Easy PowerPoint Zoom Tutorial (Free Templates & Examples)

Sara Wanasek

Sara Wanasek

Easy PowerPoint Zoom Tutorial (Free Templates & Examples)

Tired of navigating your slides in a chronological order? Looking for ways to spice up the way you interact with your presentation and engage your audience?

Transform your boring presentations into something more engaging and captivating with PowerPoint’s Zoom feature. PowerPoint Zoom allows you to create dynamic, non-linear presentations. Think of it as building a Prezi inside PowerPoint. Jump from one point in your presentation to the next seamlessly by creating links to the different sections of your presentation.

By utilizing PowerPoint’s Slide Zoom, Section Zoom, and Summary Zoom, you can easily create an entertaining and engaging presentation for your audience. There are many different ways to add these to your presentation, so read on to learn how to use PowerPoint Zoom and implement it in the best ways!

What is PowerPoint Zoom?

PowerPoint’s Zoom feature is a tool that allows you to create interactive PowerPoint presentations. It enables you to zoom in and out of specific sections or slides, creating a more dynamic and immersive experience for your audience. With PowerPoint Zoom, you can easily create links or “zoom areas” on your slides such that when clicked during a presentation, can allow you to navigate to specific slides or sections and focus on the content that is most relevant at any given time—there’s no need to be stuck with whatever slide is chronologically next.

powerpoint zoom example

Why Use PowerPoint Zoom?

PowerPoint Zoom lets you present in a more flexible and interactive way. For instance, you can create a dynamic menu that allows your audience to help you choose which topics to cover first. With just a click, you can jump to that slide or section and relay that information.

PowerPoint Zoom is also particularly useful for storytelling, guiding your audience through a series of complex information without being restricted to a traditional linear slide progression.

No need for hyperlinks, tedious work, or coding—PowerPoint Zoom allows for a seamless setup and flow of your presentation.

Let’s dive right in and discover how to make a zoom effect in PowerPoint!


How to Make a Zoom Effect in PowerPoint?

PowerPoint’s Zoom feature consists of three different options: Slide Zoom, Section Zoom, and Summary Zoom. While their setups are similar, the reasons for using each one vary.

To access the Zoom feature, click on the Insert tab in the PowerPoint ribbon -> Zoom -> then choose Slide, Section, or Summary Zoom.
How to Make a Zoom Effect in PowerPoint?

Below we will delve into each of these PowerPoint Zoom options in depth.

Download our FREE PowerPoint Zoom template to follow along! 👇

Slide Zoom

When to use Slide Zoom? ⏲️

Slide Zoom, as the name suggests, allows you to create links and “zoom in” on the content of another slide without following the traditional slide-to-slide progression. This comes in especially handy when you want to direct your audience’s attention to a particular image, chart, or piece of information on a slide instantly.

How to use Slide Zoom? 💻

1. Select the Main Starting Slide: To use PowerPoint Slide Zoom, first select the starting slide where you intend to apply the Zoom effect. In our example, we are using the Iceberg Model illustration as our starting slide. We want to zoom into the different description slides from our Iceberg Model slide.

2. Access the Slide Zoom Feature: Next, click Insert > Zoom > Slide Zoom. From here, choose the slide, or slides, that you want to zoom into. Click Insert and a thumbnail or thumbnails of the slides will appear on your current slide.

powerpoint slide zoom
TIP: Click and drag the slide you want to zoom into from the viewer on the left onto your current slide to as a shortcut!

3. Rearrange the Thumbnails: Rearrange the thumbnails on your slide to match your design and layout.

4. Test the Slide Zoom: Now, in presentation mode, when you click on the slide thumbnails, you can zoom into the particular slides!

With a smooth Slide Zoom effect, you will notice that transitioning from slide to slide has become significantly more engaging!

Zoom Option: Zoom Background

Zoom Background

Notice the thick outline of each slide you added to Zoom? Let’s remove that for a cleaner, more professional look on your slides. 

To do that, click on the added Zoom slide thumbnail, then click the Zoom tab in the PowerPoint ribbon. Now, click on the Zoom Background option to hide the default background and match the background of the thumbnail to the background of your current slide.

Zoom Option: Return to Zoom

Another customizable option is the Return to Zoom feature.

Return to Zoom

With the current setup of Slide Zoom, once you click on the Zoom thumbnail and navigate to the zoomed in slide, you cannot return to the main starting slide. In other words, you will move on to the next slide in a linear order, with essentially an added zoom transition.

On the other hand, by applying Return to Zoom, you will be brought back to your main starting slide every time instead. This way you can click change the order of your slides. For example, with Return to Zoom enabled, when I can click on next slide after clicking on the “Phase #3 The Structure” slide, I will be brought back to the main starting slide instead of the “Phase #4 Mental Models” slide.

Return to Zoom

To make this happen, after selecting each of your Zoom slide thumbnails, simply click on the Return to Zoom option from the Zoom tab. 

Section Zoom

When to use Section Zoom? ⏲️

While Slide Zoom allows you to zoom into one slide at a time, Section Zoom allows you to zoom into a specific section containing multiple related slides of your presentation. This is especially helpful for longer presentations or presentations with multiple topics. 

How to use Section Zoom? 💻

Here, we have a deck about the Solar System. Each planet has its own section with a couple slides underneath each section. Our main slide has an overview of the whole Solar System. In this case, I would like to be able to click on a planet, then be able to learn more about that planet. You can easily do this with Section Zoom!

Section Zoom

1. Select the Main Starting Slide: Similar to PowerPoint Slide Zoom, you have to select a starting slide where you intend to apply the Zoom effect for Section Zoom. Here we are using the Solar System slide as our main starting slide where we can zoom into the different planet sections.

2. Access the Section Zoom Feature: On the overview slide, click Insert > Zoom > Section Zoom. Then choose the sections you would like to Zoom into and click Insert. The thumbnails of the first slide of each section will appear in your current slide.

3. Rearrange the Thumbnails: Rearrange the thumbnails on your slide to match your design and layout.

Zoom Option: Change the Image

Don’t like how the different thumbnails are making your slide looks cluttered, fret not, you can change the thumbnail image of your slides for easier viewing. 

To do this, right-click on the zoom slide thumbnail and select Change Image. Then, substitute it with an image or screenshot from your device. For instance, you can take screenshots of the different segments in your slide to “hide” the zoom slide thumbnails underneath these screenshots.

TIP: You can save the planets as images and replace the Zoom thumbnails with the saved images to make your slide looks more natural. 

Now, when you enter presentation mode, instead of clicking z zoom slide thumbnail, you can click on a planet to zoom into a desired section! Watch this video to learn exactly how to do it! 

Summary Zoom

When to use Summary Zoom? ⏲️

The third and final PowerPoint Zoom feature is Summary Zoom. It lets you create a summary or overview slide that acts as a hub for your presentation. It is perfect for those times when you want to give your audience a quick recap or provide them with a visual roadmap of your presentation.

Similar to Section Zoom, Summary Zoom contains links to specific sections or slides in your presentation, allowing you to navigate to the most relevant parts of your presentation. The main distinction lies in the fact that the Summary Zoom feature will automatically generate a summary slide containing thumbnails of each section or slide for your convenience.

How to use Summary Zoom? 💻

1. Select the Main Starting Slide: Similar to both PowerPoint Slide Zoom and Section Zoom, you have to select a starting slide where you intend to apply the Zoom effect for Summary

2. Access the Summary Soon Feature: To use PowerPoint Summary Zoom, click Insert > Zoom > Summary Zoom. This will create a new slide that displays a summary of your presentation, with thumbnails of each slide.

3. Customize Appearance: You can customize the appearance of the Summary Zoom slide by selecting the Format tab. Here, you can choose from various layouts, fonts, and colors to make the slide visually appealing and aligned with your presentation’s theme.

During your presentation, easily navigate to any slide by clicking on the different Zoom slide thumbnails. It’s a great way to give your audience an easy-to-follow roadmap and ensure they stay engaged and focused throughout your presentation.

Read this Expert Guide to Interactive PowerPoint for more expert tips and ways to add non-linear transitions to your PowerPoint presentations. 

Real-World PowerPoint Zoom Examples to Engage Your Audience

Here are some real-life examples of how to use PowerPoint Zoom to create engaging and immersive presentations: 

  1. Sales Pitch

Create interactive slides with zoomed-in images and key features for your products or services. By allowing the audience to explore products in detail, you can generate more interest and engagement during a pitch.

  1. Educational Lecture with Organised Sections

Similar to our Solar System deck, you can organize your presentation into sections so that students can go through the presentations at their own pace starting with what interests them the most.

Add interactive questions to the presentation using ClassPoint, to make it even more engaging. 

  1. Team Meeting Roadmap

Create an engaging team meeting with Summary Zoom. Highlight key milestones and deliverables in a visual and clear roadmap to help the team stay focused and engaged throughout the meeting.

  1. Interactive Visuals 

Use maps and charts as your overview slide and add zoom slide thumbnails of added information to showcase further data, information, and analytics. 

  1. Virtual Tours or Walkthroughs

Simulate a virtual tour or walkthrough using images on your slides. Add the Zoom feature to replicate “moving” from one “location” to another.

PowerPoint Zoom FAQ

Here are some common FAQ’s about this powerful tool:

What are the differences between the PowerPoint Zoom Options? 

Slide Zoom zooms from one slide to the next while Section Zoom zooms into a whole section of your presentation before bringing you back to the overview slide. The Summary Zoom option provides you with a Table-of-Contents-like slide for an easy overview of your whole presentation. 

How to make Prezi in PowerPoint? 

You can make a PowerPoint that looks similar to Prezi with PowerPoint’s Zoom feature. With your selected slide to Zoom into, click on the Insert tab, Zoom, and select Slide, Section, or Summary Zoom.

Can I use PowerPoint Zoom on any version of PowerPoint?

PowerPoint Zoom is available on PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2016, and PowerPoint for Microsoft 365. Make sure you have the latest version to take advantage of this feature.

Will my audience need any special software to view the Zoom features?

No, your audience does not need any special software. The Zoom features will work seamlessly when you present your PowerPoint file on any device with PowerPoint installed.

Can I use Zoom in combination with other PowerPoint animations and transitions?

Yes, you can! PowerPoint Zoom works well with other animations and transitions, allowing you to create a truly immersive and engaging presentation.

Can I edit or remove Zoom features from my presentation?

Absolutely! You can easily edit or remove Zoom features from your presentation at any time. Just follow the steps outlined in this blog post to make any necessary changes.

Yay! You now can create an even more engaging presentation with PowerPoint’s Zoom feature. 

The versatility and impact of PowerPoint Zoom can be used in various settings. By incorporating this feature into your presentations, you can captivate your audience, enhance information retention, and create a memorable experience for your listeners. 

Experience the power of PowerPoint Slide Zoom firsthand! Begin by exploring our templates and seamlessly integrate this feature into your upcoming presentations.

Sara Wanasek

About Sara Wanasek

Sara Wanasek is a PowerPoint expert with a deep understanding of education technology tools. She has been writing for ClassPoint for over 3 years, sharing her knowledge and insights in educational technology and PowerPoint to teachers. Her passion extends beyond writing, as she also shares innovative ideas and practical presentation tips on ClassPoint's YouTube channel. If you are looking for innovative ideas and practical tips to elevate your presentations as well as the latest trends in educational technology, be sure to check out it out for a wealth of insightful content.

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