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How to Use the Animation Pane in PowerPoint

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  • 0:02 The Animation Pane
  • 0:35 Components of the…
  • 1:26 Sequence & Timing
  • 2:18 Re-Ordering Animation Effects
  • 3:52 Adjusting Other…
  • 5:10 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.

When you need more control over the timing of your animations, learning to use the Animation Pane is key. This lesson will introduce you to the Animation Pane in PowerPoint and explain how to use the tool to adjust the timing of animations.

The Animation Pane

The Animation Pane is a tool that displays the list of animated objects on your slide. If you have several animated objects, such as text and images, a well-thought-out and organized sequence of those objects is imperative to creating a visually appealing slide. The Animation Pane is your one-stop-shop to make this happen.

In this lesson, we will review the Animation Pane. We will also look at an example slide with several animated objects and use the Animation Pane to adjust the timing and sequence of those objects.

Components of the Animation Pane

Let's start by reviewing the different components and options in the Animation Pane. We have an example slide with four objects. Two of the animated objects are text boxes and the other two are images. Go to the Animations menu in the ribbon and look in the Advanced Animation grouping of commands. Click on the Animation Pane command and notice the window that opens on the right-hand side of your screen. (Please see the video beginning at 00:49 to see the example and actions.)

The Animation Pane shows text boxes and images on a slide that have animation applied. You can reorder the sequence, choose different duration and timing, select to trigger animations automatically and set a delay for your animations to start.

Sequence and Timing

Now that we have a general idea of the Animation Pane, let's take a closer look at how to use the tool to adjust the sequence and timing of our objects. Our example slide with the animations and timing completed runs nicely. The Break Time image zooms in on the slide for the entrance effect. As the slide continues to run, other images smoothly appear and all objects are entering the slide automatically. (Please see the video beginning at 01:41 for the animation.)

Let's take a look at a slide with the same four objects, with only the animations applied. There has been no adjustment of sequence, timing, duration or delay. As you can see in the lesson video, when we run the slide, it's a mess. The text boxes and images appear in the wrong order and each animation must be started with a mouse click, which makes the slide feel choppy. Let's start by putting the animations in the right order. (Please see the video beginning at 02:10 for this animation.)

Re-Ordering Animation Effects

Each object in the Animation Pane has a number associated, like one, two, three, four, and so on. The object on the top, or number one, appears first. Number two appears second, and you get the idea. This makes re-ordering the objects and their animations easy.

For example, let's start with the first object that should appear on the slide, which is the Break Time graphic. If you select the graphic on the slide, you will notice a number in the upper, left corner of the object's placeholder:

Object in animation pane with associated number
animation number on PowerPoint slide

This is the number in the animation sequence and it shows number two, and we need it to be number one. So here we go:

  1. Grab (or click and hold with your mouse) the animated object you need to re-order.
  2. Move the object to the correct position in the sequence. In our example, we need to move it to the top, or sequence position number one.

And that's it! You can use your mouse, grab any animated object and move it to the desired sequence position. In our example, this should be the order of animations:

  1. Picture (Break Time)
  2. Text Box that says it's a 10-Minute Break
  3. Picture (Clock)
  4. Text Box, which is where to go for snacks

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