How to Use the Animations Pane in Microsoft PowerPoint

The Animation pane displays a list of animated objects that you can use on your slide. Here’s how to use it in Microsoft PowerPoint.

When you create a PowerPoint presentation, you want it to be as captivating as possible. Sometimes this can include adding animations to your presentation. Microsoft PowerPoint lets you create animations using its built-in Animation Pane.

The animation pane lets you control the type of animated effect, when the effect starts, and for how long. This tutorial will guide you through the various features of the Animation Pane. This includes how to add effects, delays, special text animations, and more.

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Overview of the Animation Pane in Microsoft PowerPoint

You can find the Animation Pane in the “Animations” ribbon at the very top of Microsoft PowerPoint. Click on the Animations pane under the “Advanced Animation” section. This will open the animation pane on the right.

If you add an animation to an element on the slide, it will be assigned a number. This number represents the order in which the animation will be played.

Once you’ve added animations, you can preview how the animations look. Select an animation and press the Play from at the top of the animation pane to start the preview.


If you don’t want to animate your presentation manually, you can also explore animated PowerPoint presentation templates.

How to Add Animations to Elements on a Slide in Microsoft PowerPoint

You can add animations to the slide by selecting an element and adding an effect to it.

  1. Select an item on one of your slides.
  2. Add an animation effect for this element. Click on one of the animations listed in the animation ribbon. Once you have done this, the animation effect will appear in the animation pane.

    Alternatively, you can click the Add animations drop-down and select an animation from the list provided.

  3. Once you’ve added effects to multiple clips, you can change the order of the animations. To do this, select an animation and click the up and down buttons at the top right of the animation pane.


If you want to add animations or effects to photos, there are already plenty of PowerPoint photo collage templates you can use to present a slideshow.

How to add sound, text and additional effects to animation

You can add additional effects to the animation in the “Effect Options” menu.

  1. Right click on an animation in the animation pane. Select Effect Options.
  2. To add sound to your selected animation, select a sound effect from the “Sound” drop-down list. You can also control the volume by clicking the volume button to the right of the drop-down menu.
  3. To add secondary effects, select an option from the “After animation” drop-down list. This will allow you to darken the selected element once the animation is complete. You can also use it to change the color or hide the element after the animation is finished.
  4. You can also add additional animations to the text. In the “Effect Options” window, you can select the “Animate Text” field to be either “By Word” or “By Letter”. “By Word” will display each word one at a time, and “By Letter” will display each letter one at a time.

    You can also specify the number of seconds as the delay between each word or letter.


How to Time an Animation in Microsoft PowerPoint

You can control when the animation starts. There are three times when an animation can start:

Animation start type The description
Start on click The PowerPoint presentation will not continue unless you click the mouse or spacebar. This will trigger the animation to start.
Start with the previous When the previously listed animation starts, the selected animation also starts at the same time.
Start after previous The selected animation will not start until the previously listed animation ends.
  1. To configure when the animation starts, highlight the selected animation. Right click on the animation and select either Start on click, Start with the previousWhere Start after previous.
  2. You can also specify the duration, i.e. how long you want the animation to last. Right click on an animation and select Hourly to open a new window. You can also configure the duration in the Animations ribbon at the top, above the animation pane.
  3. In the same box, you can also specify a delay in seconds to wait, before the animation starts.


Add More Animations to Microsoft PowerPoint

Hope you now have a basic understanding of the Animation Pane in Microsoft PowerPoint. You can continue to learn by experimenting with different combinations of animations. Moreover, you can also keep trying different sound, text or delay effects.

Whether you’re used to giving presentations or are still learning, there are always new techniques to learn. You can explore more tools and tips to make your presentations more engaging.