Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2010 -- Edit Points
Author: Geetesh Bajaj
Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010
OS: Windows 7 / Vista / XP
Date Created: July 26th 2012
Last Updated: July 26th 2012
Excerpt/Capsule: Learn how to edit the motion paths with the help of Edit Points in PowerPoint 2010.
While working with Motion Paths, especially after drawing a Custom
Motion Path to animate your slide object, you may feel that the
path drawn is not very smooth. Or you may have used one of the preset
Motion Paths to animate your slide object, and now you want to
make some changes. Maybe you want to extend the path, or use smoother
corners rather than the default pointed ones. In Figure 1 below,
you can see that a custom motion path was drawn to animate a Star shape.
Drawing with a mouse typically does result in paths that don't look
Figure 1: Custom Motion Path applied to a Start shape needs to be edited
Since Motion Paths are essentially lines drawn in PowerPoint, you can always edit them using the Edit Points option, and reorient them as required. Follow these steps to learn more:
- Open your presentation and add
a shape or any other slide object to a blank slide, Now, apply
a Motion Path animation to it -- refer to our Adding
a Motion Path or Drawing
a Custom Motion Path tutorials to get started.
- At this time, the Animations tab of the Ribbon should
be active. On the slide itself, you'll see the Motion Path, represented
by a dashed line -- you can now select the motion path by clicking
on the dashed line. Once selected, you will see selection handles
on Motion Path, as clearly visible in Figure 2.
A straight line Motion Path may show just 2 selection handles, while
any other Motion Path will show 8 selection handles. For the rest
of this tutorial, you must have a Motion Path that shows eight handles
when selected -- otherwise any of the options we explain hereafter
will not work for you.
Right-click the selected motion path carefully to bring up a contextual menu with three options, as shown in Figure 2 -- choose the Edit Points option.
Figure 2: Edit Points option to be selected
- This activates the Edit Points mode, showing
a number of vertexes (small black squared points) along the motion
path, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Motion Path in Edit Points mode, with point editing options
Let us first explore how you will edit any of these vertexes -- we will thereafter explore how you edit segments, the line area between two vertexes.
- Click on any vertex to select it. Then, right-click to bring a
contextual menu with options categorized into three sections. Let
us explore the options within these sections, as marked in Figure
- The Add Point option adds a new point (vertex)
at the cursor position, and the Delete Point option
deletes the selected point. To learn more about these options
explore our Add
or Delete Points (Vertexes) tutorial. While that tutorial
discusses editing vertexes on shapes, a motion path is also essentially
a shape that you can edit the same way.
The Close Path option closes any open Motion Path by connecting its starting and end points with a new line segment. However, if your Motion Path is already closed, you will see the Open Path option instead of the Close Path option, as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Closed motion path can be turned into an Open Path
Selecting the Open Path option will result in your closed motion path being opened at the exact point you clicked. Notice that the same motion path you last saw in Figure 4 now has both green and red arrow heads, as you can see in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Change from a closed to an open motion path
You can actually select any of the ends and drag them off to another location,as shown in Figure 6, below.
Figure 6: Starting and End points of the opened motion path repositioned
You can learn more about Open Path and Close Path options in our Edit Points: Open and Close Paths tutorial.
- Auto Point, Smooth Point, Straight
Point, and Corner Point are the various
types of vertexes that help you to change the look of your
Motion Paths. You can learn more about these various points
in our Types
of Points (Vertexes) tutorial.
- Click the Exit Edit Points option to leave
the Edit Points mode.
- The Add Point option adds a new point (vertex) at the cursor position, and the Delete Point option deletes the selected point. To learn more about these options explore our Add or Delete Points (Vertexes) tutorial. While that tutorial discusses editing vertexes on shapes, a motion path is also essentially a shape that you can edit the same way.
- In Edit Points mode, you can also edit the line
segments (line connecting two vertexes) in your Motion Path. To do
that, make sure you are in Edit Points mode, and
right-click on any line segment to bring up a contextual menu with
line segment editing options, as shown in Figure 7.
Figure 7: Motion Path in Edit Points mode with line segment editing options
Let us explore these line segment editing options as marked in Figure 7, above:
- Add Point option adds a new vertex at the
cursor position on the line segment. Close Path option
closes the open Motion Paths by joining its starting and end
point with a line segment. But, if your Motion Path is already
closed, you will see the Open Path option in
the place of Close Path option as shown in Figure
Figure 8: Line segment editing options
At this point, if you select the Open Path option, your closed motion path will be opened at the vertex which is located just before this selected line segment in the motion path. Notice that the same motion path you last saw in Figure 8 now has both green and red arrow heads, as you can see in Figure 9.
Figure 9: Open your motion path
On the other hand, you can get rid of the segment altogether as well. In the same contextual menu, that you saw in Figure 8, you will also find the Delete Segment option. Notice that this option is grayed out for Open Paths, as can be seen in Figure 7, earlier on this page. Choosing the Delete Segment option removes the segment entirely, and thus results in a path that no longer includes the deleted segment, as shown in Figure 10, below.
Figure 10: Selected segment deleted from the motion path
- Straight Segment and Curved Segment options
change the look of the selected line segment making it straight
or curvy. To learn more about these options, read our Edit
Points: Curved and Straight Line Segments tutorial.
- Click the Exit Edit Points option to leave
the Edit Points mode.
- Add Point option adds a new vertex at the cursor position on the line segment. Close Path option closes the open Motion Paths by joining its starting and end point with a line segment. But, if your Motion Path is already closed, you will see the Open Path option in the place of Close Path option as shown in Figure 8.
- Edit the vertexes and line segments as required to fine-tune the
Motion Path. In Figure 11 below, you can see our
motion path, after we fine-tuned it. Compare Figures 1 and 11 to
see the difference.
Figure 11: Custom Motion Path fine-tuned in Edit Points mode
- Once you are happy with the results, save your presentation.
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