Animating Text and Objects

In PowerPoint animate text and learn to use the PowerPoint animate object feature to bring PowerPoint presentations to life.

Introduction

Introduction

In PowerPoint you can animate text and objects such as clip art, shapes, and pictures. Animation—or movement—on the slide can be used to draw the audience's attention to specific content or to make the slide easier to read.

In this lesson, you will learn how to add animation effects to text and objects and customize them.

Animating text and objects

Video: Animating Objects in PowerPoint 2010

Launch video!Watch the video (3:56).

PowerPoint offers a variety of animations you can use to enhance your presentation. Animations can be used to make text or objects appear on a slide, exit a slide, or emphasize the text or objects already on a slide. You can even use motion paths to create a customized animation.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

The four types of animations

There are many different animation effects you can choose from, and they are organized into four types:

To apply an animation to an object:

  1. Select an object.
  2. Click the Animations tab.
  3. In the Animation group, click the More drop-down arrow to view the available animations.
    The More drop-down arrowThe More drop-down arrow
  4. Select the desired animation effect.
    Selecting an effectSelecting an effect
  5. The object will now have a small number next to it to show that it has an animation. Also, in the Slide pane, the slide will now have a star symbol next to it.
    The number and the star indicate that an effect has been addedThe number and the star indicate that an effect has been added

At the bottom of the menu, you can access even more effects.

More animation effectsMore animation effects

Effect options

Some effects will have options you can change. For example, with the Fly In effect, you can control which direction the object comes from. These options can be accessed from the Effect Options command in the Animation group.

Viewing the options for the Fly In effectViewing the options for the Fly In effect

Working with animations

To add multiple animations to an object:

If you select a new animation from the menu in the Animation group, it will replace the object's current animation. However, you'll sometimes want to place more than one animation on an object, such as with an entrance and exit effect. To do this, you'll need to use the Add Animation command, which will allow you to keep your current animations while adding new ones.

  1. Select the object.
  2. Click the Animations tab.
  3. In the Advanced Animation group, click the Add Animation command to view the available animations.
  4. Select the desired animation effect.
    Adding an additional animationAdding an additional animation
  5. If the object has more than one effect, it will have a different number for each effect. The numbers indicate the order in which the effects will occur.
    An object with two animationsAn object with two animations

It's important to consider how you want animations to appear in your slide show. Well-placed animations can help emphasize important points or information, while too many animations can become distracting for your audience.

To copy animations with the Animation Painter:

Sometimes you may want to apply the same effects to more than one object. You can do this by copying the effects from one object to another using the Animation Painter.

  1. Click the object that has the effects you want to copy.
  2. From the Animations tab, click the Animation Painter command.
    The Animation Painter commandThe Animation Painter command
  3. Click the object you want to copy the effects to. The effects will be applied to the object.
    After copying the effectsAfter copying the effects

To reorder the animations:

  1. Select the number of the effect you want to change.
    Selecting an effectSelecting an effect
  2. From the Animations tab, click the Move Earlier or Move Later commands to change the ordering.
    Moving the effect laterMoving the effect later

To preview animations:

Any animation effects you have applied will show up when you play the slide show. However, you can also quickly preview the animations for the current slide without viewing the slide show.

  1. Navigate to the slide you want to preview.
  2. From the Animations tab, click the Preview command. The animations for the current slide will play.
    Previewing the animationsPreviewing the animations

The Animation pane

The Animation pane allows you to view and manage all of the effects that are on the current slide. You can modify and reorder effects directly from the Animation pane, which is especially useful when you have several effects.

To open the Animation pane:

  1. From the Animations tab, click the Animation Pane command.
    Opening the Animation PaneOpening the Animation Pane
  2. The Animation pane will open on the right side of the window. It will show all of the effects for the current slide in the order they will appear.
    The Animation PaneThe Animation Pane

To reorder effects from the Animation pane:

  1. On the Animation pane, click and drag an effect up or down.
    Dragging an effect to change the orderDragging an effect to change the order
  2. The effects will reorder.

To preview effects from the Animation pane:

  1. From the Animation pane, click the Play button.
    The Play buttonThe Play button
  2. The effects for the current slide will play. On the right side of the Animation pane, you will be able to see a timeline that shows the progress through each effect.
    The timeline shows which effect is playingThe timeline shows which effect is playing

If the timeline is not visible, click the drop-down arrow for an effect, then select Show Advanced Timeline.

To change an effect's start option:

By default, an effect begins playing when you click the mouse during a slide show. If you have multiple effects, you will need to click multiple times to start each effect individually. However, by changing the start option for each effect, you can have effects that automatically play at the same time or one after the other.

  1. From the Animation pane, select an effect. A drop-down arrow will appear next to the effect.
    The drop-down arrow for an effectThe drop-down arrow for an effect
  2. Click the drop-down arrow. You will see three start options:
    • Start on Click: This will start the effect when the mouse is clicked.
    • Start With Previous: This will start the effect at the same time as the previous effect.
    • Start After Previous: This will start the effect when the previous effect ends.
    The three start optionsThe three start options
  3. Select the desired start option.

When you preview the animations, all of the effects will play through automatically. To test effects that are set to Start on Click, you will need to play the slide show.

The Effect Options dialog box

From the Animation pane, you can access the Effect Options dialog box, which contains more advanced options you can use to fine tune your animations.

To open the Effect Options dialog box:

  1. From the Animation pane, select an effect. A drop-down arrow will appear next to the effect.
  2. Click the drop-down arrow, and select Effect Options. The Effect Options dialog box will appear.
  3. From here, you can add various enhancements to the effect:
    • Sound: This adds a sound effect to the animation.
    • After animation: This changes the color or hides the object after the animation is over.
    • Animate text: If you are animating text, you can choose to animate it all at once, one word at a time, or one letter at a time.
    The Effect Options dialog boxThe Effect Options dialog box

Some effects have additional options you can change. These will vary depending on the effect you've selected.

To change the effect timing:

  1. From the Effect Options dialog box, select the Timing tab.
    Selecting the Timing tabSelecting the Timing tab
  2. From here, you can add a delay before the effect starts, change the duration of the effect, and control whether the effect repeats.
    Changing the timing optionsChanging the timing options

Challenge!

  1. Open an existing PowerPoint presentation. If you want, you can use this example.
  2. Add an entrance effect to an object. If you are using the example, use one of the objects on slide 3.
  3. Use the Animation Painter to copy the effect to another object.
  4. Use the Animation pane to reorder the effects.
  5. Experiment with different start options and timings.
  6. Add two additional effects to one of the objects.