Once you’ve introduced a roomful of PowerPoint students to the fundamentals—adding and formatting slides, switching views, working with objects, and so on—you can liven things up by introducing animation effects. Although PowerPoint’s animation tricks are fun to play with, they also serve an important function. Used judiciously, animation can capture an audience’s attention, deliver information in easy-to-assimilate portions, and make the overall presentation appear more polished and professional.
Let’s focus on one simple, effective animation trick: flying bullets. We’ll set up a bulleted list so that each item flies in from the left when you click the mouse. As each item appears, the previous one will turn gray. Here’s the drill:
Create a slide
To start, quickly set up a sample slide to demo the technique:
- With a presentation open, choose New Slide from the Insert menu, select Bulleted List Auto Layout from the New Slide dialog box, and click OK.
- Click on the title placeholder and type some title text.
- Click within the bottom text box and type five or six items, pressing [Enter] after each one (except the last one). PowerPoint will bullet the items automatically.
Set things in motion
Once you’ve created the sample slide, you can apply the animation settings:
- Make sure the text box containing the bulleted items is selected.
- Choose Custom Animation from the Slide Show menu. PowerPoint will display the Effects tab in the Custom Animation dialog box.
- Choose Fly From Left from the Entry Animation And Sound drop-down list.
- Leave the Introduce Text drop-down list set to All At Once (so each item will appear when summoned) but explain to your students that they can choose different options to have each letter or word appear one at a time.
- Choose Gray from the After Animation drop-down list to make each item change color when the subsequent item appears.
- Click OK to apply these settings to the bulleted list.
Now you can see how these animation settings will affect the previously static bulleted list.
- Click the Slide Show button at the bottom of the window to launch the presentation.
- Click the mouse button to display the first item.
- Click again to bring in the next item and turn the first one gray.
- Continue clicking to work through the rest of the list.