One of the most dramatic features of PowerPoint is the ability to
animate the entry and exit of items in a slide. See
To add an animation effect the item to be animated should
be selected and right clicked.
From the menu 'Custom Animation' should be selected
From the Custom Animation menu you can then choose to
animate the entrance, change the empasis, animate the exit
or add a motion path.
Choosing Entrance allows you to choose from a variety of
In this picture 'Fly in' was chosen.
At the top right 'Start, Direction and Speed' are
offered. From each you can make appropriate choices.
Having made choices of animation you can now preview the
Choose 'Play' to test the animation in the editing
Choose 'Slide Show' to see the animation in slide show
Putting the tick in the 'AutoPreview' box will
automatically show you animations as you add/change
Text as well as images may be animated
In the 'Modify:' area, right clicking
in one of the numbered areas allows you to choose
This gives you a further window with more
Beware of changing 'Animate text - All at once' to 'By word'
or 'By letter'. The effect produced looks good the first time you
see it but very quickly becomes irritating if a large area of text
is animated since it slows down the display of text. If you must
use 'By letter' then animate a single word like this - no more.
Another animation 'effect' to be careful of using is the
'Swivel' effect available under Entrance > More Effects... This
effect makes the text spin on a vertical axis and quickly becomes
irritating since the text appears then disappears preventing you
from reading it.
Create your own background image
It is possible to use an image as a background image. The trick,
however, is to use an image which text will show up against. It may
be that you can use a colour for the text which is not present in
the background image but it's better to modify the image by fading
or washing it out. That way the user is not distracted from the
content of the presentation by the background image.
How to produce a washed out background image was covered in Unit
6 Creating a faded background
image. For a PowerPoint presentation, a large size is not
important since PowerPoint will scale the image as necessary. An
image 800 x 600 in size is ample.
Modifying an image for use in a slide
For the Tanks page of a World War II presentation this picture of
a World War II tank was found.
It was decided that the page would be more effective if the
picture could be split into two parts - a battlefield and a tank.
The tank would then be animated to roll onto the battlefield scene
from the right. This was done in PaintShop Pro in two stages:
Selecting the tank and making a transparent image from it
Cloning the battlefield area over the tank in the original
For the Tanks page of a World War II presentation a sound of a
World War II tank was needed. Most sounds can be found on Internet
by searching but in this case nothing suitable could be found to go
with this picture:
a sound was needed with machine gun fire, a tank
moving and a tank cannon firing. The sound needed to be about 12
Step 1 was to load Audacity and the machine gun sound This screen shows this sound
loaded - just over 21 seconds of sound. You can listen to it by
moving your pointer over the green play button
Next the Bulldozer sound is loaded into the same window. This
is done by using Project > Import Audio
At this point you are likely to receive a warning
If you get a message like this choose the sample which
has the highest sample rate (You can see this under the title bar
for each sample) and reset it to the rate shown in the other
sample as shown in the picture on the right. In this example the
sample rate is being set to 8000Hz. This means the sound will be
of lower quality but since it will consist of bangs and clanks it
won't really matter. If the noise was more musical then you might
have to consider changing the sample rate to that of the highest
The next step is to fade in the sound of the bulldozer to give
the effect that it is coming closer. To do this drag across the
first 2.5 seconds of the bulldozer sound clip then choose
Effects > Fade in. You can use the green Play
button in the image below to hear the effect. In audacity, if you
don't like it you can use Edit > Undo to put
it back to normal and try again with different settings. Remember
though that only the marked area will play in Audacity so click in
the window to remove the marked area first.
Now it's time to add the sound of the cannon firing. In
reality, a World War II tank would have stopped so that accurate
aim could be taken. (It was impossible then to hit a target
accurately when the gun barrel was bouncing up and down as the
tank moved). So we want the sound of the tank tracks to stop and
then for the gun to fire. To do this the sound of the tank tracks
is faded out from 7.5 seconds to 8.0 seconds. This is easier to do
if we zoom in on the sound. This can be done by choosing
View > Zoom in or pressing Ctrl
Once you have zoomed in scroll to the area around the 8 second
mark and mark the area of sound on the bulldozer track from 7.5 to
8.0 seconds then choose Effects > Fade out
Once again you can hear the
effect by clicking the green Play button.
Oops! we still have the remaining part of the bulldozer sound
there. This area will need marking and deleting from Audacity. To
do this drag from the 8.0 second mark - where the point is on the
waveform - to the end of the bulldozer track and press 'Delete'
Now we need to import the 'explosion' sound. This is done
exactly the same way as before. Choose Project > Import
Audio.. and select 'explosion.wav'. Since the sound of
the explosion is sampled at the same 8000Hz rate it won't need
altering this time.
Again you can hear the effect
by putting your mouse over the green play button. (warning - it's
As you can hear (and see) The explosion is at the wrong end of
the sound. To fix this first zoom in twice again, (Ctrl
1 twice), then click at the beginning of the explosion
track. Use the left arrow key of your keyboard a few times to make
sure you are at the exact start of the track then choose
Edit > Insert Silence... In the window which
opens change the value to 8.0 seconds and click
Now zoom out using View > Zoom Out or
Ctrl 3 twice You can see the sound is now
approximately 10 seconds long to the end of the explosion. Using
the technique described earlier the section from 11 seconds to 12
seconds was marked in the machine gun track and faded out as
before. The excess sound was deleted by marking it and pressing
The final step is to save the sound file. So that it can be
used by both PowerPoint and a web browser this was done by using
File > Export as Wav... and saved as
'ww2tank.wav'. You can hear it by moving your mouse over the green
play icon in the picture above.
"All things are difficult
before they are easy."- Thomas