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Convert commas in slide titles to a "safe" character to avoid hyperlink problems


When PowerPoint creates links from one slide to another, it includes several bits of information in the link and separates them with commas. Unfortunately, one of the bits of information is the title of the slide the link points to. If this title also includes a comma, PowerPoint will break the link.

Excel MVP Andy Pope came up with a brilliant suggestion: don't use commas. Use a character that LOOKS like a comma, ALT+0130.

But what if you have lots of slides to link and don't have TIME to replace all those characters manually? Read on ..


Run this macro on your presentation (or better yet, a COPY of your presentation). It will replace all commas in slide titles with an ALT+0130 (low quotation mark) character, which looks just like a comma to humans. The computer knows it's not a comma and so doesn't break your hyperlinks.

Note: This technique won't work with all fonts. Some fonts may have different characters at the 0130 position; for a quick test, click in the title of one of your slides, hold down the ALT key and type 0130 on the numeric keypad. If you don't get a comma-like character, your current font won't support this method.

Sub ReplaceCommas()
' With a deep bow to Andy Pope who thought this one up
' We're going to replace all commas in titles with ALT+0130,
' the "low quotation mark" character, which looks for all the world like a comma
' but doesn't mess up hyperlinks

    Dim oSl As Slide
    Dim oSh As Shape
    Dim oHl As Hyperlink
    Dim tmpText1 As String
    Dim tmpText2 As String
    Dim tmpText3 As String
    Dim tmpText4 As String

    For Each oSl In ActivePresentation.Slides
        Set oSh = SlideTitle(oSl)
        If Not oSh Is Nothing Then
            With oSh.TextFrame.TextRange
                .Text = Replace(.Text, ",", Chr$(130))
            End With
        End If

        ' fix up hyperlinks
        For Each oHl In oSl.Hyperlinks
            If oHl.Address = "" And oHl.SubAddress <> "" Then
                If InStr(oHl.SubAddress, ",") > 0 Then
                    ' .SubAddress looks like xx,yy,slide_title
                    ' get the text up to and including the first comma
                    tmpText1 = Mid$(oHl.SubAddress, 1, InStr(oHl.SubAddress, ","))
                    ' tmpText1 is now "xx,"

                    ' strip off the text we just grabbed
                    tmpText2 = Right$(oHl.SubAddress, Len(oHl.SubAddress) - Len(tmpText1)) ' yy,This is the old title
                    ' tmpText2 is now "yy,slide_title"

                    ' get the text up to and including the second comma
                    tmpText3 = Mid$(tmpText2, 1, InStr(tmpText2, ","))
                    ' tmpText3 is now "yy,"

                    ' strip off the text we just grabbed
                    tmpText4 = Right$(tmpText2, Len(tmpText2) - Len(tmpText3))
                    ' tmpText4 is now "slide_title"

                    ' replace original hyperlink with one w/o commas in title
                    oHl.SubAddress = tmpText1 & tmpText3 & Replace(tmpText4, ",", Chr$(130))

                End If
            End If
        Next oHl
    Next    ' slide

End Sub

Function SlideTitle(oSl As Slide) As Shape
' returns the title of a slide
    Dim oSh As Shape
    For Each oSh In oSl.Shapes
        If oSh.Type = msoPlaceholder Then
            If oSh.HasTextFrame Then
                If oSh.TextFrame.HasText Then
                    If oSh.PlaceholderFormat.Type = ppPlaceholderCenterTitle Or _
                        oSh.PlaceholderFormat.Type = ppPlaceholderTitle Then

                        ' found it
                        Set SlideTitle = oSh

                    End If
                End If
            End If
        End If
End Function

See How do I use VBA code in PowerPoint? to learn how to use this example code.

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Convert commas in slide titles to a "safe" character to avoid hyperlink problems
Last update 07 June, 2011