When used judiciously, animation adds emphasis and visual appeal to PowerPoint presentations. It can transform a dull presentation into a lively and engaging one. However, you should be careful not to overdo it. Too much animation can be distracting, reduce comprehension, and make a presentation appear flimsy.
In this article, we’ll see how you can add free animation for your PowerPoint 2007 presentations.
PowerPoint Animation Basics
It is useful to understand the four basic types of free animations for PowerPoint:
- Entry: used to introduce animated objects on a slide
- Emphasis: used for emphasizing elements already present on a slide
- Exit: how objects move off the slide
- Motion Path: move objects in a specified path on the slide
Now let us see some simple ways you can add animation to your presentation.
Use Preset Animation for Text or Objects
To animate any object (text, shape, etc.), do the following:
1. Select the object you wish to animate
2. On the ribbon, select the Animations tab.
3. Choose an animation effect from the Animation drop-down.
Use Custom Animation for Text or Objects
For fine-grained control, click the Custom Animation button to bring up a task pane on the right.
Clicking the Add Effect button brings up a menu with four types of animations from which you can select the one you like. You can also add multiple animation effects, and see them added to a numbered list in the task pane. To remove any of them, select the animation from the list and click Remove. As you add animation effects, you will see numbered tags added beside the object you have selected.
You can further customize each animation effect using the three drop-downs. Start specifies whether the effect starts upon a mouse-click, starts simultaneously with the previous one, or starts after the previous one. The second drop-down depends on the effect and is used for customizing direction or other properties specific to that effect. The Speed drop-down selects the speed with which the effect is applied.
For advanced customization, right-click an effect in the list to bring up the context menu. Select Effect Options from the context menu to bring up a dialog box with more options to customize the effect.
You can reorder effects within the list using the Re-Order arrows at the bottom, and click Play to preview your animation.
Add Transitions Between Slides
Animations between two slides are called Transitions. To add Transitions, do the following:
- In the left pane where all slides are shown in a vertical row, select the Slides tab.
- Select one or more slides in the pane for which you want the desired transition.
- On the Animations tab in the ribbon, choose a transition effect from the Transition to This Slide group.
You can optionally add Sound and change the speed of the transition using the drop-downs in the ribbon to the right as shown above. If you want to remove the transitions you have added, just select the slides and choose No Transition (first one) from the list.
Add Motion Path Animation
To make a graphic object move in a certain path on the slide, use Motion Path animation. This works best for graphic images with transparent backgrounds, as the graphic moves across other elements on the slide. To add Motion Path animation to an object, do the following:
- Drag the object you wish to animate to its starting position.
- Click to select the object.
- Open the Animation task pane, as described earlier.
- Select Add Effect > Motion Paths > Draw Custom Path > Scribble. The mouse pointer becomes like a pen.
- Draw the desired animation path, starting at the object, and click where it should stop moving.
You can also check out a gallery of preset motion paths by selecting the More Motion Paths”¦ menu item.
Add Animated Clip Art
You can also check out free animated clip art graphics on the web. The Clip Art section on Office Online has a huge library of clip art, including animations. You can filter your search at the bottom to find only animations related to your search term. In this way, you can get some cool free animations that are ready to be added to your presentations. Another website to check out animation clip art is Animation Library.
Do your presentations come alive after adding animation? Tell us in the comments!