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Adding quirky animations to your Microsoft PowerPoint presentation gives your slideshow a little extra life. Not only will adding a typewriter or command line animation entertain your audience, but it will also keep them focused on the text.

Creating a Typewriter/Command Line Animation

The typewriter and command line animations are very similar. The only differentiating factor is text style. If you’re going with the vintage typewriter look, we recommend going with a 12pt Courier New font in black. For the command-line look, we recommend using a 12pt Lucida Console font in white (or green) over a black background. Since the animations are identical, we’ll go with the command-line style as our example here.

Go ahead and open PowerPoint and go to the slide where you want the animation.

You’ll need to make sure you’ve got a black background to work against if you’re going for the command-line look. Head over to the “Insert” tab and then click the “Shapes” button.

Insert a shape in powerpoint

A dropdown menu will appear. From the “Rectangles” group, select “Rectangle.”

select the rectangle shape

Click and drag your mouse on the slide to draw the shape. You could make the shape take up the entire slide or make it smaller if you’re demonstrating something on a smaller scale.

draw a shape gif

Head over to the shapes “Format” tab and select “Shape Fill” from the “Shape Styles” group.

shape fill

Select black from the drop-down menu.

black fill

Do the same for the “Shape Outline.”

black shape outline

Finally, click and drag to size the shape the way you want it.

cover slide gif

In this example, we’re covering the entire slide.

solid black slide

Now it’s time to insert your text. Head over to the “Insert” tab and click the “Text Box” button.

select text box

Note: Yes, you could type text directly into the shape. But, using a text box gives you a little more control over exactly where that text appears.

Click and drag your mouse on the slide to draw the text box.

draw text box gif

Make sure your font’s settings are correct for your respective animation. Since we’re doing the command-line animation for this example, we’ll select Lucida Console (1), 12pt font (2) and white (3).

command line font

Go ahead and type the text you want. When you’re done, select the text box, switch to the “Animations” tab, and then select “Appear” from the “Animation” section.

appear animation

On the same tab, click the “Animation Pane” button.

animation pane

The animation pane will appear on the right-hand side of the window. Select your animation and then click the arrow that appears.

animation arrow

From the drop-down menu, select “Effect Options.”

Effect options

In the window that appears, select the arrow next to “Animate text.” In the dropdown menu that appears, select “By letter.”

appear by letter

Next, enter 0.1 in the “seconds delay between letters” box and then click “OK.”

seconds between animation

As a matter of good practice, check the animation to make sure it looks good.

command line gif

And that’s it. It’s a fun way to demonstrate commands during a presentation or to hold your audience’s attention with an old-fashioned typewriter animation.

Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell is a writer with experience in the technology industry. He worked at Synology, a manufacturer of network-attached storage solutions. Marshall also serves as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview, providing detailed reviews of storage technology.
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