PowerPoint is evil, part 5423

by Volker Weber

I had to troubleshoot another problem with PowerPoint today. Juan has created a very elaborate tutorial with lots of hyperlinks in PowerPoint. He was complaining that the presentation loses those hyperlinks after he saved and reloaded the file. It turns out that Microsoft knows about this problem:


If you add or make a change to a hyperlink setting in a large PowerPoint presentation, the changes that you made are not retained when you reopen the file.


PowerPoint stores the hyperlink information in the Document Summary storage area of the presentation. This storage area has a limit of 64 KB. The Document Summary storage contains all the document properties, custom properties, references, and other similar data.

Because the Document Summary storage is used by different aspects of the presentation, there is a finite number of hyperlinks that can be stored in presentation. This is compounded by the fact that the longer the text is for a hyperlink that you have to store, the fewer you can store.

Theoretically you can store upward of 32 KB of characters in the Document Summary, which translates to approximately 6,500 words. More than half of this is already allocated to dedicated Document Summary items. After the free space is used, no more can be allocated to the presentation.

So PowerPoint renders the whole tutorial useless. Needless to say that this limitation has not been fixed in PowerPoint 2002 or the new version that came out this week.

And adding insult to injury: PowerPoint does not tell you that it is throwing away your hyperlinks.


Time to switch to Keynote w/OS X?

idji, 2003-10-23

I have done that already. And now that I am getting a mobile mac and can use it for presentations as well.

Volker Weber, 2003-10-23

Thanks for the technical tip on the Hyperlink overload in Powerpoint. I am glad to see someone documented what causes it, and that I am not "crazy"


Cristi, 2004-09-17

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