by AJ George
Using motion paths in PowerPoint is fun, but also kind of complicated. Probably the most complicated aspect of using motion paths is continuing the motion from slide-to-slide. Does this scenario sound familiar? You want an image on your slide to move using a custom motion path. On the next slide you want the image to move from where it ended on the previous slide to a new location. The problem is PowerPoint only shows you where the image begins in the motion path. To line up on the next slide exactly where the image ended is very difficult. As a result, your image can “jump” as you go through your presentation.
The way to avoid this unfortunate “jump” situation is to essentially work backwards.
- Create your slide and position the image you are going to animate in its final location (where it will end after the motion path plays).
In the example below, I want the hand to come up from off of the slide and look as though it is pushing the text “Meet Jackson” up on the screen. On the next slide, I want the hand to continue moving from this position and then exit to the right.
- Duplicate this slide ([Ctrl-D]).
If this slide was your first slide, the duplicate will be your second. After duplicating, return to the first slide.
Note: Motion paths work from the center of images. Before you continue, you will need to find the center point of the image you will be animating. In this case I will be working with the hand.
- Notice the handles around the image. (If you don’t see them, click once on the image.)
- From the View tab, select Guides in the Show area to make the slide’s guides visible.
- Drag the guides so they line up with the center and middle handles of the image. The intersection of the guide lines is the center of your image.
- Insert your desired motion path (Animations > Add Animation > Motion Paths).
For this example I am using a simple Line motion path. Starting at the end point (where your image currently is) and drawing to where you would like the image to begin its motion path.
- Right-click the motion path (not the image) and choose Reverse Path Direction.
- If the Animation Pane is not already visible, choose Animations > Animation Pane to view it now.
- On the Animation Pane, click the down arrow next to the motion path animation and select Effect Options.
Notice that my image has a descriptive name of “Hand” on my Animation Pane. If you would like to learn how to do this in PowerPoint, click here.
- From the resulting dialog box, click the down arrow next to Path, select Locked and then click OK.
Locking the motion path will allow you to move to the image without the motion path automatically moving with it.
- Select the object you are animating (in this case, the hand) and place your cursor directly over the intersection of the guides (the center of image).
- Carefully drag the image so that your cursor (which is in the center of the image) overlaps where the green arrow of the motion path is.
- Move to your second slide (where your image appears exactly where it ended on the 1st slide) and add the rest of your animation.
Check out this video to see the completed animation. I used the same method to animate the “Meet Jackson” text.