How to use PowerPoint animations and transitions

For more recent posts read: Impacting or Distracting? A Short Guide To Choosing PowerPoint Animations and Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Choosing PowerPoint Transitions.

You’ve nailed compelling presentation messaging. You’ve developed a solid design with impactful presentation imagery, and your template and slide master are in place. But your slides still aren’t delivering the impact you’d hoped for. It’s time to break out PowerPoint animations and transitions to add motion to your presentation.

A lot of presentations are stifled by overuse or inappropriate use of animations and transitions – we’ve all suffered through some ill-advised boomerang fly ins – but when implemented properly these tools can actually help your story flow along smoothly.

Not only that, PowerPoint animations and transitions lend energy to your message and go a long way towards keeping your audience engaged.


PowerPoint Animations and Transitions

The difference between PowerPoint animations and transitions is that while the former applies to the movement of individual objects (text, images, shapes) on a slide, the latter refers to the animation that takes place when moving from one complete slide to the next.

Accessing both these features is easy and intuitive: they can be found under the Animations and Transitions tabs on the main PowerPoint ribbon.


Impactful Animation

PowerPoint animation has a variety of applications, and shouldn’t just be used to make content appear and disappear. Animations can concentrate the audience’s attention on specific information, shift focus from one subject to another, and build multiple layers of messaging.

To implement animation, select the desired slide object then navigate to the Animations tab in the PowerPoint ribbon. You then have many animation styles to choose from for that object. You can make the object appear on the slide, come in from off-slide, move position, change colour, size, and style.

Experiment to see what is the best fit for your content and remember that you can use the Path Animation tool to draw the desired movement course and get more precise control. You can also slow the animation down or speed it up by editing the Duration and Delay, and see what it looks like in real-time using the Preview function.


Dynamic Transitions

Slick transitions add a premium, professional flourish to presentations, and help tie together information across multiple slides into cohesive overarching messaging. They allow your content to progress fluidly, and can be a dramatic way of introducing new information to your audience.

Select the thumbnail slide you wish to add a transition to from the main pane at the left-hand side, then navigate to Transitions under the PowerPoint ribbon. As with individual animations, you can select transition styles that work best for your slides, then edit their direction and length using Effect Options, Duration and Delay.


PowerPoint Morph

A new feature recently rolled out for PowerPoint 2016 to Office365 subscribers is PowerPoint’s Morph transition. Morph makes it easy to create high-quality, cinematic transitions between slides with just a few clicks. It enables you to move multiple objects around with ease and have them animate together.

To use Morph, first duplicate the two slides you want to animate together. On the second duplicate slide in the presentation order, place the objects where you want them to end up once the animation has finished, then apply the Morph transition between the two slides (located under Transitions in the ribbon with the rest). This will make the movement of your objects look really smooth, and saves you the hassle of individually animating multiple different objects.

PowerPoint Morph is especially useful when your presentation is trying to convey a change (or potential change) in a state of affairs.

PowerPoint Morph in Action:

Ask for help designing your presentation.

Contact us at:  
+44 (0)161 533 7777  
[email protected]

Related Articles

Let's work together



1 Long Lane, London, SE1 4PG