Move an Object Across a PowerPoint Slide Using Motion Path or Entrance Animations

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated May 28, 2021

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

You can move a shape, image or other object across a PowerPoint slide during a slide show using motion path or entrance animations. When you run a slide show, the object will move across the screen (on click or automatically).

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To apply animations, use the Animations tab in the Ribbon:

Animations tab in the Ribbon in PowerPoint with entrance effects.

You can use entrance or motion path animations to move an object across a slide but you'll need to expand the Animations Gallery to access motion path animations.

If you want to apply more than one animation to an object, you will need to use Add Animation in the Advanced Animation group.

Animations are typically added to objects in Normal View but can be applied in Slide Master View.

Adding a motion path animation to make an object move across a slide

To apply a motion path animation to make an object move across a slide on click:

  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 the Line motion path animation in the Motion Paths group. If you click More Motion Paths, you can choose another motion path animation such as Funnel. For some motion paths, such as Custom Path, drag on the slide to create the path and then double-click to end it (see below for more information on custom paths).
  5. Click Effect Options on the Animations tab and select a direction such as Up, Down, Left or Right. Effect Options change depending on the type of animation.
  6. Click the motion path and drag the starting point (green dot or green arrow) or ending point (red dot or red arrow) to change the beginning or end of the path. The starting point begins in the middle of the object and the ending point ends in the middle of the object. In 2013 and later versions, a "ghost copy" of the object at its ending location appears on screen. You can drag the "ghost copy" to change the end point of the path.
  7. Drag the sizing handles (white circles) to resize the path.

The expanded Animations Gallery appears when you click the More down arrow in the Animations group (note the Entrance and Motion Paths categories):

Animations gallery in PowerPoint with entrance and motion path animations.

If you select More Motion Paths in the Animation Gallery, the following dialog box appears (scroll down for more options):

Motion Path animation dialog box in PowerPoint to make object move across a slide.

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

Custom paths behave differently from simple line motion paths. Intially, if you click Custom Path, you can drag on the screen to create the path. However, to make straight lines, simply click once at each desired point in the path rather than dragging. If you later want to change to a freeform path, click once again to switch to freeform mode and drag to continue the path. Click once to return to drawing straight lines. When you are finished drawing the path, double-click to end it.

By default, the object will appear on click during a slide show and follow the path.

You can select other motion path options in Effect Options on the Animations tab in the Ribbon:

  • Sequence options can be used with some objects such as text boxes or placeholders with multiple bullet points or paragraphs. For example, you can choose to move paragraphs or bullets one at a time or as one object.
  • Locked, in the Origin category, can be selected when a motion path is unlocked (which is the default). If the path is unlocked, it will move with the object. If you lock the path or origin, when you move the object, the motion path will remain in the same location. You can unlock a motion path that is locked.
  • Edit Points is available for all motion paths except Line. If you select Edit Points, points will appear along the motion path and you can drag them to change the path. You can Ctrl-click a point to delete it or Ctrl-click on the path to add a new point.
  • Reverse Path Direction will switch the start and end point of the motion path.

You can also combine motion path animations with other animations like Grow / Shrink using Add Animation.

Adding an entrance animation to make an object move across a slide

To apply an entrance animation to make an object move across a slide on click:

  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 the Fly In entrance animation in the Entrance group. If you click More Entrance Effects, you can choose another animation such as Spiral In or Bounce.
  5. Click Effect Options on the Animations tab and select a direction such as From Top or From Left.

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

By default, the object will appear on click during a slide show.

Using the Animation Pane

If you're going to work with animations, it's helpful to display the Animation Pane so you can easily select and edit the animations.

To use 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 in the Animation Pane and then select other options on the Animations tab. You can also click the drop-down menu that appears and select Effect Options.

Changing the way an object starts during a slide show

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

To start an animation automatically, you can start:

  • After Previous – the animation sequence will begin once a previous animation effect or effects is  completed. The start of a slide show is also a previous effect.
  • With Previous – the animation sequence will begin at the same time as a previous animation effect or effects. The start of a slide show is also a previous effect.

To change the way an animation starts during a slide show:

  1. Select the animation effect in the Animation Pane.
  2. Click the Animations tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Timing group, select an option from the Start drop-down menu.

Setting timing

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

To set a speed or duration of an animation:

  1. Select the animation effect in the Animation Pane.
  2. Click the Animations tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Animations group, enter a time (in seconds) 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 on the Animations tab in the Ribbon below:

Duration in PowerPoint ribbon.

Viewing animations by running a slide show

You will need to run a slide show in order to see your object(s) move across the slide. Click the Slide Show button on the bottom right of the screen to run a show or press F5 (some users may need to press Fn + F5) to run the slide show from the beginning. Use the right and left arrows to move from slide to slide or start the animations.

In this article, we are using animations to make objects move across a slide. Check out the article How to Use Morph in PowerPoint to Design Engaging Presentations for other ways to make objects move on a slide during a slide show.

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Summary
How to Move an Object Across a PowerPoint Slide During a Slide Show
Article Name
How to Move an Object Across a PowerPoint Slide During a Slide Show
Description
You can move a shape, image or other object across a PowerPoint slide during a slide show using motion path or entrance animations. When you run a slide show, the object will move across the screen (on click or automatically).
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning

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