So, how does the Morph transition effect in PowerPoint work? You duplicate a slide and then modify the existing slide objects so that a tween effect is created based on the differences between two or more slides. You can also create your own shapes to Morph rather than use PowerPoint's pre-built shapes. However, what if you take two completely different slides and apply the Morph transition effect? The results will be unpredictable, because although PowerPoint does have artificial intelligence, it still cannot define which objects should morph from the first slide to the second slide. To overcome this problem, PowerPoint allows you to use exclamation-named objects in your slides. Does that sound confusing? Don't worry because we will lead you step-by-step.
Please view the video below, or follow the step-by-step instructions on this page. You can also download the sample file used for this tutorial.
Does Every PowerPoint User Have Access to Morph?
Now, the Morph transition effect is not available to everyone. This new transition effect is only available to PowerPoint 365 users on both Windows and Mac platforms. In other words, these are users who have a current Microsoft 365 subscription. Additionally, perpetual versions such as PowerPoint 2019 and 2021, and some phone and tablet platforms, and also selected accounts of PowerPoint for the Web support the Morph transition to some extent. Plus, some older versions of PowerPoint, such as PowerPoint 2016 allow playback of Morph transitions, but do not provide editing options.
Follow these steps to create sets of coordinated slide objects in successive slides that work with Morph:
- Open an existing presentation and add a new slide. Alternatively, like we did, you can create a new presentation. Our first slide had no content. Next, we changed the slide layout to Blank, as shown in Figure 1, below. We also chose a dark-colored background.
Figure 1: Begin with a blank slide
- Now, access the Insert tab of the Ribbon, and click the Shapes button to bring up the Shapes gallery, as shown in Figure 2, below. Select the Rectangle tool, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2.
Figure 2: Choose the Rectangle tool in the Shapes gallery
- Drag and draw your rectangle shape, as shown in Figure 3, below.
Figure 3: Draw your rectangle shape
- All squares are rectangles, but all rectangles are not squares. Only rectangles with identical widths and heights are squares. Learn more in our Drawing a Perfect Square page.
- Now, add a new slide immediately after the slide that contains a rectangle. Next, access the Insert tab of the Ribbon, and click the Shapes button to bring up the Shapes gallery, as shown in Figure 4, below. Select the Oval tool, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 4.
Figure 4: Choose the Oval tool in the Shapes gallery
- Drag and draw your oval shape, as shown in Figure 5, below.
Figure 5: Draw your oval shape
- All circles are ovals, but all ovals are not circles. Only ovals with identical widths and heights are circles. Learn more in our Drawing a Perfect Circle page.
- Now access Slide Sorter view, and select both slides. You can use the Ctrl + A keyboard shortcut to select all slides in Slide Sorter view. If you are on a Mac version of PowerPoint, use the Cmd + A keyboard shortcut.
- Next, access the Transitions tab of the Ribbon, and select the Morph transition effect in the Transitions gallery, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6, below. Doing so applies the Morph transition effect to both slides.
Figure 6: Apply the Morph transition effect
- Now, test the Morph transition effect by playing the slides in Slide Show view. You’ll notice that the rectangle does not morph into an oval.
- Let us now remedy this situation using exclamation-named objects (we explain more later in this tutorial). The first slide with the rectangle is now our active slide. We access the Home tab of the Ribbon and click the Select button to bring up a drop-down menu with the options shown in Figure 7, below. Click the Selection Pane button, highlighted in red within Figure 7.
Figure 7: Bring up the Selection Pane
- You can also click the Alt + F10 keyboard shortcut.
- Either way, you see the Selection Pane, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 8, below. Do note that both the Selection Pane button and the Alt + F10 keyboard shortcut are toggle options that will either show or hide the Selection Pane based on its present state. You will notice that our rectangle is the only object on this slide, and it is named Rectangle 5, as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 8.
Figure 8: Selection Pane
- Every slide object has a unique name in the Selection Pane. If you create a new presentation and insert a rectangle, this object may be named Rectangle 1 or Rectangle 3, or even TextBox 7, as shown in Figure 9, below. It doesn't matter what it is named. What matters is that every slide object has a unique name.
Figure 9: Every slide object has a unique name
- Now, select the rectangle in the Selection Pane, and you will see the name is now editable, as shown in Figure 10, below.
Figure 10: Slide object name is now editable
- We will now type in a new name that begins with two exclamation marks, and ends with two exclamation marks as well, as shown in Figure 11, below.You will notice that we renamed our rectangle to !!MorphShape01!!
Figure 11: Type in a new name with exclamation marks
- An exclamation-named object, as shown in Figure 11, previously on this page is a slide object's unique name that begins with two exclamation marks and ends similarly with two more exclamation marks.
- This is done so that you can notify PowerPoint your intent to use any slide objects with these names, as stages of a morph transition. So, if you have a rectangle on slide 1 named !!MorphShape01!!, and you have an oval on slide 2 that is also called !!MorphShape01!!, then PowerPoint identifies both these slide objects as different stages of the same shape.
- Now similarly select the oval on the second slide and rename it within the Selection pane as !!MorphShape01!!. Remember to use the same name, and also be sure to add two exclamation marks before and after the name.
- Now, test the Morph transition effect by playing the slides in Slide Show view. You’ll notice that the rectangle morphs amazingly well into an oval.
Squares are Rectangles
Circles are Ovals
PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts
Do you want more keyboard shortcuts?
Explore our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences Ebook that is updated for all PowerPoint versions.
What's in a Name?
What's an Exclamation-Named Object?
13 10 03 - Morph in PowerPoint: Using Exclamation Named Objects with Morph in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)