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If you have words that you want to emphasize in your slideshow, you can animate them one at a time. In fact, you can even make each letter pop. Create an impactful slideshow by animating words or letters in PowerPoint.

Maybe you have an educational slideshow where you want to stress a strict class rule. Or maybe you have a business presentation where you want to introduce the name of an amazing new product. Rather than just displaying static text on a slide, you can make it more memorable and dramatic with an animation.

RELATED: How to Group and Animate Objects in Microsoft PowerPoint

Animate Single Words on a PowerPoint Slide

You can animate single words in a name, phrase, sentence, or whole paragraph. But you don’t have to animate each word separately. Once you apply the animation to the entire text, you’ll tweak it slightly to separate the animation by word.

RELATED: How to Make a Typewriter or Command Line Animation in PowerPoint

Select the text you want to animate by dragging your cursor through it. Open the Animations tab and choose an animation from the collection in the ribbon. You can view all animations by clicking the larger arrow at the bottom of the animation box.

View all available animations in PowerPoint

For our example, we’ll use an Entrance animation (Fade) to display words on the slide one at a time. But you can also use an Emphasis or Exit animation if you prefer.

Animations in PowerPoint

On the Animations tab, click “Animation Pane.” This displays a sidebar on the right where you’ll edit the animation.

Click the arrow on the right of the animation in the sidebar and select “Effect Options.”

Select Effect Options

Go to the Effect tab in the pop-up window. Next to Animate Text, select “By Word.” Optionally, you can use the box that displays below that to enter a percentage of delay between the words. This is a setting you may want to preview and adjust for the amount of delay that looks best.

Select By Word

You can choose a duration for the effect in this same window. Go to the Timing tab and use the Duration drop-down box to speed up or slow down the animation.

Change the animation duration

You can review the other settings available for the animation you choose such as the delay, start action, or other triggers if you like. When you finish, click “OK” and then preview your animation.

If you don’t see the effect, you can view it a few different ways. Click “Play All” or “Play From” at the top of the sidebar or “Preview” on the left side of the ribbon. You can also click the arrow next to Preview in the ribbon and mark the option for AutoPreview so that you always see previews automatically.

Press Preview or Play All

To delete the animation later, select its arrow in the Animation Pane and choose “Remove” in the drop-down list.

RELATED: How to Disable or Delete PowerPoint Animations

Animate Individual Letters on a Slide

Whether you want to animate letters of a single word or each letter in a name or phrase, you’ll follow the same basic process as above for animating words with one slight change.

Select the text, apply the animation, and open the Animation Pane as described. Click the arrow to the right of the animation in the sidebar and pick “Effect Options.”

Select Effect Options

On the Effect tab, in the Animate Text drop-down box, select “By Letter.” This is the only necessary change for animating letters instead of words.

Select By Letter

Like when adjusting the settings for animating words, you can set the delay between letters, dim the appearance, change the duration, and use a different start action. Simply review the tabs in the window for those available for the effect you pick.

When you finish, click “OK” and preview your animation.

To delete a letter animation, select the arrow next to it in the Animation Pane and choose “Remove.”

There are plenty of ways to make your PowerPoint presentation stand out. Whether by word, by letter, or even by character, you can create animations that make your presentation a memorable one.

Profile Photo for Sandy Writtenhouse Sandy Writtenhouse
With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage.
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