How to Run a Program from a PowerPoint Presentation Directly

Power Point Logo

In the past we have shown you few tricks that can help you deliver presentations smartly. A few among them were how to

integrate a website to a slide

, how to

insert YouTube videos

and how to

zoom in and out of slides

in presentation mode.

Today we are set to discover yet another trick that can save you time during a presentation and prevent the audience from being distracted. Sometimes you may want to execute a program so that you can show real-time examples of whatever you are presenting. Generally, you would escape the presentation mode, go back to your desktop, search for the program and then run it. Definitely not the best way. We will show you how to do that from a slide in presentation mode.

Here we go.

Steps to Include Program Execution in PowerPoint Slide

This tutorial is based on PowerPoint 2013. We will start off with a fresh presentation and I’d suggest you try it out while reading this.

Step 1: Create a slide with some text or object on it. Here, is a sample slide.

Test Slide E1364831640109

Step 2: Select the text or the object that you would want to use as a trigger point.

Step 3: Keeping the object/text selected, navigate to Insert tab. Under the Links section, select Action.

Power Point Action

Step 4: That will bring up the Action Settings window. Select a tab – Mouse Click or Mouse Over – based on the action gesture you prefer. Both of them have the same options under it.

Action Settings Mouse Over
Action Settings Mouse Click

Step 5: We took the Mouse Click action for this example. Select Run Program radio button and browse for the desired program to be run.

Step 6: Navigate to the required program on the file explorer and select its exe file. For example, firefox.exe.

Select Run Program E1364831812124

Note: You may additionally provide a parameter that you want the application to open with. Example, C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe was my complete action mapping.

That’s it, you are done. When in presentation mode, you can easily launch the program from your slide without having to navigate off the presentation. You might get a security warning while doing that. There is nothing to worry about in giving it a go.

Security Warning

Note: The program will not be integrated to the presentation. Rather, it would be run externally. So, if you plan to present using a different machine, be sure of the application’s path.


This is the best way to give an object an action to carry out in a presentation. Within the same space you can give more importance to each object that is embedded in it. Nice way to garner some more applauds, no?

Try it out for your next meeting and experience the difference it makes. Share your views in the comments section.

Last updated on 02 February, 2022

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