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Creating Animated Text Bullets

As I mentioned previously, flying every line of text on a slide won't necessarily impress your audience. On the other hand, well, thought-out animation will win your audience over, and keep them focused on the information being presented.

Let's explore a typical example of a slide that includes a title and three bullet items. Once the slide is in view, just the title is included. A click of the mouse introduces the first bullet item. The presenter (maybe you?) then discusses this item in more detail. When it's time to move to the next piece of information, a click of the mouse introduces the second bullet and so on. You get the idea.

Keep your audience attentive—to keep them awake, bring something of value to the presentation, such as good solid information.

Here's how to create animation in text bullets:

  1. From Normal view, display the slide you want to apply animation to.

  2. Select Slide Show, Custom Animation. The Custom Animation window appears, including a small preview of the current slide. The Check to animate slide objects list shows you a list of objects included in the current slide. Although you may think of the bullet text as three objects, they are part of one PowerPoint text block, so are therefore one object.

  3. Click the checkbox next to Text 2 in the Check to animate slide objects list (see Figure 3). A corresponding selection box appears on the Text 2 object in the small preview window. Notice you are not selecting Title 1; Title 1 will not be animated.

    Figure 3 The Custom Animation window shows you a small preview of selected elements on a slide.

  4. Click the Order & Timing tab in the lower-left pane of the window to reveal its settings. Text 2 is displayed in the list. Click the On mouse click radio button under Start animation. The mouse click is now the trigger to begin animation.

  5. Click the Effects tab to display its settings for entry animation and sound for the selected item in the list above (see Figure 4).

    Figure 4 The Effects page allows you to set a variety of animation effects for objects in slides.

  6. Select an animation entry effect from the pull-down menu. Depending on what entry effect is selected, you may also choose a direction for animation. For example, if you select Fly, you must also select From Bottom, From Left, and so on. If you plan to include sound, select the desired sound from the Entry animation and sound pull-down menu.

  7. In the Introduce text pane, select All at once to introduce each bulleted item. If you choose By word or By letter without a very good reason for doing so, your audience might not like you when you're done.

  8. Check the Grouped by checkbox. This ensures that each bullet is introduced independently of the other bullets in the same text block. If you do not select this, the bullets all appear at the same time.

  9. When you have finished, click the OK button, or click Preview if you want a quick preview of your selected animation settings.

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