Introduction to transitions and animations in PowerPoint 2010/13

 Feb 06, 2015

Today, I’m going to talk about two features of Microsoft PowerPoint that really make PowerPoint a distinctive part of the Office suite – transitions and animations. Both of these enable your presentation to differentiate itself from a Word document or a still image. Things can jump and move around, adding excitement, and drawing the audience’s interest.


A transition is how one slide moves to another. Normally the first slide disappears and then the new slide appears, but if you want add a little action to this it is very simple. Go to the Transitions tab and you will see a gallery of different transitions. I recommend that you set the colour of the second slide to be different from the first to get the full effect of each transition. (In the Design tab, click on Background Styles then Format Background to change the background colour). When you choose a transition, it previews it in the slide. Tip: Shift – F5 runs the slide show from the current slide, F5 runs the slide show from the start of the presentation.

Introduction to transitions and animations in PowerPoint 2010/13

Here, I’m showing a ‘Ripple’ effect transition.

Introduction to transitions and animations in PowerPoint 2010/13

Any slide with the shooting star to the left of it has either an animation or a transition on it. You can preview the transition again by clicking on the shooting star.

Introduction to transitions and animations in PowerPoint 2010/13

Notice that the right hand side of the Transitions tab has Effect Options (which vary from transition to transition) and you can change how quickly the transition occurs, add a sound, or even Apply To All to have the same transition on all your slides.


Animation is similar to transitions, but only apply to elements/objects within the slide, for example, text boxes and images. Go to the Animations Tab and you’ll see a gallery that is somewhat similar to the transitions tab. Make sure you have an elements/objects on the slide selected, otherwise most of this tab will be greyed out. Choose an element/object, like a text box or a picture and then choose an animation. You’ll see a preview of roughly what it will look like when you choose it.

Introduction to transitions and animations in PowerPoint 2010/13

Here I’m previewing a ‘Split’ Animation on the picture of the koala. On the Animations tab, click on the Animation Pane button. This turn on the animations sidebar on the right hand side of the screen. It very useful for playing or recording your animations, especially if you have more than one. Tip: If you want more than one animation, don’t choose from the gallery, use the Add Animation button further to the right otherwise you’ll replace the old animation with the new one.

Introduction to transitions and animations in PowerPoint 2010/13

By clicking on the text box of points and then choosing the ‘Appear’ animation, I have applied a really simple but effective ‘Appear’ animation to a list of points on the slide. You can tell by the little orange numbers next to each line. This is really useful, because now when I present I can click to make each point pop up sequentially. I don’t get distracted by questions about later points because those points are not visible on the screen yet, allowing me to move through and focus on one point at a time. There’s a lot more to animations but hopefully you now have a good idea of what they are and how both animation and transitions can really add to your presentation.

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About the Author:

Matthew Goodall  

Matthew is a qualified Microsoft Office Specialist, Microsoft Certified Applications Specialist and a Microsoft Certified Trainer with over 11 years of hands-on experience in a training facilitation role. He is one of New Horizons most dynamic instructors who consistently receives high feedback scores from students. Matt enjoys helping students achieve real professional and personal growth through the courses he delivers. He is best known for creating “fans” of students, who regularly request him as an instructor for any future courses they undertake at New Horizons.

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