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PowerPoint 2007: The Missing Manual by E. A. Vander Veer

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Chapter 11. Slide Transitions and Animated Effects

PowerPoint’s animated effects fall into the nice-to-have category. You can give a perfectly wonderful, effective presentation without using a single animated effect. If you use them sparingly and consistently, though, animation can add polish and visual momentum to your slideshow. PowerPoint has two kinds of effects—transitions from one slide into the next, and animations that affect the text and images on slides:

  • Slide transitions control how a slide’s contents enter the screen: all at once, a little bit at a time, zooming in from the upper-left corner, fading in gradually, swirling in like a tornado, and so on.

  • Custom animations are effects you add to individual objects. For example, bullet points can fly one by one onto (or off of) a slide; your company’s logo can sail across the top of a slide; and images can spin, twirl, and dance all over a slide. Because you can animate more than one object on a slide, you can even create additive images, like a map that constructs itself piece by piece (good if you’re putting together a report on when each U.S. state was added to the union, or a logistics presentation showing when each of your company’s sales territories came online).

As appealing as animated effects can be, though, they come with a downside. Overdone, they can make your presentation look amateurish and disorganized. And depending on the effects you choose, they can slow down presentation playback. Used correctly, they can ...

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