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Fake Animate Tables in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

Learn how to fake animate a table in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows. We create an illusion of the table being animated while it's not being animated at all.

In PowerPoint, animating table components is not possible unless you ungroup the table. Once your table is ungrouped, you can animate the ungrouped table components as you wish. However, for those of you who don't want to ungroup your table, there is another workaround where you don't actually apply any animation to the table components, but when you play the slide containing the table, it looks like your table components are animating! Follow the steps below to learn how to fake animate tables in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows:

  1. Open your presentation and navigate to the slide containing the table which you want to fake animate. If you don't have an existing table, insert a new table, and populate it with some content as shown in Figure 1.

  2. Figure 1: Table in PowerPoint 2013
  3. Decide how you would like to animate your table, i.e., whether row by row or column by column. Then, insert a rectangle over the first row/column of the table in such a way that it hides the entire row/column. In Figure 2 you can see a rectangle being drawn over the first row.

  4. Figure 2: Rectangle inserted over the first row
  5. After the rectangle is drawn, remove any outlines or shadow effects from it. Thereafter, add Slide Background Fill to it. This will not only make the rectangle completely invisible, but also hides the table row/column upon which it was placed, as shown in Figure 3. More importantly, it will show the background of your slide—this is very helpful if your slide does not have a plain white background.

  6. Figure 3: Rectangle after removing shadow and outline, and applying Slide Background fill

  7. Now, apply an Exit animation to the rectangle. In Figure 4 you can see that we have selected Wipe (highlighted in red) exit animation within the Add Animation drop-down gallery.

  8. Figure 4: Wipe exit animation within the Animation drop-down gallery
  9. After applying the animation, click the Effect Options button within the Animations tab of the Ribbon to bring up a drop-down gallery that contains options pertaining to the selected animation type. In Figure 5, you can see that we set our Wipe animation to play From Left.

  10. Figure 5: Wipe animation set to play From Left
  11. Then, set the animation event and speed as required. In Figure 6, you can see that the animation event has been set to After Previous (highlighted in red) and Duration (speed) set to 1.50 seconds (highlighted in blue).

  12. Figure 6: Animation event and speed set for the rectangle
  13. You can also try some other options to make the animation more effective. To learn more about various animation options, explore our Animation and Transitions page.
  14. Once you are done with applying an Exit animation to the rectangle, preview the animation once to check whether everything is fine. Then, duplicate the rectangle by dragging so that the duplicate copy of the rectangle covers the next row/column. Similarly continue duplicating the animated rectangles so that your entire table is covered by the set of adjacent rectangles, as shown in Figure 7. Since these rectangles were already animated, the animation also duplicates!

  15. Figure 7: Table covered by the animated rectangles
  16. When you play this slide, animating rectangles leave the slide one by one making the table row/column below them to appear as they exit. This creates an illusion as if the table is animating.
  17. Save your presentation often.

See Also:

Advanced Table Techniques: Fake Animate Tables in PowerPoint (Glossary Page)

Fake Animate Tables in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac