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

Learn to animate charts in PowerPoint 2007, 2003, and 2002 for Windows.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2007, 2003, and 2002 for Windows

OS: Windows XP and higher






In PowerPoint you can animate any slide object, but some objects have extra animation options. These objects include charts and bulleted text, and in this tutorial we will work with chart animation in PowerPoint. Since animation is largely unchanged in PowerPoint versions 2002 through 2007, we'll cover all those versions in this tutorial.

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.

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!

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 example we use a common column chart, but the concepts remain the same with other chart types:

  1. Insert a chart on the PowerPoint slide. Learn how to insert chart in PowerPoint versions before 2007 and in PowerPoint 2007.
  2. Next, make sure that the Custom Animation Task Pane is visible, as shown in Figure 1. If this Task Pane is not visible, you won't be able to see or select any animations.

    For PowerPoint 2007 users, make sure that the chart is still selected, then activate the Animations tab of the Ribbon -- next click the Custom Animation button to bring up a Task Pane of the same name that you can see in Figure 1. Remember, this is a toggle option: click once to show the Custom Animation Task Pane, and click again to hide it!

    Users of earlier PowerPoint versions (PowerPoint 2002 and 2003) can again make sure that the chart is selected. Then they should choose Slide Show | Custom Animation to access a similar Task Pane (see Figure 1).

    Custom Animation Task Pane
    Figure 1: Custom Animation Task Pane
  3. With your chart selected (click on the edge of the chart so that it is selected as shown in Figure 1), click the Add Effect button in the Custom Animation Task Pane, as shown in Figure 2.

    Add Effect
    Figure 2: Add Effect
  4. This opens a fly-out menu that lets you select any of the four animation types that PowerPoint supports. For this tutorial, we chose the Entrance animation option, which opens another fly-out menu that you can see in Figure 2 above.
  5. Choose any of the animation styles in this fly-out menu, or choose More Effects to see more animation options. We won't go into detail about adding an animation here since we have already covered that part in our Adding an Animation in PowerPoint 2002, 2003 and 2007 tutorial. We chose the Wipe animation and selected the From Bottom direction (look ahead at Figure 3).
  6. By default, PowerPoint will animate the whole chart as one object. To animate individual chart elements, right-click the animation item in the Custom Animation Task Pane and choose Effect Options from the resultant context menu, as shown in Figure 3.

    Effect Options
    Figure 3: Effect Options
  7. This summons a multi-tabbed dialog box as shown in Figure 4. Click the Chart Animation tab, and from the Group Chart drop-down list, choose any of the 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
    Figure 4: Chart Animation
  8. Select the Start animation by drawing the chart background option (see Figure 5). This option lets 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 5: Start animation by drawing the chart background
  9. Save your presentation.
Related Link: My book Cutting Edge PowerPoint 2007 For Dummies covers many aspects of PowerPoint 2007. A free chapter excerpt PowerPointing with the Best of Them is available on this site.

Sample Presentation


Click above to view onYouTube

See Also:

Animate Charts in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Animate Charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Animate Charts in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Pictures in Presentations

Is a picture is worth a thousand words? You probably have heard this adage so often that we decided not to repeat this phrase throughout this book! Now here’s some more info: the human brain uses a larger part of its area to store visual information rather than textual content. And that’s possibly because a picture describes so much more than text.

Go and get a copy of our Pictures in Presentations ebook.


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