CPS100 • Introduction to Computers

Lakeland College • Japan Campus


The Animations Tab

The next tab in the Ribbon is the Animation tab. This contains tools to animate objects.

Here is the fun part of PowerPoint--but also the complex part: Animations of objects. You can make just about any object move in and out and fly around and gesture in almost any way you can imagine.


The Animations tab begins with a "Preview" button. This will show a preview of the animation or transition that you made--but you have to make one first!

The Animation Group

If you want to add a single, quick animation to an object, this is the place to start:

Begin by selecting an object. Then go to the Animations tab; then click an animation button. For more animation options, click the "More" button at bottom right:

There are a few things to see in this menu. First, note that there are four types of animation: Entrance, Emphasis, Exit, and Motion Path. We will return to these categories a little later. Second, note that some effects are gray, meaning that they cannot be used. For example, in the "Emphasis" animations, most of the grayed effects are related to text—but in this case, the object selected has no text.

Some animations, once applied, have options which can be changed. This makes active the "Animation Effects" button at the right side of the Animations group:

Although the Animation group is useful for quick additions, it is not so good for more complex animation sequences. Notice that if you click on an animation for an object, and then you click on a different animation for the same object, the second animation replaces the first one. So, if you want to create a three-step animation—an entrance, then an emphasis, and then an exit for one object—it won't work with these buttons. In the end, these will only create a single animation for one object.

The Advanced Animation Group

In order to create more complex animations, the next group, Advanced Animation, is required:

Notice that the "Add Animation" button will call up a menu exactly like the first Animation menu; except in this case, a new choice will not erase the old choice—it will add a new animation after the first one.

This is very useful for putting together sequences of animations. Note, however, that after an object enters the slide, it should not enter again until it has exited first. If an object enters a slide, and then enters again, it will seem like a broken animation—the object will enter, vanish, and then re-enter.

The Object

An object with animation applied will acquire little tags at the top left:

These tags show the order of animations. In the case above, there are three animations, which are the first, second, and third on the slide. If another object has animations, these numbers may be divided between objects. For example, the object show below has three animations, which are the first, fourth, and fifth on the slide—the second and third animations belong to a different object:

Animations can also be grouped, so that two things can happen at one time (more on that later). When that is the case, two tags join under one number, because they both happen at once.

The Animation Pane

Note that in the "Advanced Animation" group, there is a button marked "Animation Pane." Click on that. You will see a pane appear on the right side of the screen:

If you have animations, it will show them to you in a list. The number at the left of each item shows the order of animation. the small, color icon tells you if it is an entrance ( en), emphasis (yellow), or exit (red); a motion path shows a line. On the right side, a small pale-yellow bar shows the time length for the animation.

If you click the "Play" button, the animations will be previewed, without pauses or waiting for clicks.

If you click on one animation, it will become selected. Once selected, you can change the order of animation by dragging the animation up or down the list.

When selected, a small button appears at the far right of an animation in the list. Click on the button, and a small menu appears.

We will look at Start Timing and other options a little later.

Animation Categories

There are four animation categories: Entrance (an object enter the slide somehow), Emphasis (the object shows activity without moving), Motion Path (the object moves from one place on the slide to another), and Exit (the object leaves the slide). When you click on the Animation or "Add Animation" buttons, you can see these four categories at the bottom of the menu:

The Entrance, Motion path, and Exit animations are all motion animation types; in other words, they cause an object to move or appear/disappear. Only the Emphasis animation does not move an object around the slide.

The more common animation choices are shown in the menus; however, if you click on the "More..." choices, a dialog box will appear with the full library of animations for that one type:

Motion Paths

While Entrance, Emphasis, and Exit animations are easy to understand and easy to apply, Motion Path animations are a little more complex.

A motion path will start in one location and end in another. You can choose a pre-set path, or you can draw one of your own.

The image below shows a simple circle path; the object with move in a circle as shown below.

You can choose from dozens of pre-set paths like this. Or, if you wish, you can draw a "Custom" path, by clicking on this button:

After click on that button, you get a pencil cursor. You must start to draw your path in the center of the object if you want the motion to look smooth. Then draw the path wherever you want the object to move:

The longer your path is, the faster the object will move. This is because the animation duration is the same, but the distance to travel may be shorter or longer. Moving one inch in 2 seconds allows for slow animations; moving 20 inches in 2 seconds requires the object to move much faster.

Grouping Animations

It is possible to group animations. For example, you could make an object "fly out" (exit) of a slide and "shrink" (emphasis) at the same time.

Because they require motion from one place to another, the Entrance, Motion path, and Exit animations are exclusive; this means that you cannot have more than one of these in a single animation group. For example, an object cannot enter and exit in the same animation group.

As a result, only Emphasis animations can be added to the three moving animation types. You can add as many emphasis animations as you want, so long as they can all happen at the same time. (You cannot both grow and shrink and object at the same time, for example.)

If you recall, we saw a menu before which allowed us to choose the "Start Timing":

This menu allows you to control how any one animation begins.

If the animation is set to Start on Click, it will begin when you click the mouse.

If the animation is set to Start After Previous, it will begin after the previous animation ends.

In both of these cases, animations are not grouped. If you wish to group animations so they will happen in combination, you must select the second animation in a series, and use the Start With Previous setting. For example, you have (1) a motion path effect, and (2) an emphasis effect:

You would set the (1) motion path to start on a "click" or "after previous"; then you would set the (2) emphasis to start "with previous." That will cause the emphasis to begin at the same time as (in combination with) the motion path. You will see both animations happen at the exact same time.

Once you have made this change, notice the number of the second animation disappears; that is because it has joined with the previous animation, and they now use the same number.

There are many more ways that you can use the features we have just studied, if you use them in various combinations and sequences.

Sound Effects

One more note about animations: you can add sound effects to them. Sound effects can be fun; just be sure not to have too much fun, or it may become annoying!

One rule about sound effects: they are not the same as inserted sounds (which we studied a few chapters ago). Sound effects are associated with animations or transitions (see below). Sound effects are not objects; they are options for animations.

In addition, while almost any sound can be used in an inserted sound object, only .WAV files can be used for sound effects.

In order to add a sound effect, you must first create an animation. Then, in the Animation Pane, click on the menu button at the far right of the animation you desire. The menu will drop down; choose "Effect Options":

A dialog box will open. You will see one option, under "Enhancements," that is labeled "Sound":

When you click on that, a menu appears. You can select one of the built-in sounds PowerPoint offers, or, at the bottom of the list, you can choose "Other Sound":

You will see a navigation dialog box; fins a folder with WAV sound files, and choose one. Note that the dialog box only shows you WAV files.

Now the animation should play with the desired sound effect.

The End... Or Is It?

WHEW! That's a lot of stuff to remember. But it also is very powerful, allowing you to do almost any kind of animation that you can imagine. There are a few more features, but this is more than you need for this class.


This tab allows you to make a transition for the selected slide.

Remember: the transition will appear at the beginning of the selected slide. In other words, if you select slide #2 and add a transition, the transition will appear between slide #1 and slide #2. Automatically, the transition only will effect the slide you have chosen, and not any other slides.

Just to the right of the transition choices, you can set:

  • Transition Sound: choose a pre-set sound, or choose "Other Sound..." to select a file on your disk. As with animations, only ".wav" files will work here.
  • Transition Duration: set how quickly the transition happens.
  • Apply to All: make the transition you chose for this slide appear on all slides.

Finally, on the right side, you can choose to "Advance [the] Slide"--in other words, after the transition ends, how long should PowerPoint wait before automatically advancing to the next slide.

I would advise you not to use the "Advance Slide" feature; just use a mouse click, which is the normal setting. Why? Because people rarely give a perfect performance; if you take too short or too long a time to speak about the slide, it may continue to the next slide too quickly (causing you to panic and speed up your speaking too much) or too slowly (causing an embarrassing pause in your presentation).

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