8 Steps to Adding a Dropdown Menu to a LibreOffice Impress

Adding a dropdown menu to a primary or introductory slide is a good way to give viewers a bit of control over a self-running presentation. You can spend a lot of time programming objects, or you can use animation (gif). The latter is easier to implement and does not require the skill level that programming does.

The technique is simple really, you combine Rectangles to build a dropdown menu type group. Then, you add a bit of animation so that the dropdown menu’s submenus seem to drop down from a main menu when clicked. The example in this article, which you can build in 8 easy steps, is simple by design, so as not to confuse the technique with the possibilities.


Step 1

The first step is to design the menu dropdown. If the presentation is complex enough, you might use different software. For most of us, pen and paper will do. The point is to allow users to choose a specific slide or a subset of slides to view instead of forcing them to sit through a linear presentation. That means the menu must clearly represent the direction or subset.

Menu items can have submenus, and those submenus can have submenus, but simple is best. If you truly need submenus, consider creating a main menu slide that links to a choice of submenus, rather than trying to fit them all onto one slide. You will need a clean slide for your main menu and in most cases, it will be the first slide in the presentation.
Open LibreOffice Impress → Delete all unused element.


Step 2

To this slide, add an Rectangle for the main menu by choosing Rectangle, Rounded from the Basic Shapes drop-down list, clicking a shape, and then clicking in the slide. Use the handles to size the shape. Then, add the appropriate text, as shown in Picture 1. To add text, double-click the shape. Then, simply type the appropriate label. You can also change the font, size, and weight.
Basic Shapes → Rectangle, Rounded
Picture 1


Step 3

Next, add the first submenu using an appropriate BasicShape. Position it under the main menu Rectangle, Rounded (MENU, in this case). Repeat this step to add the remaining submenus. Add text for each and format as necessary. Picture 2 shows two submenus.
Picture 2
Step 4

Select them all (don’t select MENU) by holding down [Shift] while you click each submenu. Now you’re ready to add the animation that will display the submenus when someone clicks the MENU button. Choose Custom Animation from the Task menu, as shown in Picture 3;
Add → Entrance → Appear → OK
Picture 3


Step 5


Right now, clicking anywhere in the slide will display the dropdown submenus, do the following:
Slide Show → Slide Show Settings... → Unchecked Change slides by clicking on background → OK
 as shown in Picture 4
Picture 4

Step 6


To limit the click to the MENU button, do the following:
  1. Double click Shape 2: SUBMENU 1 and choose Timing from the Effect Options, as shown in Picture 5.
  2. In the resulting Timing dialog box, click Start effect on click of: and choose the Shape 1: MENU button from the dropdown list, as shown in Picture 6.
  3. Click OK.
Picture 5
Picture 6

Step 7

Repeat step 6 for Shape 3: SUBMENU 2

Step 8

Most likely, you will want to let users return to the main menu slide by clicking a hyperlink on the target slides. With a target slide current, you can use an Action Button to return home — in this case, that is the first slide in the presentation:
  1. From the Block Arrows menu, choose Up Arrow.
  2. Click inside the slide. It is best if you position the Up Arrow buttons in the same spot on each slide.
  3. Right click Up Arrow → Interaction → Action at mouse click dropdown menu choose Go to first slide → OK shown in Picture 7.
Picture 7
Test the dropdown main menu. At this point, you have the basic pieces in place, so press [F5] to see how they work together. The first slide displays just the MENU button. Click the button to display the dropdown submenus, as shown in Picture 8. Click the Up arrow button to return to the main menu slide.

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