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Countdown Timer Slides in PowerPoint

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Date Created:
Last Updated: June 8th 2012

Creating countdown timer slides in PowerPoint is easy - I'm using PowerPoint 2003 for this tutorial, but the techniques should work in versions as old as PowerPoint 97.

You can download the sample PowerPoint presentation here... (around 4 kb)

  1. Create a new presentation (Ctrl + N) and insert a blank slide. Or insert a blank slide in an existing presentation.

  2. Insert a text-box and type the number '1' or '01' or '001' depending on how many digits you want your counter to display. Change the text alignment to center, change the font size to something large like 200 and resize the text box so that all digits are placed on the same line. Change your font style as required and position the text box right in the center of the slide, using guides or grids to position as required.

  3. Choose Slide Show | Slide Transition - this will activate the Slide Transition task pane in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003 (or open the Transition dialog box in older versions).

  4. Choose a simple transition - for this example, I chose the Box Out transition effect. You can also choose the 'No transition' option if you prefer. I've also set the Speed to Fast and opted to automatically advance slide after 10 seconds. You might want to choose a shorter or longer time delay for the transition.

  5. Choose View | Slide Sorter and click the formatted timer slide. Choose Edit | Copy (or Ctrl + C). Then choose Edit | Paste (or Ctrl + V) to paste an identical slide. Paste as many times as required until you end up with the number of slides you want your countdown to contain.

  6. Within each of the consecutive slides, you'll want to edit the countdown number in reverse order so that the last slide contains the number '1'. Since my example presentation contains 10 slides, it would look like this after the number values have been edited. (see screenshot)

  7. We just finished creating a countdown timer - you might want to experiment with slide backgrounds, transitions, animations, font color and style, etc. to create a unique look. You might even want to experiment with digit styles or include seconds within the slides (for example 01:00) - also you may want to add some text to each countdown slide like "minutes/seconds remaining" or similar.

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