How to Animate a Fixed Slide Background in Microsoft PowerPoint

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

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

To 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 a Background Image in PowerPoint

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

RELATED: How to Control When an Image Appears in PowerPoint

Go to the Insert tab and select the Pictures drop-down list in the Pictures section of the ribbon. Choose where you want to add the image from: photo browser, image from file, stock images, or online images.

Insert image options in PowerPoint on Mac

Select the image on the slide and go to the Format Image tab.

Selected image and Image Format tab

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

Animate button in the background ribbon

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

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

Motion Path Setup

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

To view the animation, go to the Slideshow tab and select “Play from current slide”.

Play slideshow from current slide

You will see your image move very slowly from your highest numerical point to your lowest. Again, this is a subtle animation which makes it nice if you have text or other things you talk to on the slide.

To change the motion path, select the image, go back to the Format Image tab and choose “Animate in Background” as you did initially. Then click on the new path you want to use and press “Apply” to save the change.

By adding subtle animation to your slide background, you can spice up your slideshow or automatically jump to a key part of the image.