How to Add Animation to PowerPoint

Give your presentations some pizzazz

professional giving slide presentation

Getty Images/jeffbergen

So you have to give a talk to your boss and her entire team next week. You know what topics you want to cover, and you’ve put together a simple PowerPoint slide deck to help the audience understand your concepts. Now what?

There are a number of ways to spice up your PowerPoint slides, including music, video, slide transitions, and animation. These elements can add interest and depth to your presentation, but too many can become distracting rather than enlightening. The key is choosing elements that will enhance your presentation rather than overwhelm it.

Using animation means applying movement to an item (such as lines of text, graphs, or images) on a slide. Presenters often use it to reveal bullet points one at a time instead of showing them all at once. This strategy can help keep audiences interested because they won’t know what’s coming next. Subtle effects like “appear,” “fade,” and “wipe” often work best; options such as “swivel,” “bounce,” and “zoom” may get you into distraction territory.

Here are easy steps for using PowerPoint slide animation.

How to Add Animation to PowerPoint on PC

The following instructions are for PowerPoint 2016, 2013, and 2010, as well as PowerPoint for Office 365.

  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation and navigate to the slide to which you want to apply animations.

  2. Select the item you want to animate.

  3. On the Animations tab, in the Animations group, select the More arrow in the Animations box.

    You can also add Entrance, Emphasis, or Exit animations:

    • An Entrance animates the item as it appears on the slide.
    • An Emphasis animates the item after it’s already on the slide.
    • An Exit animates the item as it leaves the slide.
    powerpoint animation slections
  4. Select the animation you want to use. When you select it, you’ll see the animation happen on your slide.

  5. You’ll see the number “1” appear next to the object you’ve animated, indicating this will be the first animation to occur when you select within the slide during your presentation. If you animate more than one item, they'll be numbered in the order in which you create them.

    powerpoint choose animation effect
  6. If you want to animate several items within an object with the same animation, select the object, then choose your animation.

    On the Animations tab, in the Animations group, select Effect Options to determine whether you want the animation to happen to all the items at once, or to each one separately. You can also adjust the way the animation happens; for example, whether an item “floats in” from the top or bottom of the slide.

  7. To fine-tune the way animations happen during your presentation, on the Animations tab, in the Advanced Animation group, select Animation Pane. A pane will appear in the right-hand column of your screen.

    powerpoint animation pane
    Open the Animation Pane to change characteristics of your animations.
    • To change the order of an animation, select it from the list, then use the arrows in the upper-right corner of the pane to move it up or down.
    • To adjust the timing, select an animation from the list and select the down-arrow for options.
    • To view how the animations happen, select Play All.
  8. To remove an animation, select an animated item, then, on the Animations tab, in the Animations group, select None.

How to Add Animation to PowerPoint Using a Mac

The following instructions are for PowerPoint 2019, 2016, and 2011 for Mac, as well as PowerPoint for Office 365 for Mac.

  1. Open your PowerPoint presentation and navigate to the slide to which you want to apply the animation.

  2. Select the item you want to animate.

  3. On the Animations tab, you’ll see choices for how an item appears on the slide, receives emphasis, or exits the slide. Select the one you want to use.

    In PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, the selections are labeled as “entrance,” “emphasis,” and “exit” effects.

  4. You’ll see the number “1” appear next to the object you’ve animated, indicating this will be the first animation to occur when you click within the slide during your presentation. If you animate more than one item, they'll be numbered in the order in which you create them.

  5. To fine-tune the way animations happen during your presentation, click the number of the animation you want to adjust to open the Animations pane.

    In PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, these options are available via the Animation tab, under Animation Options.

    • To change the order of an animation, select it from the list, then use the arrows in the upper-right corner of the pane to move it up or down.
    • Use the Effect Options dialog box to change how the animation works.
    • Note: If Effect Options is not available, it may be because there are no options available for that effect.
    • Use the Timing dialog box to set how long the animation lasts.
    • Click Play From to see your changes in action.

    Remember, your purpose is to support your message and build interest. Use animations judiciously, and leave the fancy displays for another time. 

  6. You're done.