Timing animation sequences in PowerPoint presentations

Applies to
Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003
Microsoft PowerPoint® 2002

Successful presenting entails focusing on important points, controlling the flow of information, and holding the audience's interest in your presentation. You may already know how to use basic animation effects for text and objects to help you accomplish these goals. This article will help you become familiar with the variety of timing and ordering options available to you in PowerPoint, which will ensure that every piece flows smoothly and looks professional. The following demo illustrates the type of animation effects available in PowerPoint.

Play Demo

This article includes a downloadable sample presentation, which shows more complex custom animation sequences that you can re-create yourself for your next presentation.

The Custom Animation task pane

The Custom Animation task pane allows you to see, at a glance, important information about the animation effects on a slide, including the type of animation effect, the order of the animations in relation to each other, plus a portion of the title of the animated item.

Custom Animation task pane

1 Icon that indicates the timing of the animation event in relation to the other events on the slide. Choices include:

  • Start on click (mouse icon, shown here): Animation event begins on click of the mouse on the slide.
  • Start with previous (clock icon): Animation sequence begins at the same time as the previous item in the list (that is, one click executes 2 animation effects).
  • Start after previous (no icon): Animation sequence begins immediately after the previous item in the list if finished playing (that is, no additional click is required to make the next sequence start).

2 Drop-down menu for a list item. Select a list item to see the menu icon and then click it to reveal the menu.

3 Numbers indicate the order in which animations play and correspond to the labels associated with the animated items in normal view, with the Custom Animation task pane displayed.

4 Icon that represents the type of animation; in this example, an Emphasis effect is shown.

Use the sample file to see how custom animations can be enhanced with options for start times (including delays) and speed or duration. For help with applying animations to text and objects or for using the Custom Animation task pane in general, see Microsoft PowerPoint Help.

ShowTo view animation effects in the Custom Animation task pane

  1. In PowerPoint, open the sample file in normal view.
  2. On the Slide Show menu, click Custom Animation. This shows the order of animation effects and other animation information for the slide displayed.

Order of animation effects

As animation effects are applied to items on a slide, they are reflected in the list in the Custom Animation task pane. The order of the sequences is initially determined by the order in which you apply the animation effects. If you move an animated item to a new location on the slide, this will not change its position in the animation list; the animation effects will still play in the same order, regardless of where you move the item on the slide. However, you can drag animation effects up and down in the animation list, or use the Re-Order buttons at the bottom of the pane, to change the order of the animated effects.

Use the sample file to see how changes in the order of the animations affect the sequence. Note that the position of items on the slide in normal view is the starting position for each animated item before each effect or motion path plays, except for entrance effects.

ShowTo change the order of animation effects on a slide

  1. In the sample file, on the first (title) slide, select the text box for the word "Company." In the Custom Animation task pane, note which item in the list is now selected.
  2. Drag the first item in the animation list to the end of the list, or use the Re-Order buttons at the bottom of the task pane.
  3. In the Custom Animation task pane, click the Play button to preview the change.

Previewing the sequences with the Play button shows a faster version of the sequence and automatically plays the sequences; triggered sequences cannot be previewed this way. To preview the sequences more accurately (including triggered sequences), click the Slide Show button.

You may notice a collapsed list (indicated by a chevron) within the animation list for some text items, diagrams, and charts (see slides 2 - 5 of the sample). This occurs when an effect is applied to a text placeholder or object that holds more than one element, so that you can control timings and effect options for each element. Click the list to expand or collapse it at any time.

ShowTo change the animation sequence for a bulleted list

  1. In the sample file, select slide 2 of the sample presentation and click the Play button to preview the slide.
  2. In the Custom Animation task pane, note how the text animation was ordered in relation to the rest of the slide animations.
  3. Expand one of the Text 2: items in the animation list to see how the sequence is set up. This secondary list is initially created by applying an effect to a text placeholder that has more than one paragraph (in this case, a list of bullets).
  4. Drag different items in this list to new positions, and then click the Play button to preview the effect on the slide.

Timing options for animation affects

In addition to the basic order of animation effects on a slide, the Custom Animation task pane gives you control over effect options for timing. Options can include some or all of the following, as shown in the illustration, below:

  • How to begin the effect: On click (click of the slide); With previous (play at the same time as the previous item in the list or on load of the slide if the effect is first in the list); and After previous (play immediately following the previous item in the list).
  • Delay, if you want to further control how and when the effect will begin (for example, a setting of On click with a Delay of 5 seconds would make the effect start 5 seconds after the slide is clicked).
  • Speed or duration, such as fast or slow or X seconds.
  • Looping (repeat).
  • Triggers (animation effects that play only when one or more designated objects are clicked during a slide show).

 Note   The options available to you depend on the particular effect chosen. For instance, the Fly in effect includes settings for the direction you want to start from, while the Grow/Shrink effect includes settings for how large you want the item to "grow."

The Custom Animation task pane

1 Selected object (text box). Notice that it is labeled with a "0"; this indicates that the animation effect will play when the slide loads. A "1" indicates that the effect plays when the slide is first clicked.

2 This indicates that the textbox with the text, "Company," has an Entrance effect applied.

ShowTo view the custom animation timing options

  1. In the sample file, on the first (title) slide, select the text box for the word "Company."
  2. In the Custom Animation task pane, click on the arrow of the first item in the list, and then click Timing. A dialog box appears with the Timing tab selected. Different options are available, depending on which animation effect has been applied to the item.
  3. Select different slides in the sample presentation, and then view the Custom Animation task pane and Timing options for different effect combinations. Click Play when you want to preview animations for a slide.

Putting it all together

When you combine the basic order of animations on a slide with the timing and effect options, high-quality sequences are possible. For instance, on slide 3 of the sample presentation, an animated shape (the check box logo) is layered on an animated chart and their sequences are interwoven using controls in the Custom Animation task pane.

Tips for setting up animation sequences

If you are learning how to create animation sequences, the following suggestions may help.

  • Some people find it helpful to add all or most of the text and objects to a slide before applying animations and setting the timings. Of course, you may add more items to a slide at any time, and you can add, change, or remove animations at any time as well.
  • Add animation effects to the slide master sparingly. Adding an animated effect to a company logo on the slide master, for instance, might be effective. However, if you also want complex animations on the slide itself, this can lead to breaks in the sequence.
  • For a quick way to add flare to your presentation, try applying a preset animation scheme to some or all of your slides in a presentation (Slide Show menu, Animation Schemes command).
 
 
Applies to:
PowerPoint 2003