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Create a Slide Show That Really Slides, in PowerPoint

Explore a technique that makes your presentation look as if it's sliding


Product/Version: PowerPoint

Ellen Finkelstein

Ellen Finkelstein is the author of How to Do Everything with PowerPoint 2007 (and three earlier editions) and PowerPoint for Teachers: Dynamic Presentations and Interactive Classroom Projects, 101 Tips Every PowerPoint User Should Know, The Lost Art of Persuasion, and 7 Steps to Great Images. She has written numerous articles on PowerPoint for Inside PowerPoint,, PresentationXpert, Presentations magazine, and more. Ellen offers seminars on PowerPoint and maintains a well-known Web site at, which offers many PowerPoint tips, a blog, and the free PowerPoint Tips Newsletter. The technique that follows is Technique #30 from her latest e-book, 101 Advanced Techniques Every PowerPoint User Should Know.

Recently, it occurred to me that the words "slide show" came about because early presentations looked like they were sliding as the slides were moved on and off the screen.

Here's a technique that makes your presentation look as if it's sliding. It uses a combination of these features:

  • The Push Left slide transition
  • A background with no vertical borders
  • One or two continuous horizontal lines
  • Other optional horizontal elements

Watch a video

Download the PowerPoint file.

Here's how to get this effect:

  1. Apply the Push Left slide transition to all the slides. Choose Slide Show | Slide Transition option. From the list, choose Push Left. (In PowerPoint 2007, choose Animations tab | Transition to This Slide group, and click the More button to display the Transition Gallery. In the Push and Cover section, choose Push Left.) Make sure the speed is set to Slow; if not, the text will go by too fast for comfort during the transition. Then click the Apply to All (Slides) button.
  2. Apply a background with horizontal elements. We used a horizontal gradient. For the bottom, we found some clip art of books and copied it across the page, stretching as necessary to make it fit perfectly on the slide.
  3. Create a horizontal border on the top, bottom, or both. For the top, we used a simple rectangle, with no outline. We removed the outline to avoid having a vertical bar at the left and right side of the rectangle.
  4. Then we added a thin, white rectangle (also with no outline) below it.

The borders can be on the master or each slide. I used both techniques. If you put the top border on the master, it could be your title placeholder. Otherwise, add an AutoShape to each slide.

This presentation would work well with automatic timing, displayed on a screen in the company's lobby.

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