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Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2002, 2003, and 2007 -- Reversing Motion Paths

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: PowerPoint 2002, 2003, and 2007

Date Created: October 14th 2008
Last Updated: February 25th 2009

Excerpt/Capsule: Learn how to reverse a motion path animation in PowerPoint 2002, 2003, and 2007.

Now that you have learnt how to add motion paths using presets, and by drawing your own custom motion paths, it is time to start getting more familiar with some tricks using motion path animations.

One of the simplest motion path tricks is using the reverse motion path option. This is very helpful if you want an object to animate using a motion path, and then animate again from the end of the motion path to the beginning!

Follow these steps to play with reversing motion paths:

  1. First add a shape to a blank slide, and provide it with a motion path animation -- refer to my adding a motion path or drawing a custom motion path tutorials to get started.

  2. Now make sure that the Custom Animation task pane is visible as shown in Figure 1. If this task pane is not visible, you won't be able to see or select motion paths.

    For PowerPoint 2007 users, make sure that the shape is still selected, then activate the Animations tab of the Ribbon -- next click the Custom Animation button to bring up a task pane of the same name that you can see in Figure 1. Remember, this is a toggle option: click once to show the Custom Animation task pane, and click again to hide it!

    Users of earlier PowerPoint versions can again make sure that the shape is selected. Then they should choose Slide Show | Custom Animation to access a similar task pane (see Figure 1).

    Custom Animation
    Figure 1: Custom Animation

  3. Select the object that has a motion path animation applied, and you shall be able to see a dashed line representing the motion path. This dashed line has red and green arrowheads at both its ends, the green arrowhead represents the starting point of the motion path whereas the red arrowhead represents the end point. Now select the motion path by clicking on the dashed line, as shown in Figure 2.

    Motion Path
    Figure 2: Motion Path

  4. Now right-click the selected motion path and you will see a context menu with 3 options as shown in Figure 3. The last of these options is called Reverse Path Direction. Select this option, and you might see a preview of the reversed animation. Also notice that the red and green arrows have now swapped positions, as visible in Figure 4.

    Reverse Path Direction
    Figure 3: Reverse Path Direction

    Swapped Arrow Heads
    Figure 4: Swapped Arrow Heads

Tip: You can duplicate an object that contains a motion path animation, align it next to the original object, and then reverse the motion path of the duplicated object. You can then add an exit animation to the original object immediately after the motion path animation. The animation build sequence would thus be:
  1. Motion Path animation on original object
  2. Exit animation on original object
  3. Entrance animation on duplicated object
  4. Reversed motion path animation on duplicated object.

Note: Did you notice the other two options in the context menu shown in Figure 3? These may or may not have been grayed out depending on the nature of your motion path. Confused? Don't worry -- I'll cover this next in this series of motion path tutorials.

See Also:

Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows -- Reversing Motion Paths
Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac -- Reversing Motion Paths
Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows -- Reversing Motion Paths


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