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Reversing Paths of Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Reverse the direction for Motion Path animations in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. This technique works great when you want your slide objects to animate back to the position where they started from.

Applying a preset motion path or even drawing a custom motion path are not the only high-end tricks you can master. Several other tricks can help you become a better PowerPoint animator. The simplest Motion Path trick is to reverse them! This option is very helpful if you want an object to animate using a Motion Path, and then animate it again from the end of the motion path to the beginning!

Follow these steps to reverse Motion Path animations in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows:

  1. Select the slide object that you want to animate. You can select any object on your slide. We created and selected a shape.
  2. Alternatively, if you just want to follow this tutorial step-by-step, launch PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. Within the Presentation Gallery, select the Blank presentation option. PowerPoint will open a new presentation with a Title slide. You can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting the Home tab | Layout | Blank option. Then, insert a shape and select it.
  3. Apply a motion path animation to the shape. You can add a preset Motion Path or draw a custom Motion Path.
  4. Now, select the shape to which you have applied the Motion Path animation, and you shall be able to see a dashed line representing the motion path, as shown in Figure 1, below. This dashed line has two arrow heads, one at each end. The green arrowhead represents the starting point of the motion path whereas the red arrowhead represents the end point. If your Motion Path is a closed shape such as a circle, both the green and red arrowheads may overlap.

  5. Figure 1: Shape with a motion path animation applied


  6. Now, select the motion path by clicking on the dashed line, and right-click carefully to bring up a contextual menu with three options, as shown in Figure 2, below. Choose the Reverse Path Direction option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2.

  7. Figure 2: Reverse Path Direction option to be selected
  8. As soon as the Reverse Path Direction option is selected, you'll see a preview of the reversed animation. Also notice that now the green and red arrowheads have swapped positions, as shown in Figure 3, below. Compare Figures 1 and 3.

  9. Figure 3: Swapped arrowheads

Duplicate and Reverse Motion Paths

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 exit and entrance animations to the original and duplicated objects. The animation build sequence would thus be:

  1. Motion Path animation on original object
  2. Exit animation on original object (use the Disappear animation effect)
  3. Entrance animation on duplicated object (use the Appear animation effect)
  4. Reversed motion path animation on duplicated object

Edit Points and Close Path

Did you notice the other two options, Edit Points and Close Path within the contextual menu shown in Figure 2 above? These may or may not have been grayed out depending on the nature of your motion path. Confused? We explain in more detail in our Open and Closed Motion Paths and Edit Points in Motion Paths tutorials.


See Also:

13 02 04 - Motion Path Animations: Reversing Paths of Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

Reversing Paths of Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2007, 2003, and 2002 for Windows
Reversing Paths of Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Reversing Paths of Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Reversing Paths of Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows