Microsoft PowerPoint logo on a laptop.

Animations do have their benefits in entertaining PowerPoint presentations. But maybe you haven’t seen the one you want, aren’t sure how to use different triggers, or didn’t realize you can add sound. We’re here to help with little-known animation options.

Get More Animation Options

When you head to the Animations tab in PowerPoint, you’ll see a nice collection of effects in the ribbon. Maybe you’ve browsed through and even previewed a few, but none made an impression on you. Guess what? There are more!

RELATED: How to Use Motion Path Animations in Microsoft PowerPoint

Select the arrow in the bottom right corner of the Animations box.

Animations arrow

When the drop-down box opens, go toward the bottom. You’ll see options for More Entrance Effects, More Emphasis Effects, More Exit Effects, and More Motion Paths.

More animation effects

When you choose one of these options, you’ll see many more animations than what appear in the Animations box on the ribbon. For example, if you view More Entrance Effects, you’ll see about 40 animations compared to the dozen you see in the Animations box.

More Entrance Effects list

You can also check the box at the bottom for Preview Effect. Then, when you pick an animation in the list, you’ll see how it looks before you apply and save it. When you land on the one you want, click “OK.”

Change the Direction or Sequence

For some animations, you can pick the direction or sequence. This small adjustment can have a big impact on how your elements display.

For example, if you pick the “Fly In Entrance” effect, you can choose from eight different directions or for the Shape Entrance effect, you can choose to have the shape come in or move out and then pick from four different shapes.

Select the animation, go to the Animations tab, and open the “Effect Options” drop-down menu. Then, pick the direction or sequence you want to use for a more unique effect.

Effect Options on the Animations tab

Using the Fly In animation, you can see below that each image on the slide comes from a different spot per its location.

Add Sound to an Animation

You may already know that you can add sound to your PowerPoint slideshow, but did you realize you can add sound to animation? You can play a round of applause, a drum roll, a typewriter, or an explosion among other sound effects.

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

Select the animation and choose “Animation Pane” on the Animations tab to open the sidebar.

Animations Pane button

Click the arrow to the right of the animation and pick “Effect Options.”

Effect Options in the Animation Pane

Go to the Effect tab in the small window and use the Sound drop-down box to select the one you want. You can click the speaker button on the right to adjust the volume if you like.

Sounds for an animation in PowerPoint

Then, click “OK” to apply the sound to the animation.

Animate Text by a Word or Letter

One animation feature you might like to check out applies to text. If you want to animate one word or letter a time, this can create a fantastic effect.

Select the text box you want to animate and apply the animation you want. Open the Animation Pane, click the arrow next to the animation, and pick “Effect Options.”

Effect Options in the Animation Pane

Go to the Effect tab and choose “By Word” or “By Letter” in the Animate Text drop-down box. Then, click “OK.”

By Word and By Letter in the Animate Text box

When you play the presentation, you’ll see each word or letter fly in, spin, or fade away per the animation you pick.

Repeat an Animation

Would you like your animation effect to repeat several times or until you move to the next slide? This is one of those hidden animation features in PowerPoint.

RELATED: How to Hide an Object Before Animation in PowerPoint

Open the Animation Pane using the button on the Animation tab. In the sidebar, select the arrow to the right of the animation and pick “Timing.”

Timing in the Animation Pane

When the small box opens to the Timing tab, select a number from the Repeat drop-down list. You can choose from options like 2, 3, 4, 5, or 10, or select Until Next Click or Until End of Slide depending on the type of effect you want.

Repeat options for an animation

When you trigger the animation, you’ll see it repeat.

Animate Multiple Objects at Once

If you have several elements on your slide that you want to mimic each other, you can animate multiple items at the same time. You can use this for text boxes, shapes, images, or icons.

To select all slide elements, use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+A on Windows or Command+A on Mac. To select only certain elements, click the first one, hold Ctrl on Windows or Command on Mac, and then click each additional one.

Multiple images selected in PowerPoint

Once you have your elements selected, apply the animation you want. You can adjust the Effect Options like any other animation, and the changes apply to the entire group as you’ll see in the Animation Pane.

Multiple images selected in the Animation Pane

When you play the slideshow, you should see all of the elements you picked animate together.

Use Different Triggers

If you play your presentation automatically, like at a kiosk, then your animations display automatically. But if you want to present each one with a click, you can actually choose which item triggers the animation.

RELATED: How to Control When a Picture Appears in PowerPoint

For instance, you may have several slide elements like titles, text, images, and shapes. You can pick one of these specific items as the animation trigger.

Select the animated item and head to the Animations tab. Open the Trigger drop-down box and move to On Click Of. You can then pick the element you want from the pop-out menu.

Trigger options for an animation in PowerPoint

When you preview your presentation, you’ll notice a hand symbol on the item you pick. This is a good indicator that the element contains an action. In this case, the action triggers the animation.

Hand on an image indicating a trigger

If you create a presentation where using animated effects will enhance it, remember these additional options for animations in PowerPoint.

For more, look at these other things you didn’t know you could do in PowerPoint.

RELATED: How to Disable or Delete PowerPoint Animations

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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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