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Reversing Paths of Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2007, 2003, and 2002 for Windows

Reverse the direction for Motion Path animations in PowerPoint 2007, 2003, and 2002 for Windows. This technique works great when you want your slide objects to animate back to the position where they started from.


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

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher



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Now that you have learned how to add motion paths using presets, and by drawing custom motion paths, it is time to start getting more familiar with some tricks using motion path animations.

One of the simplest motion path tricks is using the reverse motion path option. This is very helpful if you want an object to animate using a motion path, and then animate again from the end of the motion path to the beginning!

Follow these steps to reverse Motion Path animations in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows:

  1. Launch PowerPoint. Insert a shape to a blank slide, and provide it with a motion path animation. Refer to our adding a motion path or drawing a custom motion path tutorials to get started.
  2. Now, make sure that the Custom Animation Task Pane is visible, as shown in Figure 1, below. If this Task Pane is not visible, you won't be able to see or select motion paths.
  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, as shown in Figure 1, below. Remember, this is a toggle option: click once to show the Custom Animation Task Pane, and click again to hide it!
  4. Users of earlier PowerPoint versions can again make sure that the shape is selected. Then they should choose the Slide Show | Custom Animation to access a similar Task Pane.
  5. Custom Animation
    Figure 1: Custom Animation Task Pane
  6. Select the object that has a motion path animation applied, and you shall be able to see a dashed line representing the motion path. This dashed line has red and green arrowheads at both ends. The green arrowhead represents the start-point of the motion path whereas the red arrowhead represents the end-point. Now, select the motion path by clicking on the dashed line, as shown in Figure 2, below.
  7. Motion Path
    Figure 2: Motion Path
  8. Next, right-click the selected motion path and you will see a context menu with three options, as shown in Figure 3, below. The last of these options is Reverse Path Direction. Select this option, and you may see a preview of the reversed animation. Also, the red and green arrows have now swapped positions, as visible in Figure 4, below.
  9. Reverse Path Direction
    Figure 3: Reverse Path Direction
  10. Swapped Arrow Heads
    Figure 4: Swapped Arrow Heads

Duplicate and Reverse Motion Paths

You can duplicate an object that contains a motion path animation, align it next to the original object, and then reverse the motion path of the duplicated object. You can then add an exit animation to the original object immediately after the motion path animation. The animation build sequence would thus be:

  1. Motion Path animation on original object
  2. Exit animation on original object
  3. Entrance animation on duplicated object
  4. Reversed motion path animation on duplicated object.

Edit Points and Close Path

Did you notice the other two options in the context menu, as shown in Figure 3? These may or may not have been grayed out depending on the nature of your motion path. Confused? Don't worry, we explain in more detail in our Open and Closed Motion Paths and Edit Points in Motion Paths tutorials.


See Also:

13 02 04 - Motion Path Animations: Reversing Paths of Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

Reversing Paths of Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Reversing Paths of Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Reversing Paths of Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Reversing Paths of Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

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