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Animate Charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X

Date Created: August 14th 2012
Last Updated: August 14th 2012

Excerpt/Capsule: Learn how to animate charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

In this series on using animation in PowerPoint 2011, you have already explored how you can apply animation to any slide object, and then tweak the animation speed and animation events. Charts can also be animated in a similar way -- however PowerPoint provides some extra animation options that are applicable only to charts. For example, you can animate series and categories individually as required -- and, you can also decide whether you want to animate the plot area or not. In this tutorial you'll learn how to apply animation to chart and also explore the various chart animation options in PowerPoint 2011.

Here are some reasons for animating a chart:

  • You might want to highlight an individual chart series or category over others -- animation lets you highlight that part of the chart.
  • You want to animate the plot area separately from the rest of the chart.
  • You want to animate all the columns or bars in a chart to wipe up (or down, left, or right) one at a time -- either automatically or sequenced. Similarly for a pie chart or a line chart, you may want individual pies and line elements to animate respectively.

Those were just the most common reasons why you would want to animate a chart -- there are plenty of other reasons you will discover for yourself! Also remember that animation is movement, and that's something that will draw attention. For that reason, only animate charts that you want to highlight.

Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see a sample presentation showing animated charts.

Follow these steps to apply animation to a chart -- in this tutorial we'll use a column chart, but the concepts remain the same with other chart types:

  1. Insert a chart on the PowerPoint slide. Then access the Animations tab of the Ribbon, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1.

    Chart inserted on PowerPoint slide
    Figure 1: Chart inserted on PowerPoint slide

  2. Make sure your chart is still selected (click on the edge of the chart so that it gets selected as shown in Figure 1, above). Now, to add animation to the chart, go to the Entrance Effects group (highlighted in blue, within Figure 1, above) and open the Entrance Effects drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 2.

    Tip: Based on your requirement, you can even apply an Emphasis Effect or an Exit Effect to animate your chart.

    Entrance Effects drop-down gallery
    Figure 2: Entrance Effects drop-down gallery

  3. In the Entrance Effects drop-down gallery, just click on any of the entrance effect animations to apply it to your selected chart. In Figure 2 above, you can see that the Rise Up entrance effect has been selected.

  4. This will animate the whole chart as a single object -- go ahead and play the Slide Show to preview the chart animation.

  5. To animate chart elements individually, you need to first access the Custom Animation tab of the Toolbox. To do that, click the Reorder button (highlighted in red within Figure 3, below) within the Animations tab of the Ribbon.

    Reorder button within Animations tab
    Figure 3: Reorder button within Animations tab

  6. This brings up the Custom Animation tab of the Toolbox as shown in Figure 4. Select the chart animation within the Animation order pane, and click on the Chart Animations pane that you can see highlighted in red, within Figure 4.

    Chart Animations pane within the Custom Animation tab of the Toolbox
    Figure 4: Chart Animations pane within the Custom Animation tab of the Toolbox

  7. This reveals the options within the Chart Animations pane, as shown in Figure 5.

    Chart animation options
    Figure 5: Chart animation options

  8. Click on the Group graphic selection-list, highlighted in red within Figure 5, above. This opens a drop-down list of options to animate different elements (graphics) of the selected chart as you can see in Figure 6.

    Group graphic options
    Figure 6: Group graphic options

    Choose any of the available options that are explained below:

    1. As One Object: Animated all chart elements at once
    2. By Series: All Series animated one by one
    3. By Category: All categories animated one by one
    4. By Element in Series: All individual series elements animated sequentially
    5. By Element in Category: All individual category elements animated sequentially
    Tip: Cannot find all the options shown above within the Chart Animations pane? The options you see depend upon the animation effect you apply. Rise Up is one of the effects that provides the maximum amount of options.

  9. Select the Start animation by drawing the chart background check-box (highlighted in blue within Figure 5, above). This will let you begin the animation sequence by drawing the chart background including the plot area on the slide.

  10. Save your presentation.

Note: There are no built-in options to animate legends, data labels, or axes separately in PowerPoint. You can only animate categories and series, and the plot area individually.

Sample Presentation

Click above to view on YouTube

See Also:

Animate Charts in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Animate Charts in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Animate Charts in PowerPoint 2002, 2003, and 2007 for Windows


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If you liked this tutorial, do look at this book, authored by Geetesh Bajaj and James Gordon.

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