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I recently received a call from a customer who was having a problem creating hyperlinks in PowerPoint 2007. She had a slide which was, in essence, a table of contents in that it contained links to all the other slides in the presentation. However, there was one hyperlink that would not work.

She had selected the text to be used as the link and then selected Insert > Hyperlink. In the dialog box she selected the slide to be used as the link destination.

So far so good but the first indication that something was wrong was that the Preview box that displays a preview of the destination slide was blank. Nevertheless she clicked OK, but on testing the hyperlink, it did not work.

When I looked at the destination slide, the title contained a comma. I removed the comma and ran the Insert > Hyperlink process again. This time it worked.

Googling “Powerpoint hyperlink comma” confirmed my suspicions. Apparently PowerPoint uses a comma in its internal code when it references a slide and if the title contains a comma, PowerPoint gets confused.

If you must have a comma in the slide title, the suggested workaround is to create a copy of the title placeholder, leave the copy on the slide and drag the original placeholder off the slide. Delete the comma from the original placeholder.

However, my workaround is simpler: remove the comma, create the hyperlink…add the comma back in.

According to one of the sites that I looked at, this bug was first discovered in PowerPoint 97 and still exists!

To see a short video demonstration of the problem and suggested workaround, click below: