How do I get Custom Animation into my Presentation?

Feb 10, 2019 | PowerPoint Hints and Tips, Uncategorised

Custom Animation allows individual objects on your presentation to be animated separately.  This is great when you are talking through a list of bullet points, data on a chart or items in a SmartArt diagram.  Each item can be set to appear when you are ready to talk about them rather than all at once.   Animation can also be used to add interest to a presentation.  Go too far with some of the more bizarre effects and it can become a distraction instead.  Everything in moderation!

All animation options are found on the Animations tab.

Types of Custom Animation

Animation is divided into 4 types:

Image of the types of animation available


Entrance – How the object enters the slide

Emphasis – What the object does while it is on the slide

Exit – How the object leaves the slide

Motion paths – a customised path the animation follows

A few key animations are available from the Animations section of the Animations tab.  Many extra options can be found in the “more” options at the bottom of the list.  The lists displayed are then divided into basic, subtle, moderate and exciting effects.

Once an animation effect has been applied Effect Options often gives even more choice.  This will depend on the animation used.  It often includes the direction the effect moves or for objects like bullet points, charts and SmartArt graphics whether the object comes in all at once or item by item.

Advanced Custom Animation

Image showing advanced animation optionsEach object is animated independently.  More than one animation can be added to an object by using the add animation button.  Just changing the animation to something different replaces the original animation with the new one.

The Animation Pane shows all the animation applied and is used to reorder the effects and edit those already applied in a structured way.


Image of Animation timing optionsWhen running the presentation every custom animation starts when you click but an object can be set to start automatically along with other animations or a certain time after them.  This is useful to automate parts of the show or to run a full presentation without human intervention at a trade show or as a mini movie.

How much is too much?

Two of the biggest mistakes that are made when animating presentations are:

Lack of consistency – If one item is flying from the left with the next from the right it is annoying.  The animation painter is used to apply the animation from one object to another.  Instead, any animation applied to the slide master is transferred to appropriate placeholders.

Too much! – It is tempting to use all the animations available in one presentation but sometimes less is more.  Just because there are entrance, emphasis, exit and motion path options does not mean that all these need to be used on every item!  Just because there are exciting effects you don’t have to use them.  Often the subtler effects are enough and create a more polished, professional looking presentation.  The choices you make will be determined by the type of company you work in and who you are presenting to and should be taken into consideration.

Want to learn more about PowerPoint to improve your productivity then email to discuss how I can help or have a look at some of some of the PowerPoint Training courses I provide.