• open panel

Zoom – PowerPoint’s Answer to Prezi? Valuable New Tool? You Make the Call!



By Kelly Vandever


So the last time you were hanging out on the Insert tab of PowerPoint 2016, did you happen to look at the Links group? Have you noticed the new comer? Yes, that’s right, there’s a new link available called Zoom! One of the newest features in PowerPoint!

Not to be confused with Zoom when in presentation mode and you zoom in for a closer look at the slide. Or the Zoom In on bottom right status bar. No, this Zoom creates an image of a slide, then hyperlinks to that slide.

Three Different Ways to Zoom


Zoom summary creates a new slide from which you can go back and forth to other slides or slide sections within a presentation. Or you can add a zoom to a section or to individual slides.

Zoom Summary

To create a Summary Zoom, go to the Insert tab, the Links group, and click on Zoom, then Summary Zoom.


If you read the directions across the top, you’ll notice it automatically selects the beginning slide in each section. You can also select any other slide and a new section will be created for the Summary Zoom.

At the bottom left of the Insert Summary Zoom window, you’ll want to leave checked, Keep unused sections in your presentation (unless you WANT to lose unused sections!)

Then click Insert.


You’ll see a new summary slide with the slide images of the first slide of each section neatly arranged to fit on the slide. You’ll also see a title placeholder box along the top. And if you look at the thumbnail pane, you’ll notice the Summary Slide is its own section now.

PowerPoint Zoom Options

When in Slide Show mode, clicking on the image of the slide will make a zooming motion that will take you to the first slide in that slide section (hence the Zoom hyperlink style). You have to go through all the slides in that section. After viewing the last slide in a section, you will automatically be returned to the summary slide.

Can select which ever slide section to jump to that you want, but you will always return to summary slide at end. If you click to go to the next slide, you’ll go to the next section of slides on the Summary Zoom slide. Once you go through all the sections, the slide show will end.

Why Use a Zoom Link?

One of the criticism of PowerPoint is that you have to present linearly. In theory, with this new function, you could start on a summary slide and then go directly to the topic that the audience wants to talk about.

This could be especially useful if you have a mixed audience and you’re not sure what they want to talk about. Or it could be helpful if you have a limited amount of time and you want to leave it to the audience to choose what topic will be discussed.

Zoom Section

The second Zoom option is Zoom Section.

You’ll be show the sections that exist in the presentation. Select the slides you want to zoom to and click Insert.

Instead of a new slide, the images of the first slide in the sections will be inserted onto the slide where you clicked the Insert/Zoom/Zoom Section. The images are cascaded on the slide.


You probably will want to rearrange the images so that you can see the slide images clearly. If you go into slide show view, you’ll see that like the Summary Zoom, when you click on the image, you zoom to the first slide of the section. Once you finish progressing through all the slides in the section, you will again be returned to the slide with the Zoom Sections images.

Unlike with the Summary Zoom slide where when you’re done progressing through the Zooms, the presentation ends, with the Section Zoom, you can advance to the slide that follows the slide where the images reside.

Zoom Slide

The final option is Zoom Slide.

You’ll be provided a list of slides that you can choose. Again the images will be cascaded onto the slide you were on when you chose the Zoom Slide option.


You’ll want to rearrange the slides so they can be seen. When you click on one of the images, you will again zoom to the slide. But unlike the other options, you do not automatically return to the slide where the link was. In other words, the link take you directly to the slide but there’s not return.

Let the Zoom Experiment Begin!

My plan is to experiment with this new Zoom option when I’m running a program where I want the audience to decide what they want to talk about.

Any ideas on how you might use zoom??? We’d love to hear about them below in the comments!

Happy Zooming Y’all!

Kelly Vandever is a leadership and communications expert who helps leaders and organizations thrive in today’s attention-deficit, entertain-me-now, wait-while-I-post-that-on-Facebook world. Learn how opening up and speaking practically can bring you better business results. Connect Kelly by phone at 770-597-1108, email her at Kelly.Vandever @ SpeakingPractically.com or tweet her @KellyVandever.

Craig Hadden
Craig Hadden

This sounds really useful. My project is for a regular online session for new-hires where I work. I want to include *meaningful* interaction, and polling people about which section they’d like to look at next is one good option.

Unfortunately I don’t have PPT 2016 though! So instead of Zoom, I’m thinking of adding hyperlinks manually. Or perhaps adding hyperlinked icons to the master slide.

Thanks for the post, anyway!


@Craig Hadden Sorry you don't have a chance to try out the new feature yet.  Hyperlinks are a good way to go.  Best of luck!