Apply or draw a motion path

  1. In normal view, display the slide that has the text or objects you want to create a motion path (motion path: The path that a specified object or text will follow as part of an animation sequence for a slide.) for.
  2. Select the text item or object you want to animate (animate: To add a special visual or sound effect to text or an object. For example, you can have your text bullet points fly in from the left, one word at a time, or hear the sound of applause when a picture is uncovered.).

For text items, you can select a placeholder (placeholders: Boxes with dotted borders that are part of most slide layouts. These boxes hold title and body text or objects such as charts, tables, and pictures.) or paragraph (including a bullet).

  1. If the Custom Animation task pane (task pane: A window within an Office program that provides commonly used commands. Its location and small size allow you to use these commands while still working on your files.) is not displayed, on the Slide Show menu, click Custom Animation.
  2. In the Custom Animation task pane, click Add Effect button image, point to Button image Motion Paths, and do one of the following:

ShowApply a preset motion path

  • Click a preset path or click More Motion Paths to choose from more options.

ShowCreate a custom motion path

  1. Point to Draw Custom Path and then do one of the following:
    • Click Freeform Button image to draw a path with both curved and straight segments. Drag to draw freehand shapes; click and move the mouse to draw straight lines.
    • Click Scribble Button image and drag to draw a path that looks more like it was drawn with a pen or to create smooth curves.
    • Click Line Button image and drag to draw a straight path.
    • Click Curve Button image and click where you want the curved path to start, and then continue to move the mouse and click wherever you want to add a curve.
  2. Do one of the following:


  • To make the path mimic an exit effect, set effect options to fade or hide the item after the animation plays, or draw the motion path off the slide.
Applies to:
PowerPoint 2003