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Animate Charts in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn to animate charts in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Windows XP and higher

We have already explored how you can animate any slide object, and then tweak the animation speed and animation events. Although you add animation to a chart in the same way, 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 we'll explore how to apply animation to chart and also explore the various Chart animation options in PowerPoint 2010.

Note: Like charts, there are extra animation options available for bulleted text and SmartArt.

So, why would you want to animate a chart? Here are some reasons:

  • 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 rise 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 attract attention. For that reason, only animate charts that you want to focus on. Animating every single chart in your presentation may be taking the movement part too far!

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 common 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 in 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 is selected as shown in Figure 1 above). Now click the Add Animation button to bring up the Add Animation gallery, as shown in Figure 2.

    Add Animation gallery
    Figure 2: Add Animation gallery
  3. Within the Add Animation gallery, you can select any of the four animation types that PowerPoint supports. For this tutorial, we chose the Wipe Entrance animation effect.
  4. By default, PowerPoint will animate the whole chart as one object. To animate individual chart elements, you need to first make the Animation Pane visible. To do that, click the Animation Pane button (highlighted in red in Figure 3, below) within the Animations tab of the Ribbon.

    Animation Pane button
    Figure 3: Animation Pane button
  5. Within the Animation Pane, right-click the chart animation to bring up a drop-down list, as shown in Figure 4. From the resultant drop-down list, chose Effect Options (refer to Figure 4 again). Alternatively, just double-click the Chart Animation on the Animation Pane.

    Effect Options to be selected for the animation
    Figure 4: Effect Options to be selected for the animation
  6. This summons a multi-tabbed dialog box as shown in Figure 5. Click the Chart Animation tab, and from the Group chart drop-down list, choose any of the available options:

    As One Object: Animated all at once
    By Series: All Series animated one by one
    By Category: All categories animated one by one
    By Element in Series: All individual series elements animated sequentially
    By Element in Category: All individual category elements animated sequentially

    Chart Animation options
    Figure 5: Chart Animation options

    Tip: Cannot find all the options shown above in the Chart Animation tab? The options you see depend upon the animation effect you apply. Wipe is one of the effects that provides the maximum amount of options.
  7. Select the Start animation by drawing the chart background check-box (highlighted is red in Figure 6). This will let you begin the animation sequence by drawing the chart background including the plot area on the slide. Click OK to apply.

    Start animation by drawing the chart background
    Figure 6: Start animation by drawing the chart background
  8. 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 2011 for Mac
Animate Charts in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

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