Use the Morph Transition in PowerPoint to Make Presentations More Dynamic and Engaging

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated May 30, 2021

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2019 and 365 (Windows)

If you have PowerPoint 2019 or 365, you can use the amazing Morph transition to morph one object into another (or multiple objects into other objects). Although you can apply Morph to create movement, you can also use other tricks like changing the size or formatting of text, shapes, pictures, SmartArt, WordArt and charts. Because it’s a transition, not an animation, you’ll need to create two slides to use Morph.

The Morph transition can be applied in both Normal View and Slide Sorter View. For those with older versions of PowerPoint, you can also achieve similar effects by combining motion paths with other animations.

Screenshots in this article are from PowerPoint 365 but are similar in 2019.

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Setting up slides to use Morph

In order to use the Morph transition, you will need to create two slides with at least one object in common (a Morph sequence typically includes two slides but may include multiple slides). It’s usually simplest to duplicate a slide so that PowerPoint can understand which object(s) should be morphed (the same object or objects appear on both slides).

To easily duplicate a slide, click the slide thumbnail in Normal View and press Ctrl + D to duplicate. You can also duplicate a slide in Slide Sorter View using the same shortcut.

On the duplicate slide (in Normal View), move the object you want to morph to a different location and then resize it, recolor it or apply other effects. You would then apply the Morph transition to the duplicate or second slide and run a slide show to view the results.

Applying the Morph transition

To apply the Morph transition:

  1. In Normal View or Slide Sorter View, click the slide to which you want to apply the Morph transition (this would be the second or duplicate slide you created).
  2. Click the Transitions tab in the Ribbon and then select Morph in the Transitions Gallery.
  3. Click the Transitions tab again and select Effect Options. A drop-down menu appears.
  4. Select the desired Morph option (this can be useful to text).

The Morph transition is applied using the Transitions tab in the Ribbon:

Transitions tab in the PowerPoint Ribbon with Morph option.

In the following example (shown in Slide Sorter View), a white circle has been inserted on the first slide on the top left, the slide was then duplicated and the circle was moved, increased in size and a different fill color was applied:

Two slides with a circle that has been moved and changed on the second slide to use with Morph in PowerPoint.

The background is the same on both slides and the Morph transition has been applied to the second slide.

Morphing multiple images or objects

You can also create interesting effects with multiple objects or images. For example, if you create a slide with a collage of images, you can duplicate the slide and move the images on the duplicate. Simply apply Morph to the duplicate and you’ll get an effect of images moving around on the screen when you run a slide show.

In the following example, images have been inserted on the first slide in Normal View, the slide was duplicated, the images were then moved and resized on the duplicate and Morph was applied to the duplicate slide:

Morph example in PowerPoint with two slides with images that have been moved and resized.

Running Morph transitions automatically or on click

Transitions are set by default to start on click during a slide show. If you want a transition to start automatically, you will need to change the start setting.

To set a transition to start automatically:

  1. Select the slide with the Morph transition.
  2. Click the Transitions tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Timing group, de-select on Mouse Click to start automatically and then select or check After and enter a time in seconds (or click the up and down arrows).

The Timing group appears with options to start the transition automatically and change Duration:

Option in the Transitions tab in PowerPoint to change morph to automatic.

Changing the speed of a transition

When you apply a transition, a timing is automatically set for the transition (in seconds). The default duration is different for each transition effect.

To set the speed or duration of a transition:

  1. Select the slide with the Morph transition.
  2. Click the Transitions tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Timing group, enter a time (in seconds) for the transition beside Duration. You can click the up and down arrows to change the duration or type a duration.

Viewing Morph effects in a slide show

The Morph effect appears when you run a slide show.

You can use these 3 easy ways to run a slide show:

  1. Click the Slide Show button on the bottom right of the screen to run the slide show from the current slide.
  2. Press F5 (or Fn + F5 for some users) to run the slide show from the beginning.
  3. Press Shift + F5 (or Shift + Fn + F5 for some users) to run the slide show from the current slide.

Using Morph with off-slide content

You may also want to try using Morph with content that is off the slide in the Canvas area. With Morph, you can move objects onto a slide or off a slide with very different results.

For example, images, shapes and text can be off the slide in the first slide of a Morph sequence. You could then duplicate the slide, move the content onto the duplicate slide, and then apply Morph. For some interesting effects with shapes, try changing shape color and transparency on the duplicate slide.

To use Morph with off-slide content:

  1. In Normal View, create the first slide you want to use in the Morph sequence.
  2. Zoom out to view the gray Canvas area by clicking the minus sign (-) on the bottom right of the screen.
  3. Create or insert objects in the Canvas area. You will likely have objects on the slide as well.
  4. Duplicate the slide (in Normal View, click the thumbnail and press Ctrl + D).
  5. On the duplicate slide, move the off-slide content onto the slide. You can also move on-slide content off the slide.
  6. Apply the Morph transition to the duplicate slide.

You will also achieve different results if the off-slide content is above or below the slide in the Canvas area (achieving a vertical Morph transition) or to the left or right in the Canvas area (achieving a horizontal Morph transition). Also, the distance between the objects off-slide and on-slide will create different results.

In the slide below, the image has been changed to grayscale and the text and a line shape are off the slide in the Canvas area:

PowerPoint Morph example with off-slide content with text and a line shape off the slide.

In the next slide (a duplicate of the first slide), the picture has been reset to full color, the text and line that were off-slide have been moved onto the slide and Morph has been applied to the slide:

PowerPoint Morph example with with text and a line shape on the slide.

Creating a scrolling effect

Using Morph, you can create a scrolling effect of an image. This can work well with a screen shot of a web page.

To create a scrolling effect using Morph:

  1. In Normal View, insert an image or screenshot of a web page that is bigger than the slide and expands into the Canvas area.
  2. Display part of the image on the first slide in the sequence.
  3. Duplicate the slide and, on the duplicate slide, move the image up, down, left or right until the focal point is in the middle of the slide.
  4. Apply the Morph transition to the second slide.

Using Morph with multiple slides

You can use Morph with more than two slides if all the slides in the sequence are duplicates of the previous slide. For example, you could create a slide, duplicate it twice and then move the objects to different locations on the second and third slides (or apply different formatting). You would then apply Morph to the second and third slides in the sequence.

Creating a zoom in effect

To combine Morph with cropping to create a zoom in effect:

  1. In Normal View, create a slide and insert a picture. This works well if the picture the fills the slide (a full bleed image).
  2. Duplicate the slide.
  3. On the duplicate slide, select the picture and then click the Picture Format tab in the Ribbon.
  4. Click Crop in the Size group. Black cropping handles and white (circle) sizing handles appear.
  5. Drag one of the corner sizing handles to enlarge the picture proportionally within the cropped area.
  6. Position the pointer on the picture within the cropped area and drag to move it to the area you want to zoom in on.
  7. Click Crop again to exit crop mode. You can also click outside of the picture to exit crop mode.
  8. Apply Morph to the second slide.

There are a few variations of this trick. You can simply move the picture around within the cropped area on the second slide and apply Morph. This works well if the picture is large and expands into the Canvas area. When you run the slide show, it will appear that you are focusing on a different part of the picture.

Morphing different types of objects

Morph now allows more control over which objects can morph because you can use custom naming to name objects. This would allow you, for example, to morph a circle into a square (objects that are not duplicates).

In order to morph different objects, you’ll need to name the objects using two exclamation points (!!) before the name and assign the same custom name to the two objects on different slides. You will need to use the Selection Pane to change an object’s name.

For example, you could insert a circle and name it !!Shape1 on slide 3 and insert a square and name it !!Shape1 on slide 4. When you assign the Morph transition to slide 4, the circle would morph into the square during the transition from one slide to the next.

To rename objects to use in a Morph transition using the Selection Pane:

  1. Display the first slide you want to use in the Morph sequence.
  2. Click the object you’d like to morph.
  3. Click the Home tab in the Ribbon and in the Editing group, click Selection Pane. The Selection Pane appears.
  4. Click the object in the Selection Pane. Click it a second time to edit the name.
  5. Type two exclamation marks (!!) followed by the new name (such as !!ShapeA).
  6. Press Enter to apply the new name you’ve typed.
  7. Repeat the renaming process for the associated object on the second slide in the sequence.
  8. Apply the Morph transition to the second slide.

The Selection Pane appears as follows with a renamed object:

You can achieve some really amazing effects with Morph so don’t be afraid to try it with different types of objects, formatting or off-slide content. With Morph, you really need to experiment.

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Summary
How to Use Morph in PowerPoint to Design Engaging Presentations
Article Name
How to Use Morph in PowerPoint to Design Engaging Presentations
Description
If you have PowerPoint 2019 or 365, you can use the amazing Morph transition to morph one object into another (or multiple objects into other objects). Although you can apply Morph to create movement, you can also use other tricks like changing the size or formatting of text, shapes, pictures, SmartArt, WordArt and charts. Because it’s a transition, not an animation, you’ll need to create two slides to use Morph.
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Avantix Learning

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