Add Animation to PowerPoint Objects to Create More Engaging Presentations

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated July 29, 2020

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

You can add animation to images, text and other objects in PowerPoint. Animations can be entrance, exit, emphasis or motion path and can start on click or automatically when you run a slide show. Since animations add movement, they can help to make presentations more engaging and to focus attention. The key is to engage, not distract, your audience. You can animate objects in Normal View or Slide Master View.

Recommended article: How to Reduce the Size of PowerPoint Files (10 Ways to Compress Your PowerPoint Decks)

Types of animation

There are 4 types of animation in PowerPoint:

  • Entrance
  • Exit
  • Emphasis
  • Motion Path

Although you can also apply transitions between slides in PowerPoint (like Morph), transitions are different from animations.

Adding animation using the Animations Gallery

The easiest way to apply a single animation effect is to use the Animations Gallery on the Animations tab in the Ribbon:

Animations tab in the Ribbon in PowrePoint.

The expanded Animations Gallery appears when you click the More down arrow:

Animations gallery in PowerPoint.

Adding more than one animation to an object

If you are adding more than one animation effect to an object, you must use the Add Animation command in the Advanced Animations group, not the Animations Gallery.

Adding an entrance animation

The most common type of animation to add to an object is an entrance animation. Common entrance animations are Fade, Fly In or Wipe.

To apply an entrance animation to an object:

  1. Select an object. For text objects, click in the text box or placeholder or click its edge.
  2. Click the Animations tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Animations group, click the More down arrow on the bottom right of the Animations Gallery.
  4. Click an entrance animation in the Entrance group.
  5. If you would like to select an entrance effect that does not appear in the Entrance group, click More Entrance Effects at the bottom of the gallery. A dialog box appears.
  6. Click the entrance effect you want to apply.
  7. Click OK.

You can also apply an entrance animation by clicking Add Animation on the Animations tab in the Advanced Animation group.

The Change Entrance Effect dialog box includes several other entrance animations (some are only available in specific versions):

Change entrance effect animation dialog box in PowerPoint.

Adding an exit animation

You can also add exit animations to objects. Common exit animations are Fade, Fly-Out or Disappear.

To apply an exit animation to an object:

  1. Select an object. For text objects, click in the text box or placeholder or click its edge.
  2. Click the Animations tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Animations group, click the More down arrow on the bottom right of the Animations Gallery.
  4. Click an exit animation in the Exit group.
  5. If you would like to select an exit effect that does not appear in the Exit group, click More Exit Effects at the bottom of the gallery. A dialog box appears.
  6. Click the exit effect you want to apply.
  7. Click OK.

You can also apply an exit animation by clicking Add Animation on the Animations tab in the Advanced Animation group.

The Change Exit Effect dialog box includes several other exit animations (some are only available in specific versions):

Change exit effect animation in PowerPoint.

Adding an emphasis animation

You can apply emphasis animations to some objects in PowerPoint. Emphasis animations are normally used for text, shapes or images. Common emphasis animations are Grow/Shrink, Fill Color or Font Color. Emphasis animations are enabled only for the type of object you select. For example, you can only apply Font Color to a text object.

To apply an emphasis animation to an object

  1. Select an object. For text objects, click in the text box or placeholder or click its edge.
  2. Click the Animations tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Animations group, click the More down arrow on the bottom right of the Animations Gallery.
  4. Click an emphasis animation in the Emphasis group.
  5. If you would like to select an emphasis effect that does not appear in the Emphasis group, click More Emphasis Effects at the bottom of the gallery. A dialog box appears.
  6. Click the emphasis effect you want to apply.
  7. Click OK.

You can also apply an emphasis animation by clicking Add Animation on the Animations tab in the Advanced Animation group.

The Change Emphasis Effect dialog box includes several other emphasis animations (some are only available in specific versions and for certain types of objects):

Change emphasis effect animation in PowerPoint.

Adding a motion path animation

A motion path is a path that is followed during an animation. For example, you can have an object move along a straight line path down and to the right on a slide.

To apply a motion path animation to an object:

  1. Move the object you want to animate to the desired starting location.
  2. Select an object. For text objects, click in the text box or placeholder or click its edge.
  3. Click the Animations tab in the Ribbon.
  4. In the Animations group, click the More down arrow on the bottom right of the Animations Gallery.
  5. Click a motion path animation in the Motion Paths group.
  6. If you would like to select a motion path effect that does not appear in the Motion Paths group, click More Motion Path Effects at the bottom of the gallery. A dialog box appears.
  7. Click the motion path effect you want to apply.
  8. Click OK. A path will appear. In 2013 and later versions, a second copy of the object appears.
  9. Depending on the type of motion path you selected, you may need to drag to draw the path.

You can also apply a motion path animation by clicking Add Animation on the Animations tab in the Advanced Animation group.

Motion paths can be used in advanced animation sequences. In this article, we are focusing on simple motion paths.

To resize or redirect a motion path:

  1. Drag the green start point to a new location.
  2. Drag the red end point to a new location.

The Change Motion Path dialog box includes several other motion path animations:

Change motion path animation in PowerPoint.

Previewing animation effects

After you add an animation effect, you can click the Preview or Play button on the Animations tab in the Ribbon to preview it. You can also preview animations by running a slide show (click the Slide Show button on the bottom right of your screen). By default, animations are set to play on click.

Setting Effect Options

You can also set different Effect Options for animations. Effect Options change depending on the animation effect you selected. For example, if you selected the Fly In entrance effect, options would include From Top, From Left, From Right and so on.

To set an effect option for an animation effect:

  1. Select an object. For text objects, click in the text box or placeholder or click its edge. We’ll assume here that there is one animation applied to the object.
  2. Click the Animations tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click Effect Options. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Click an option.

The following Effect Options appear for the Fly In animation:

Effect Options drop-down menu in PowerPoint.

Controlling the way an animation starts

Although animations are set by default to start on click, you can start them in other ways.

To control the way an animation starts:

  1. Select an object. For text objects, click in the text box or placeholder or click its edge. We’ll assume here that there is one animation applied to the object.
  2. Click the Animations tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Animations group, select an option from the Start drop-down menu in the Timing group. You can select On Click, With Previous or After Previous. With Previous or After Previous will run based on a previous animation.

Note the Start setting is set by default to On Click:

PowerPoint animation timings in the Ribbon.

Setting the speed or duration of an animation

When you apply an animation, a duration or speed is automatically set for the animation (in seconds). The default duration is different for each animation effect. The initial duration is often fast and you may want to increase the duration to slow it down.

To set a speed or duration of an animation:

  1. Select an object. For text objects, click in the text box or placeholder or click its edge. We’ll assume here that there is one animation applied to the object.
  2. Click the Animations tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Animations group, enter a time for the animation in the Duration area of the Timing group. You can click the up and down arrows to change the duration or type a duration.

Note the Duration in the example below:

PowerPoint animation timings in the Ribbon.

Editing animations using the Animation Pane

When you apply multiple animations to an object, it’s best to display the Animation Pane so you can easily edit the animations.

To edit animations using the Animation Pane:

  1. Click the Animations tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Animation Pane in the Advanced Animations group. The Animation Pane appears on the right side of the screen.
  3. Click the animation effect you want to edit.
  4. Select the desired options on the Animations tab in the Ribbon or click the down arrow to the right of the animation effect and select options for the animation.

The Animation Pane will display the animations you have applied. If you have applied an entrance and exit effect, two animation effects will appear in the Animation Pane. You can click the animation effect in the Animation Pane and click the arrow to the right to display a drop-down menu with options or you can select options in the Ribbon for that effect.

In the Animation Pane, a green star appears beside entrance animations and a red star appears beside exit animations as follows:

Animation pane in PowePoint with animations to make an object appear and disappear on click.

Removing an animation

To remove animations from one or more objects on a slide:

  1. Select an object. For text objects, click in the text box or placeholder or click its edge.
  2. Shift-click any other objects with animations you want to remove.
  3. Click the Animations tab in the Ribbon.
  4. In the Animations group, click None in the Animations Gallery.

It’s not hard to add animations in PowerPoint. In this article, we’ve focused on simple animations with one animation applied to an object. In future articles, we’ll look at more advanced animation techniques.

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Summary
How to Animate Images, Text and Other Objects in PowerPoint
Article Name
How to Animate Images, Text and Other Objects in PowerPoint
Description
You can add animation to images, text and other objects in PowerPoint. Animations can be entrance, exit, emphasis or motion path and can start on click or automatically when you run a slide show. Since animations add movement, they can help to make presentations more engaging and to focus attention.
Author
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Avantix Learning

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