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Design motion paths
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Design motion paths

Design motion paths

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Let’s apply a motion path. You use a motion path to move something in a very specific way on a slide. You can also combine motion paths with other effects.

Apply a motion path

  1. Click the thing to which you want to add a motion path. The center of the object or text follows the motion path that you apply.

  2. On the ANIMATIONS tab, click More in the Animation Gallery, and under Motion Paths, do one of the following:

    • Click Lines, Arcs, Turns, Shapes or Loops. The path chosen appears as a dotted line on the selected object or text object. The green arrow indicates the path's beginning and the red arrow indicates its end. Drag either end to put the endpoints where you want them.

    • Click Custom Path. When you click where you want the motion path to start, the pointer becomes a cross-hair.

      • To draw a path of connected straight lines   , click where you want the motion path to start. Move the pointer and click to create a line between the two click points. Move and click again to draw another line. Double-click to stop drawing lines.

      • To draw a free-hand path   , click where you want the motion to start. Hold down the left mouse button and move the pointer on the path that you want the object to follow. Double-click at the motion’s final endpoint.

  3. To watch how it all works together, click Preview on the ANIMATIONS tab.

Double your effect with auto-reverse

For example, if you want a wheel to roll back and forth, select your effects (click one, press Ctrl, and click the other), click the drop-down arrow for the effects in the Animation Pane, click Effect Options, and click Auto-reverse on the Effect tab. The effects play, and then, play again in reverse.

Want more?

Video: Create custom animations with motion paths

You are probably familiar with animation effects like these, where you fade in a list, line by line, or you fade in pictures, one by one.

But say you want a sequence where pictures fade in, and then, move somewhere on the slide, like the first two pictures here.

I’ll play this effect again: The first picture enters and moves left; the second one enters and moves right.

The pictures are moved by animation effects called Motion Paths.

A motion path moves an item, like a picture, on a line you specify.

Let’s apply a motion path.

I have put a Fade entrance effect on this picture.

Next, I want it to move to the left — not to exit, but just to change the position.

I’ll apply a motion path.

With the picture selected, I click Add Animation, and I find Motion Paths at the bottom of the gallery.

I want a straight line.

Once I apply the path, I can use Effect Options to make changes to it, like changing its Direction.

I can choose a Start setting for the path, and a Duration.

Let’s look at a preview: The picture fades in, and moves to the left on the path.

So, you use a motion path to move something in a very specific way on a slide.

You can also combine motion paths with other effects.

In this example, a line motion path is combined with a Spin effect to make the wheel seem like it is rolling.

Here, a rocket image traveling on motion paths gets smaller in the distance and larger on its return.

It is moving on diagonal paths that have a Grow/Shrink effect applied.

Motion paths help you do more with the animation.

In this list, the chevron arrow moves bullet to bullet on a series of down motion paths, setting off text effects as it moves.

Coming up, we’ll apply and customize motion paths and create effects that are both practical and fun.

Up next: Work with a motion path.

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