How To Create An Interactive Quiz Using Powerpoint Masters

Simon Slangen 30-11-2010

create a quizPeople often wonder why Microsoft Powerpoint costs so much. After all, you can only create simple, linear ‘presentations’ with it. Wrong.


Microsoft Powerpoint is an immensely powerful suite, and can be used for much more than straightforward presentations. It can be used to create website mockups, and even interactive learning tools.

We’ll explore one example of this last category below; interactive quizzes. De facto applications that employ a functional, if simple, interface.


A slide master is the DNA that is used to create new slides. A slide stamp, so to speak, which determines how newly created slides will look. By default, the slide master is pretty boring, but we can change this to pretty much anything we want. We can even create multiple master slides with sub-layouts and change between them on the fly while we’re creating our presentation.

create a quiz


To open the Slide Master menu, go to View and select Slide Master. This changes the Powerpoint mode, so you’ll have to switch this back to normal before you’re able to actually create the presentation.

A Slide Master menu will be added to the top ribbon which you can use to add new master profiles and layouts. These will appear in the sidebar, as shown in the screenshot below. Slide Masters will appear independently and branch off into different layouts.


So how exactly are we planning to use the Slide Masters in our little quiz? We can use them to design different, recurring levels of the application, e.g. a main menu and different quiz categories.

create your own quiz


How To Create An Interactive Quiz Using Powerpoint Masters advance 0Using Slide Masters, we have to create the layout once, and can retain the category buttons in all subsequent slides. This will save us a lot of work now, and whenever we want to create an interactive presentation in the future.

Important! To make sure our quizzers won’t be able to advance by simply clicking elsewhere on the slide, you’ll have to disable the ‘Advance Slide on Mouse Click‘ option for every single Slide Master.

Button Actions

Buttons, much like in real applications and websites, allow us to navigate between different slides more freely than in the default linear matter. We can jump to and fro different slides, and even create clickable categories in our Slide Master.


It’s rather easy to link to a different slide. Select a piece of text or a shape with your right mouse, and click Hyperlink.


how to create a web quiz page

By default, this option allows you to link to a webpage. Select ‘Place in This Document’ in the left sidebar. This will allow for inter-presentation linking.

how to create a web quiz page

Hyperlinks allow you to create relative (e.g. next, previous slide) and absolute hyperlinks (i.e. pointing to a specific slide). We’ll be using both.


Creating The Quiz

We’re using the above two tools to create an interactive quiz.

First, create as many actual slides as you have categories. These don’t need to contain much, except maybe a text element for easy reference.

Masters & Categories

We’ll lay out the foundation, second. Select the first layout and design it to incorporate the major elements of your interface. These need to be consistent over the entire Powerpoint. I added the quiz title and links to every category. Point the category buttons to those slides you created before using a hyperlink.

how to create a web quiz page

If you want a custom design for each quiz category, copy and paste the layout as many times as you have categories. You can now adjust each layout as you see fit; the buttons will remain in working order. I created a colored text-box, matching the colors of my category buttons. Renaming them, also possible via right-click, will improve the overview.

Landing Pages & Sub-pages

Go back to normal mode, and put a new slide at the very start of your presentation. This will be your main landing page, which you can use to give advance information, point to the different categories, or initiate the quiz. Adjust it as you deem appropriate.

create your own quiz

You can change the layout of the existing category pages by using right-mouse -> Layout and selecting one of the designs you made earlier on.

create your own quiz

Subsequent slides can be added using the right layout by selecting them from the dropdown box below the New Slide button.

create a quiz

We’ve now got almost everything set to create our quiz. Simply add one additional slide to the end of your document. This will be the slide people get to see when they select the wrong answer. Make it universal, so do not relate to any one question. Add a button below that the user can click to return to the question(e.g. Try Again, or Go Back), but instead of creating a hyperlink, select Insert -> Action -> Hyperlink to: -> Last Slide Viewed.

A Quizzical Questionnaire

Make sure the questions appear per category and in running order. This allows us to use relative links.

Now, to add a question, create a page using the right categoric lay-out. Add as many additional media as you deem appropriate and as many possible questions as you feel like. All but one of these answers need to point to your wrong answer-slide with a hyperlink. The correct answer links to the next slide in sequence.

Do you know any other great uses for Powerpoint? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. OhGod
    February 16, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    All appears well in the land of the simplistic Powerpoint trainer worrking in theory-land rather than the real world.....

    Very soon, you will run out of hyperlink space. You didn't know that was a problem? Of course not, MS have only known about it for about 100 years, and never fixed it, and you'll only find out about it when you get to the end of a Foxtrot Oscar presentation with 300 slides. Something like a quiz, perhaps....

    Split the file up, they say... oh great, I now have to go through and re-link all 3,200 hyperlinks, because splitting the file trashes them.

    Try a macro, someone suggests. 3,200 macros? Really? Are you insane? That's even if you could find code that will actually work in presentation mode to jump to a named slide (no, not a hidden slide ID or other such clunky garbage). A method that allows you to insert slides and delete slides and have all these nice macros continuing to point to the right place afterwards.

    Powerpoint is the spawn of the Devil. No, I'm not a beginner, I've been forced to use it for years, and it's hard to use even after countless thousands of hours of effort. That, to me, is the perfect definition of crap software.

    Cut your losses, use interactive PDFs instead.

  2. Julie
    December 6, 2010 at 3:00 pm

    Know of any way to do this in Mac's Keynote? Or where I can find instructions? Thanks!

  3. Linky
    December 6, 2010 at 9:24 am

    Wow...It is a great tip for teachers to make a simple quiz. But I love to collect the student's answer and score. Then I have to make more budge for Wondershare Quizcreator and QMS.

  4. Samantha
    November 30, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Good post. Whenever I want to learn about PowerPoint I go to the rapid elearning blog. There's all sorts of tips like this plus he gives away everything he builds. Today he created an interactive tabbed notebook and provided an in depth tutorial.