Chapter 10. Slide Transitions

  • Slide Transitions

If you’re a movie buff, you’re familiar with scene transitions such as jump cuts, dissolves, and tasteful fades. Professional film directors know that how they move from one scene to the next has a huge impact on how audiences respond. Along with visual interest, transitions communicate subtle information about the scene to come. For example, when the audience sees a fade, it automatically assumes that the next scene begins in another time or place. PowerPoint isn’t a movie-editing program, but it does let you control the transitions from one slide to the next.

Slide Transitions

When you start with a blank presentation, advancing from one slide to the next is a simple on-or-off proposition—a slide is either 100 percent visible, or 100 percent hidden. There’s nothing wrong with simple, but by applying a slide transition—a named effect that makes slide content fade, drop, swirl, or gallop into view—you can convey a mood that supports your presentation (sobriety, sophistication, whimsy, and so on).


Although PowerPoint lets you add slide transitions to individual slides, doing so can make your presentation look amateurish and disorganized. Instead, stick with the same slide transition to every slide. Doing so lets your audience focus on your content, not wondering which direction the next slide is going to come from.

Types of Transitions

PowerPoint organizes its 50-plus built-in slide transitions into five different categories:

  • Fades ...

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