as you normally would and your into your next presentation.

Just use the mouse button or the right cursor key to move forward through the normal (non-looped) presentation. Remember that to move from a linked presentation to the next presentation you will have to click 3 times for powerpoint to display the next presentation.

The first click will move back to the "show01.ppt" presentation
The second click will move to the next slide in "show01.ppt", powerpoint will then automatically load the next presentation. So you may want to wait half a second before pressing for the 3rd click.
The third click will move from the "common" slide in the linked presentation to the first real slide.


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The following assumptions were made for this tutorial:

  • You are using powerpoint 97 or above. For powerpoint 2000 and XP the principle is the same except some of the menus will look slightly different.
  • All your presentations should have the page size set to "on-screen".
  • You have your presentations already made.
  • You can put your presentations in any folder you like, but to be on the safe side it's best if you replicate the directory structure on any computer you transfer the presentations to.
  • You can use filenames longer than the 8.3 convention

To download the files used in this tutorial right click the image below, then choose "Save target as" (IE), or "Save Link As" (Netscape).

Right click here to download the tutorial files
  • The file downloaded is a Zipped file which will need unzipping.
  • It contains all three files used in this tutorial. Filesize 0.4mb
  • It's important that you place the unzipped files in C:\Tutorials\Looping as this is where powerpoint will be looking for the files.
Have Fun!
Please Note: Although we have made every effort to check the files against viruses at all stages of production. It is always wise to run a virus checker on any software before running it. By Default! cannot accept responsibility for any loss, disruption or damage to your data or computer system which may occur while using either either the CD-Rom or downloaded files. It is assumed that by downloading the files you accept these conditions. Otherwise do not use the awesome backgrounds for powerpoint.

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