PowerPoint Animation

PowerPoint animation adds visual effects to your content (text, tables, shapes, charts etc). This brings your presentation to life, highlights key information and catches the attention of the audience. For some tips on how to add animation on text and objects click here. Most users know about animation in PowerPoint presentations. These animations range from subtle (such as fade) to more impactful/complex effects (eg motion paths). What users may not be aware of is that you can add animation on slide masters in PPT. This means that every time you use a master layout, the animation will be on the slide without having to repeat the copying of animation across slides.

How to use animation on Slide Masters

1. The first step is to access the Slide Master, so go to the View tab and select Slide Master. If you want to apply uniform animation to every slide, scroll to the top Master and apply the animation there. This is because the top master feeds through to all of the other layouts. Alternatively you can apply different animations to each layout.

2. Open the Animation Pane. Click on an object to select it and the apply the animation you want. The key with animation is to find a happy balance: too little and the presentation can be a little static, too much and you can befuddle your audience and leave them not knowing where to look.

When you are finished, go to the Slide Master Ribbon on the top left and click Close Master View to go back to editing the slides.

Look out!

There are a couple of pitfalls to be aware of. Once animation is added to a master it may seem that you can only remove it from the effected slides by taking it off the master(s). It will show in the Animation Pane with the word ‘Layout’ in front of it:

Layout labels from PowerPoint slide masters

Using animation on PowerPoint slide masters

However, there is a way you can edit the animation on the slide. If you right-click on the animation in the Animation Pane a little dialog box pops up:

Copy Effects to Slide to 'extract' it from the master

Editing animation on PowerPoint slide masters

Select Copy Effects to Slide and as a result the animation is now fully editable (if you select View Layout you can edit the animation for all slides which use the same layout).

And one more little thing, any additional animation you add on ‘top’ of the slide will only play after the master animation is finished.