MacMost Now 560: Hyperlinks in iWork Keynote

Learn how you can add hyperlinks to text and graphics in Keynote. Links can jump to web pages or other slides in a presentation. You can also link to other presentations or create a link to send an email.

Video Transcript
Hi. This is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode, let me show you how to use hyperlinks inside of iWork Keynote. So here we've got a sample presentation in Keynote. And I've got a slide here that shows the names of some websites. Say I want these to actually link to the websites. So I would select the text and I would bring up the Inspector, press the Inspector button, and then I would go to the second-to-the-last tab, which is Hyperlinks, click on 'Enable Hyperlink', and I would set this text to link to a webpage. And then here I would simply type name of the website or exact page I want it to go to, and there I go. Now when I play this, and I click on that link, it will open Safari and take me to that page.
Now I may also want to use hyperlinks to link to something inside the presentation. So, say, instead of going linearly from the first slide to the last slide, I want to be able to jump around. And I've got a slide here that has a bunch of different topics, and these link to different slides. And each of these slides could actually be the beginning of a whole section of slides. So say I want this first one here to link to the next slide, Slide Number 4. I could enable it as a hyperlink, and have it go to a specific slide, and select Slide Number 4. Then this one here, I can select to go to Slide Number 5, etcetera, all the way down. So I can get to this slide on my presentation, perhaps talk to the audience a bit and decide I want to jump right here, and it would be able to jump right to that slide.
Now likewise, when I'm on a screen like this, I may want to jump back to the menu. So one of the things you can do to do that is create a little link back, create an extra text box, create a Back button, if you would, select it, enable it as a hyperlink, have it go to Slide Number 3, which is that menu slide. Now when I go to the menu and play, I can jump to the second topic there. And then there's the Back button. I can click that and jump back.
So in addition to using a piece of text, like this word Back here, I can use shapes as well. So I can, say, take an arrow here. I'll turn it around, so it's like a little Back arrow. And I can enable this as a hyperlink, and have it go to a specific slide, just like the text.
In addition, any hyperlink can also go to the next slide, previous slide, so you can kind of create your own Back and Forward buttons, jump to the first or last slide, or go to the last slide viewed, a Back button. So you can have, say, a slide that's kind of a footnote, or definition for something in there, that's accessed by many different places inside of your slideshow and then include this Back button, so they always go back to their last place they were.
Now another thing you can do is you can link to a completely different keynote presentation. So, say, each one of these goes to a different presentation, or perhaps this third menu item here should go to a whole new set of slides. So I can have it linked to a keynote slideshow, and then it'll ask me to select a file. And I can have it jump to that. So you can link together different keynote presentations using this.
Another thing you could do is have it generate an e-mail message. So, say, on this last slide here, I can select 'Send Me an Email', enable its hyperlink, and then e-mail message, and then I get to set the To field, Subject field, and what the text is displayed there. And when you run this, it will launch the default e-mail client and start a message. So this is not usual when you're giving a presentation to a lot of people, but if you give people the presentation to take home and they play it to run through the slides, they can then click on this link and send you an e-mail. Because, of course, not all keynote presentations are given in front of an audience. Sometimes you create one and distribute it. So these links to different web pages and also to create an e-mail message could be important then. Hope you found this look at hyperlinks in Keynote useful.

Comments: 24 Responses to “MacMost Now 560: Hyperlinks in iWork Keynote”

    Lorne Chapman
    6/2/11 @ 12:26 pm

    Just wanted to say thanks. I need to organize a complex Keynote presentation and a few minutes watching your video gave me all I needed. Your site has become the “Go To” site for many “How To” questions I have personally and get asked by others. Saves a lot of time in old style manuals. Great job.

    Flora C
    7/22/11 @ 8:51 am

    Hi Gary! Your video was very helpful. We are wondering if there is a way to keep links linked to their prospective slides even if you add and shuffle them around? Is there an easy way to relink everything? Or do you have to manually do it like in ppnt, which is a HUGE pain in the patootie? We are developing a complex presentation with many hyperlinks, and now we found out a member of our team wants flexibility to add slides if need be. This may screw everything up, right? Help! I need some solutions quick or all our hard work till now will go out the window. They are ready to just make us redo it in ppnt.

      7/22/11 @ 8:53 am

      I believe the link should remain intact even if you move the slides. That makes the most sense. Have you tried it? Try a simple presentation with a few slides and see.

        Flora C
        7/22/11 @ 10:28 am

        Thank you, we will! Will let you know. Don’t know if others have had similar issues or concerns. Nice site BTW!

    11/4/11 @ 11:27 pm


    why when I use the hyperlink I loose the keynote presentation?? I tried it many times and each I use the hyperlink to a webpage I loss the keynote presentation and have to open it again from my computer? Any suggestion to what to do to avoid that??
    Thank you

      11/5/11 @ 8:36 am

      So it switches to your browser and then you have to switch back to Keynote to continue with the presentation. Sounds like that is the natural way it should work.

    11/5/11 @ 3:34 pm

    how do you switch back to keynote? the back button is disabled! so I can’t go back unless close the window and open the keynote presentation from the beginning.
    Thank you for your help

      11/5/11 @ 5:10 pm

      The back button in your browser would only go back to the previous web page (which there isn’t one). You can use your Dock, or Command+Tab or a variety of other methods to go back to Keynote. Or just Command+H to hide Safari and reveal Keynote under it, etc.

    11/5/11 @ 8:57 pm

    I tried command+tab and command +H didn’t work but the dock worked! thank you so much for your help

      tonya t
      8/20/12 @ 12:20 am

      Thanks for your answer Gary…you saved me at 2:19 AM. You rock.

    Robert L. Poland
    5/14/12 @ 3:54 pm

    I’m trying to create a link that includes a # symbol. Keynote changes it to %23 and fails to connect. Is there a cure?
    OS 10.7.4

    11/23/12 @ 7:57 am

    Can I link to a different presentation in keynote on my ipad – don’t appear to have that option….

      11/23/12 @ 8:17 am

      No, I’m pretty sure that isn’t an option on the iPad.

        11/25/12 @ 8:34 am

        Thanks Gary, that’s too bad…

    1/23/13 @ 10:56 am

    Gary, is there a way in Keynote to click on a hyperlink in your presentation, and when you go back to the menu slide, could that hyperlink change colors or disappear?

    2/28/13 @ 8:08 am

    Hi Gary, I wonder if you could help. I’ve created a Keynote Presentation tow work with only hyperlinks..however the animations that are activated by clicking are no longer responsive, so don’t work. Is there some way to make this work?

      2/28/13 @ 8:15 am

      Hard to say what could be wrong without investigating it first-hand. If they worked at one point, and now no longer work, think of what you did in between and start there. Or, try to re-create those slides and see at what point the animation stops working.

    Rich Pomerantz
    3/1/13 @ 11:51 am

    Hi Gary – When I try to insert a hyperlink in the inspector url area (with my text highlighted in the slide and with webpage selected in the menu in the inspector) I can’t. A url appears there “” which I cannot delete to insert my chosen url. Any ideas?


      3/1/13 @ 12:06 pm

      Hard to say. Try some things: Try it again. Try it with some other text. Try re-creating the text field. Try restarting Keynote.

        Rich Pomerantz
        3/1/13 @ 2:20 pm

        Hi Gary – Thanks for the quick reply. I had tried all three of those ideas before I contacted you. None of them make any difference. I also created a new keynote show & tried it in that with the same result. It is programmed to have “” in the url field when the webpage is chosen as the link location in navigator. I need to get rid of that. Have you ever seen or heard of that before? I am in keynote ’09.

          3/1/13 @ 2:54 pm

          I’ve heard of that field being finicky, but never experienced it myself. Maybe get someone else to take a first-hand look.

    Rich Pomerantz
    3/1/13 @ 4:15 pm

    I’m taking it to an apple store Monday; maybe someone there will know what it is. Thanks.

Comments Closed.