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Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2002, 2003, and 2007 -- Lock and Unlock Motion Paths

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: PowerPoint 2002, 2003, and 2007

Date Created: October 25th 2008
Last Updated: February 25th 2009

Excerpt/Capsule: Learn how to lock and unlock motion paths in PowerPoint 2002, 2003, and 2007.

You won't have to tackle locking and unlocking motion paths too often but it's good to know more about these options since the way this works is not too intuitive.

First let us rehash some basics -- we already showed you how to add a motion path animation to any slide object by either using a preset motion path, or by drawing your own custom path for the motion path animation. We also explained the concept of reversing paths and opening and closing paths.

Now let us start with the locking and unlocking.

Accessing the Lock / Unlock options:

To work with these options, follow these steps:

  1. First add a shape to a blank slide, and provide it with a motion path animation -- refer to my 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. If this task pane is not visible, you won't be able to see or select motion paths.

    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. 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 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
    Figure 1: Custom Animation

  3. Select the object that has a motion path animation applied, and you shall be able to see a dashed line representing the motion path. Now select the shape, and move it around -- you'll find that the motion path also moves along with the shape -- in PowerPoint parlance, this means that the motion path is unlocked to the shape -- I know that it actually seems locked! I told you this wasn't too intuitive -- probably the folks who created this meant locked to represent as "lock it in place on the slide".

  4. You can now unlock (Lock in PowerPoint parlance) the motion path from the shape -- to do that make sure that the shape is selected, then again make sure that the correct motion path animation is selected in the Custom Animation task pane (crucial if you have more than one animation applied to a slide object). Then change the Path option in the task pane from Unlocked to Locked, as shown in Figure 2.

    Figure 2: Locked/Unlocked

  5. Now you can drag the slide object (shape) around, and the motion path won't move with it!

    Remember: You really don't need to lock/unlock a motion path from its slide object to move it around. To do that, just select the slide object, then select the actual motion path -- and drag it around as required. This process just moves the motion path, and leaves the slide object in its original place. Confusing? Yes -- it is a little, unless you play around for a few minutes!

See Also:

Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows -- Lock and Unlock Motion Paths
Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac -- Anchor and Un-anchor Motion Paths
Motion Path Animations in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows -- Lock and Unlock Motion Paths


PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book


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