How to Add an HTML Object to PowerPoint

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An HTML object in your PowerPoint allows you to open a webpage in your presentation.
Image Credit: 10'000 Hours/DigitalVision/GettyImages

There are two ways to add HTML files to a PowerPoint presentation. One way is to link to the file using a hyperlink attached to text, pictures or shapes within the slide. When you click on the linked text or object, the file opens in a Web browser window. The second way is to embed the file as an object.

Benefits and Drawbacks

Linked objects are great when the presentation will always stay on your computer, or if you're linking to HTML files on the Internet. The drawback comes when you're linking to an HTML file on your computer and want to move the presentation – you need to move the HTML file, too.

When you embed HTML in PowerPoint as an object, that file is copied into the presentation PPT file. The benefit of this is that you only have the one PPT file to move. However, in PowerPoint 2013, an embedded HTML file is only clickable in editing mode, so it's not clickable in a slide show unless you also make the object's icon a hyperlink. Of course, adding that hyperlink negates the only benefit of embedding that object in the first place.

If you're a novice PowerPoint user, it would probably be best to use hyperlinks only. If you're an advanced user, you may want to experiment with embedding HTML code in PowerPoint as an object, depending upon your needs.

Step 1: Insert the Desired Object

Click the Insert tab and then select the kind of object you want to add to the slide, including a Picture from your computer, an Online Picture from Bing Image Search or a Shape. Drag the object into position on the slide and resize it as needed by dragging any corner.

Alternatively, you can highlight any text in the slide to turn that into a link.

Right-click the object. Select Hyperlink from the drop-down menu. The Insert Hyperlink window opens.

Step 3: Add the URL

Type or paste a Web address, also called a URL, in the Address field if you want to link to a Web page on the Internet. To link the object to an HTML file on your computer, locate that file using the Look In menu. Click OK.

Note that if you are linking to an HTML file on your computer, put that file and its resource folder in the same folder you're using to store the PowerPoint file. Then, if you need to move the PowerPoint file, you can move the entire folder without losing the linked HTML file.

Test the link by clicking the Slide Show icon and then click on the linked object or text. A Web browser window opens in front of the slide displaying the HTML page.

Embed HTML Code in PowerPoint

Step 1: Insert an Object

Click the Insert tab and then click the Object icon, located beside the WordArt icon.

Step 2: Select the File

Click the Create From File option, then click Browse to locate the HTML file. Click the Display as Icon check box. If you want to change the icon, or change the icon's description, click the Change Icon button. Click the Link button only if you want the embedded file in the slide to change whenever you modify the original HTML file.

Step 3: Place the HTML Object

Drag the object icon anywhere you want it to appear on the slide. If you click the icon while in Editing mode, it will open the HTML page in a Web browser window. However, it will not be clickable in Slide Show mode. If you do want the object to be clickable in Presentation mode, then right-click the object, select Hyperlink and then select the destination file once again.

Keep in mind that HTML files often have resources, like images and formatting data, in a folder separate from the file itself. This source material is not embedded into the PowerPoint slide. Consequently, if you move the PowerPoint file to another computer or send it as an email attachment, it will only display the base HTML file, not the source. It will lose access to those resources.