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Trigger Animations in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Explore how Trigger animations occur on the click of another object in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

OS: Windows 7 and higher

PowerPoint's animation options allow users to create a plethora of movement effects, all the way from the amazing to the dizzying. However, most of these animation effects have events associated with them. The three main events are On Click, With Previous, and After Previous. Whichever event you use, PowerPoint offers an extra animation option called Triggers. This causes your animated objects to swing into movement when you click an entirely different object on your slide. So you cause a click on one object to trigger an animation of another slide object. Although you may have set your animations to any of the three events mentioned earlier, it really does not make a difference since once you add Triggers, all of these animations will behave almost as if they were On Click animations.

Also, you can Trigger animations to cause media events as well, such as playing a sound or video clip.

Note: To work with the Trigger animations, you should have at least two slide objects (shapes, pictures, text boxes etc.) on the slide: one to animate, and the other to trigger the animation on the first object. Yes, it may be possible to cause a Trigger animation with just one slide object. But that has its own set of limitations, and also that's a concept outside the scope of this tutorial.

Follow these steps to learn how to use Trigger animations in PowerPoint 2013:

  1. Create a new presentation, or open an existing presentation. Insert a new slide, and preferably change the slide layout of this slide to Blank or Title Only. Now, go ahead and add any two slide objects. For this tutorial, we inserted one picture and one text box (type some text in the text box), as shown in Figure 1.

    Slide with a picture and a text box
    Figure 1: Slide with a picture and a text box
  2. We now aim to cause the text box to animate and show up when the picture is clicked. To do that, select the text box and apply an Entrance animation to it. You will see an animation tag named 1 appears (highlighted in red within Figure 2), indicating that the text box is the first (and as of now, only) animated object on this slide.

    Animation applied to the text box
    Figure 2: Animation applied to the text box
  3. Now, access the Animations tab of the Ribbon, and click the Animation Pane button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3. Remember that this is a toggle button. So, if your Animation Pane is already visible, then clicking this button will make the pane disappear.

    Animation Pane button within Animations tab
    Figure 3: Animation Pane button within Animations tab
  4. You should now see the Animation Pane, as shown in Figure 4. In this pane, you will see a list of animations applied to objects on the slide. Right-click the animation which you want to be triggered from another slide object. Then, from the resultant menu, chose the Timing option, as shown in Figure 4.

    Timing option selected for the animation
    Figure 4: Timing option selected for the animation
  5. This brings up a dialog box with Timing tab active, as shown in Figure 5. To add a trigger to start this animation, locate and click the Triggers button that you can see highlighted in red within Figure 5.

    Triggers button within the Timing tab
    Figure 5: Triggers button within the Timing tab

    Note: In Figure 5 above, you can see that the dialog box is named Zoom -- the name of this dialog box differs based upon the type of animation applied -- in this case, we had applied a Zoom animation, hence the name. If you had a Fade animation applied, the dialog box would read Fade rather than Zoom. In any case, the options within Triggers work the same way for any animation type.
  6. Within the options that come up, select the Start effect on click of (highlighted in red within Figure 6) radio button. Thereafter, click the down-arrow (highlighted in blue within Figure 6) to bring up a list containing names of slide objects on the same slide (see Figure 6). Within this list, select the name of the object which you want to click to trigger the selected animation. You can see that we have selected Picture 3 as the object that triggers the animation of the text box (refer to Figure 6 again). Then, click the OK button to apply the effect and get back to the slide.

    Trigger options
    Figure 6: Trigger options

    Tip: If you have many slide objects, then you may get confused with the names that PowerPoint uses to describe them. For example you may have several pictures with names such as Picture 1, Picture 2, Picture 3, etc. To ascertain the name of the slide object you want to use to cause a Trigger, you should summon the Selection pane that lets you find the name of a slide object, and also rename it if required. For more information, see our Select, Deselect, View, and Hide Shapes Using the Selection Pane tutorial.
  7. This changes the animation tag of the text box to a Trigger animation icon (highlighted in red within Figure 7). Compare with the tag in Figure 2).

    Animation tag changed to indicate the Trigger
    Figure 7: Animation tag changed to indicate the Trigger
  8. Play the animation to see the trigger effect. The text box won't be visible at first. You will have to click the picture to trigger the animation for the text box (see Figure 8).

    Animation applied to the text box starts playing when the picture is clicked
    Figure 8: Animation applied to the text box starts playing when the picture is clicked

    Note: You are not limited to an Entrance animation to use Triggers, you can also use Emphasis, Exit, and Motion Path animations, and have them all triggered by clicking another object. In Figure 9, below, you can see that we used the same picture and text box, but this time we triggered an Emphasis animation (we used the Underline effect) rather than an Entrance animation.

    Emphasis animation applied to the text box starts playing when the picture is clicked
    Figure 9: Emphasis animation applied to the text box starts playing when the picture is clicked
  9. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Trigger Animations in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Trigger Animations in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

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