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PowerPoint Pearls: Animating Autoshapes

Last month I showed you how to insert a block arrow as a pointer within your presentation. This month I'll show you how to animate that arrow. But first, I will get on my soapbox…

My cardinal rule about animation is that it should have a purpose. Attracting attention or focusing the audience is a legitimate purpose. To that end, our block arrow is used to focus the audience to a particular spot on an image.

My second rule about animation is that the object should behave as it would in real life: balls bounce, arrows fly, etc. However, another option for an arrow is to make it Wipe. This animation progressively reveals the arrow in the direction of the wipe. This works very well for an arrow that has been rotated off a vertical or horizontal axis. Always remember that the arrow should wipe toward its point (your desired focus).

Apply animations to slide element.

  1. Click on Slide Show, Custom AnimationCustom Animation will appear in the Task Pane.
  2. Click on the screen element to select it for animation.
  3. Click the Add Effect button to select the desired animation. Notice that the new animation appears in the Task Pane and follows any existing animation.
  4. To reorder appearance of screen elements, select the animation and use the up or down arrows to achieve the desired timing.
  5. Test your animation using the Play button. Be mindful of selecting an animation that is meaningful and does not obscure another screen element.

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