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Animation Triggers

Animation triggers are a wonderful feature of PowerPoint that allow your presentations to become more interactive and encourage audience participation. This feature is included in PowerPoint 2003 for PC (unfortunately, they are not available in 2008 for the Mac. I’m not sure about PowerPoint 2007 for the PC). By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to:
  1. Animate an object when another object is clicked
  2. Create an invisible hot spot that causes an animation

Animate an object when another object is clicked

Purpose: to provide a way to interact with your PowerPoint.

We will start by creating a few text boxes and a few shapes and then animating them as we usually would (if you need help, see prevoius post entitled “Custom Animation in PowerPoint“). I’m going to create two text boxes, a circle, and a triangle, and I’m going to have the text boxes animate on click by first level peragraphs.

Slide overview

To create the “trigger” effect, double click on your animation effect (in the list on the right), and then click on the “Timing” Tab and click the “Triggers” button.

Snap2 - Double Click Effect Snap3 - Timing tab

We want the effect to be triggered by the click of another object, so click the radio box next to “Start effect on click of:” and then click on the dropdown menu and select the object you want to click. I’m going to select the oval object.

Snap4 - Start effect on click of

If you run your presentation now, you’ll find out you have successfully caused the animation of your first text box to be dependent on clicking the circle.

Create an invisible hotspot that causes an animation

Purpose: to keep your hotspots from being obvious to the audience.

In medicine, we’re often asking the question, “what could be causing the listed symptoms.” In several of my presentations, I’ve engaged the audience in this very exercise by presenting them with some sort of anatomical picture and then asking where problems could be coming from. I often don’t want the audience to be clued in by my hotspots, so I use the trick of making them almost invisible (99% transparent). Let’s do that with the other text box on our slide. We’ll make it appear when the hotspot of the triangle is clicked, but you won’t be able to see the triangle.

First, set up your trigger just like we did previously, but select the triangle this time as the trigger (see above). Now, double click on the triangle to get the “Format AutoShape” box. In the box next to “Transparency,” type “99%” and then, in the “Line” section, click on the “Color” box and select “No Line.”

Set Transparency and no line

Now, when you view your slide, you’ll see that the object is selected, but you can’t see it (or at least, it’s barely visible. To make it hide even more, select a color that’s similar to the background color).

Snap6 - Transparent Object

Try previewing this slide, and you’ll see that the second text box will animate whenever you click in the area of the invisible triangle. If you’d like, you can move the triangle around to be over one of the letters to make that letter a “hot spot.”

In this lesson, you learned how to create triggered animations and (nearly) invisible hotspots in order to make your presentations more interactive.

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Categories: PowerPoint
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