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It’s easy to improve the appearance of your Microsoft PowerPoint slideshow by including an attractive background. You might use a color, gradient, or pattern, or insert an image. Another way to make your background appealing is by animating it.

If you use Microsoft PowerPoint on Mac, you have the option to animate a still slide background. This adds subtle movement to the image, so it doesn’t distract from your slideshow or its message.

Note: As of February 2022, this feature is only available in PowerPoint for Microsoft 365 for Mac and PowerPoint 2021, 2019, and 2016 for Mac.

Animate an Image Background in PowerPoint

To set an image as an animated slide background in PowerPoint, you simply start by inserting the picture on your slide. If you already have an image on the slide you want to use, you can skip the first step below.

RELATED: How to Control When a Picture Appears in PowerPoint

Go to the Insert tab and select the Pictures drop-down box in the Images section of the ribbon. Choose where you’d like to add the image from: Photo Browser, Picture From File, Stock Images, or Online Pictures.

Insert image options in PowerPoint on Mac

Select the image on the slide and head to the Picture Format tab.

Selected image and the Picture Format tab

Click “Animate as Background” on the right side of the ribbon.

Animate as Background button in the ribbon

A window will appear prompting you to select the important points on the image. These points determine the motion path for the animation.

Click to select each point. The path will move from the highest number to the lowest. When you finish, click “Apply.”

Setting up the motion path

The image will be automatically resized to cover the entire slide as the background. So if your image is portrait instead of landscape, you’ll need to resize or crop it.

To view the animation, go to the Slide Show tab and pick “Play From Current Slide.”

Play the slideshow from the current slide

You’ll see your image move very slowly, from your highest number point to your lowest. Again, this is a subtle animation which makes it nice if you have text or other elements you’re speaking to on the slide.

To edit the motion path, select the image, return to the Picture Format tab, and pick “Animate as Background” as you did initially. Then, click the new path you want to use and hit “Apply” to save the change.

By adding a subtle animation to your slide background, you can give a little extra pizzazz to your slideshow or automatically move to a key part of the image.

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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