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Build and Sequence Animations in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

Learn about building and sequencing animations in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows. This concept of animating intuitively one after the other can help create compelling messages.

Animation is a fine art that lets you illustrate a concept using movement. However there's a thin dividing line between mere movement and utter confusion. Imagine a classroom where a teacher moves around the room explaining a concept. As he or she moves, the eyes of the students follow him or her. There is a clear focus in the room, and the subject of that focus is the teacher. Now imagine another situation where the teacher and all the students in the room start moving in disparate directions just for the sake of movement. At this point of time, the movement has given way to chaos. The distinction between movement and chaos works similarly on PowerPoint slides. At any point of time, movement needs to have focus and direction, and more importantly, a reason to move!

This balance between focus and direction can be achieved with two similar concepts used in animation. These are Build and Sequence. Here's a single line description for both these concepts in relation to PowerPoint slides:

  • Build is a series of animations that happen one after the other.
  • Sequence is the order in which they animate.


These twin concepts of build and sequence are more abstract than something that can be shown as a tutorial where you are asked to choose some options. Such abstract concepts are better explained using examples rather than a typical tutorial. Having said that, we assume you know basic animation concepts such as adding animation, types of animations, animation events, animation speed, and the animation timeline.

Look at the online presentation below. This is a clip we embedded from YouTube. You might find that this slide uses animation to introduce all slide objects at the same time.

Click below to view on YouTube

Next, we suggest you play the online presentation below. This is essentially the same slide as the one you viewed last. You will find that the objects on this slide use a sequence so that objects are animated as builds, one after the other.

Click below to view on YouTube

We think this sort of animation adds value to the slide content rather than distraction. That is the reason why build and sequence are so significant to understand, and are the basis of the difference between a distracting and an attentive animation.

Another example you can consider is chart animation. In a typical column chart where each column may represent figures for a year or a quarter, it can be beneficial to show columns for all previous years or quarters as the slide comes up. Then, with one click you can animate so that the present year's or quarter's figures (or forecast figures) are revealed. Doing so focuses attention on that part of the chart, and helps the presenter lead a discussion on that topic.


See Also:

13 03 09 - Advanced Animation Concepts: Build and Sequence Animations in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

Build and Sequence Animations in PowerPoint 2013 and 2010 for Windows
Build and Sequence Animations in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac