Prevent Mouse-clicks from Advancing Slides

Created: Friday, June 19, 2009, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 11:19 am

I got this question from someone who works in a institution that has students with disabilities: How can I set up PowerPoints so that when the mouse is held down, the slides do not trip through whole presentation. I work with students with disabilities who sometimes find this difficult.

The answer is to change the mode in which PowerPoint plays the presentation. You can access the settings to make these changes through the Set Up Slide Show dialog box, accessed differently depending upon the version of PowerPoint you use:

  • PowerPoint 2007 and later users can select the Slide Show tab of the Ribbon, and click the Set Up Slide Show button.
  • PowerPoint 2003 and previous versions’ users can choose the Slide Show | Set Up Show option.

Either way, you end up bringing up the Set Up Show dialog box that you can see in Figure 1, below.

Set Up Show
Figure 1: Set Up Show

At the top right of this dialog, you’ll need to select the Browsed by an individual (window) option — and you can also decide whether you want the Show scrollbar option checked. Click OK when done, and save your presentation.

Here are some thoughts, caveats, and observations to be aware of:

  1. Choosing this option means you don’t get to play your PowerPoints in absolute full screen show mode — there will be a title bar visible.
  2. You can still use the keyboard to navigate to the next and previous slides. In fact, all keyboard commands will work.
  3. The settings to enable this play mode, as explained above work only with the active presentation, and is saved within the presentation. You’ll have to enable these settings for each presentation you want to not advance with mouse-clicks.

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