Animate, highlight and hide objects

In PowerPoint, there are many ways of setting objects in scene so that they are not static on the slide. How objects are inserted was explained in this exercise. Now we will learn how images, texts, graphics or SmartArts can be highlighted and disappear again. Furthermore, you will be shown how to insert animations for individual objects. The effects themselves can be combined with each other. An image can appear, be highlighted briefly, and then disappear from the slide again with an effect.

Highlight objects

Highlighting means giving a particular element all the audience’s attention by giving it a color, font, or visual effect that sets it apart from the other content.

Note: It is recommended to highlight as few points as possible on the slide. This is because the more points are highlighted, the less strong the effect is for each individual point.

In the first step we select a certain object.

We navigate to the Animations tab in the Animation group and click on the small black arrow to open the animation catalog.

The yellow icons in the Highlight category show preset highlighting effects. For our example, we will choose the Wave highlight.

When we move our mouse cursor over an icon, the live preview shows us how the effect will look in the later presentation.

If this selection is not enough for us, in the lower part of the menu we can find the More Highlighting Effects option, which gives us even more setting possibilities (as described in point 2).

The following dialog window opens:

We click on a highlight effect and set it by clicking OK.

The highlight effect is now active and can be edited in the animation area in the same way as the input effects. For example, you can set when and how long the effect should appear. How to use the animation area is explained in this exercise.

Use output effects

A PowerPoint slide doesn’t have to be a one-way street where only more and more content appears. Skillful use of output effects can add drama to a slide’s message. Each effect should have a purpose and support the key messages of the slides. It is still true that a few well-placed effects are always better than an effects show that literally makes the audience feel “like they’re in the wrong movie.”

We select the element we want to disappear and then click the small black arrow on the Animations tab in the Animation group.

We see an overview of several effects. Further down are the red output effects, from which we can choose one. If the selection is not enough, we can also click on the button further down to get a larger selection. Clicking on an effect assigns it to the selected object.

Now the output effect is active and can be timed appropriately in the animation area. The handling of an output effect is similar to the input effects explained in this exercise.

Determine animation paths

With animation paths, PowerPoint adds further possibilities for setting the scene for an object. An animation path is like a rail along which the later object moves like a train.

Important: Since animation paths are very special and their use makes sense only in the rarest of cases, there are two rules to keep in mind: First, only use animation paths if you know exactly what you are doing and why. Second, if the presentation involves a certain seriousness, animation paths are taboo!

We select an object on the slide. In our example we select a picture.

We navigate to the Animation tab and click the small black arrow in the Animations group.

A catalog with input, highlight and output effects opens. In the lower area you will find the category Animation Paths, if this is not immediately visible you have to scroll down within the menu using the image bar.

Here we can set preset paths like lines, arcs, loops or plan our own path. As soon as the mouse pointer is over an effect, we can see the effect in the preview. For our example, we click on the Lines path.

Now we click on the shape to select it. We now see the pre-drawn path in the form of a green start arrow, a path and a red end point. These positions determine the movement of the object during the presentation.

And here, too, further adjustments can be made. For example, we can move the red end point further down so that the shape moves a little lower.

If we don’t want the path to be a straight line, we select another effect like turns in step 3.

If we want to give the path a different direction or set other options, we click Effect Options in the Animation tab.

We select the Right option to make the heart move to the right.

The heart will now move to the right.

Different effects can offer different settings in the effect options.

In the Animations tab, on the far left, there is a Preview button. We click on it once to simulate the movement on the path. If we are not satisfied, the settings will be adjusted.

Similar to the other effects, we set exactly when and how long the animation path should take effect in the animation area. How this works is explained in this exercise.

Custom animation path

A special form of the animation path is the user-defined animation path. Here we can determine for ourselves which path our object takes.

To do this, we select our object and click on the small black arrow in the Animation tab so that the catalog with the overview of all effects opens.

Further down, in the Animation paths category, there is the Custom option. The mouse pointer is now a black cross. With the mouse button held down, we can now draw our own animation path in the slide. This will be the future track on which the object will move later. When we are done, we confirm our input with a double click.

When our shape is selected, we can see our self-drawn animation path and adjust its proportions afterwards.

Objekte animieren - ein Pfad um ein Objekt herum

In the final presentation the shape will move along the path you created.

In PowerPoint, there are many ways of setting objects in scene so that they are not static on the slide. How objects are inserted was explained in this exercise. Now we will learn how images, texts, graphics or SmartArts can be highlighted and disappear again. In addition, you will learn how to insert animations for individual objects.