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How to Create an Index in PowerPoint

PowerPoint doesn’t have a built in feature for creating a traditional clickable index like you’d find in a book.

Method 1: Manually Create a Table of Contents

This is the most common and straightforward method.

New Slide: Create a new slide at the beginning of your presentation and title it “Index” or “Table of Contents”.

Slide List:

  • Manually list the titles of your important slides.
  • Format this list for readability (font size, spacing, etc.).

Hyperlinks:

  • Highlight each slide title on the index slide.
  • Go to Insert –> Link (or press Ctrl + K).
  • In the “Link to” section select “Place in This Document”.
  • Choose the corresponding slide from the list and click “OK”.

Method 2: Leverage Slide Master for Visuals

This adds a thumbnail of each slide with a link, good for visual cues.

Slide Master: Go to View –> Slide Master.

New Master Slide: Create a new layout. This can be a copy of your main layout.

Placeholders:

  • Insert a Text Box placeholder and label it “Slide Title”.
  • Insert an Image or Content placeholder for the slide thumbnail.

Edit Each Slide:

  • Go back to the normal view of your slides. Each slide will have an option to use the layout you created in Slide Master.
  • Apply the new layout to the slides you want in your index.
  • Fill in the title and add a small screenshot image of the slide.

Link Thumbnails: Highlight the slide thumbnail –> Insert –> Link –> Place in This Document –> Choose the corresponding slide.

Method 3: Notes Section (Hidden but Functional)

Slide Notes: Type slide title and slide number into the Notes section of each slide.

Print with Notes: To view this makeshift “index”, print your presentation with Notes Pages included.

Other Tips

Navigation Buttons: Add “Previous Slide” and “Next Slide” buttons to your index slide for convenience and better flow.

Update Maintenance: If you make significant changes to your slide order or titles, remember to update your index.

Important: These methods don’t offer a fully automated, clickable index that updates as you edit the presentation as you might find in software like Word.

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