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Drawing Custom Paths for Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2007, 2003, and 2002 for Windows

Learn to draw a custom path for Motion Path animations 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






We showed you how you can add a basic Motion Path animation to any object on a PowerPoint slide. Now, we'll show you how you can use PowerPoint's drawing tools to create your own motion path.

To access these options, and to create your own motion path, follow these steps:

  1. Select the object that you want to animate. You can select any object on a slide although animation works best on text and shapes. Alternatively, if you just want to follow this tutorial step-by-step, launch PowerPoint. Most of the time, PowerPoint will open with a new slide in a presentation. PowerPoint 2007 users can change the slide layout to Blank by selecting Home tab | Layout | Blank. Users of previous PowerPoint versions can choose Format | Slide Layout, and choose the Blank layout in the resultant Task Pane.
  2. PowerPoint 2007 users can choose the Home tab, and access the Shapes gallery, and then choose any shape. Click once on the blank slide to place a shape.

    Users of earlier versions will find the rectangle shape option in the Drawing toolbar located below the PowerPoint interface. Select this option, and click once on the blank slide to place a shape.
  3. For PowerPoint 2007 users, make sure that the shape 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.

    Users of earlier PowerPoint versions can again make sure that the shape 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
  4. Click the Add Effects in the Task Pane. This brings up a flyout menu that lists animation types available in PowerPoint. Choose the Motion Paths option as shown in Figure 2.

    Motion Paths
    Figure 2: Motion Paths
  5. This brings up another flyout menu. Choose the Draw Custom Path option so that you end up with four path (line) drawing options that you can see in Figure 3. We'll explain each of these 4 line drawing options individually:

    Draw Custom Path
    Figure 3: Draw Custom Path

    A. Line

    This option allows you to create a straight line. Click anywhere within the object to establish a starting point for the motion path, and then drag and let go of your cursor where you want the motion path to end.

    Tip: To draw a line segment in 15 degree increments, hold the Shift key while you drag.

    B. Curve

    This option works very differently than a line. Click anywhere within the object to establish a starting point for the motion path, and then drag and let go of your cursor where you want the motion path to curve -- keep clicking wherever you want to create curves. To end the path, click the Escape key on your keyboard, or just double-click. This sort of drawing a path requires some practice -- set aside around 15-20 minutes to get the feel of this technique.

    C. Freeform

    This options works two ways. To start, click anywhere within the object to establish a starting point for the motion path, and then just drag around like a pencil on paper to create a freeform path. You can also create straight lines by clicking to create line segments. You can also use a combination of drawing freeform and clicking to create a combination path. To end the path, click the Escape key on your keyboard, or just double-click.

    D. Scribble

    This one works just like a pencil on paper – click anywhere within the object to establish a starting point for the motion path, and then just drag around like a pencil on paper to create a freeform path. You don't have to press the Escape key on your keyboard, or double-click to end the path -- it just ends when you stop drawing.

See Also:

Drawing Custom Paths for Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Drawing Custom Paths for Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Drawing Custom Paths for Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Drawing Custom Paths for Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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