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How to Set the Timing of Your PowerPoint Transitions and Animations

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  • 0:02 PowerPoint Special Effects
  • 0:55 Start, Duration, Delay…
  • 2:13 Transition Timing
  • 4:37 Animation Timing
  • 7:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Karen Sorensen

Karen has a Bachelors in Communications. She has 25 years of experience in Information Systems, Adult Learning and Virtual Training.

PowerPoint has several built-in special effects to use for transitions and animations. This lesson will go one step further and discuss the timing elements, such as Duration and Delay, that can be tailored to your presentation.

PowerPoint Special Effects

Some PowerPoint presentations are pretty creative. You may see special effects that appear between slides or animated objects and text that appear on the slides. Transitions are the special effects between the slides. Animations are the special effects or movement added to text and images on the slide.

PowerPoint has many built-in transitions and animation effects that make it fairly easy for the user to jazz up their presentation. These special effects are usually controlled with mouse clicks. But imagine that you don't want to click the mouse every time you want a special effect to appear, develop or run. In other words, you want it to automatically happen or happen with specific timing, duration or delay. This lesson will discuss the different options for setting the timing of transitions and animations.

Start, Duration, Delay and Auto Advance

The best way I know to explain to you how to use transition and animation timing features is to show you an example of a presentation with the special effects applied and finished, then take a look at the nuts and bolts of how it was configured.

Our example has three slides. The first slide contains the title. The second slide announces a break in the presentation. And finally, the third slide is blank. There is a transition effect added before and after each slide. And animations have been added to images and text.

It looks like a typical presentation using common, built-in special effects, and for all intents and purposes, that is the case (please watch the video beginning at 01:34 to see the example). However, there is a unique aspect: the show is running automatically - no mouse clicks, no manual advancing of the slides. Even the special effects applied to images and text are evolving and progressing without keyboard strokes and mouse clicks.

How does this work? Using different elements of the transitions and animations features, such as Start, Duration, Delay and Auto Slide Advance. Each of these components can be tailored to specific timing requirements.

Transition Timing

Using the same three-slide example, let's take a detailed look at how the timing has been configured. We will start with the timing elements for transitions. Go to the Transition menu in the ribbon and look in the Timing group of commands. There are four setting options: Sound, Duration, Advance Slides and Apply To All. Let's look at each option and how it has been applied to our example presentation.

You can apply sound to your transitions. You can add sounds such as an applause, a chime or a drum roll. As you move from one slide to the next, the sound will play during your transition. To apply a sound, click on the More icon to expand the list of options and make a selection.

Next is the Duration of the transition. This tells PowerPoint how long the transition effect will last before the next slide appears. In our example, we want the curtains to take five seconds to open. So let's enter 5.0 into the Duration box for each slide.

The Apply To All option makes it easier to apply timing and settings to all slides at once. However, in our example, each slide has different settings and timing. As a result, we won't use this option.

Now let's take a look at the Advance Slides settings. To make the slide show start automatically, we will remove the check in the box for On Mouse Click. This tells PowerPoint to automatically advance from Slide 1 to Slide 2. We want Slide 1 to remain on screen for three seconds, then advance to Slide 2. So we'll enter 3.0 in the After box.

On Slide 2, the steps are similar. Remove the check in the box for On Mouse Click. But this time we want the slide to remain on screen for 15 minutes, which is the amount of time for the break. We're going to enter 15:00:00 in the After box. Entering it in this format ensures that the system understands this is minutes and not seconds. Okay! Next we will take a look at the timing set for animations.

Animation Timing

Before we take a look at the timing that was set to the slides, go to the Animations menu in the ribbon and look in the Timing group of commands. There are four setting options: Start, Duration, Delay and Reorder Animation. Using our example, let's take a closer look at how to use the different options.

Now, for Slide 1, one animation was applied; the Zoom effect was added to the title.

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