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Transitions Between Slides

PowerPoint provides a neat list of slide transition effects for you to choose from. Just because they are available doesn't mean you have to use them all in a presentation.

Keep your audience in mind at all times while deciding which transition effect works best. Using a different effect for each slide at varying speeds may be too chaotic and distracting for your audience. Stick with a subtle effect that blends easily into your presentation, such as Cut or Wipe Right.

Keep your audience focused on the content of your presentation, not the wild checkerboard effect in-between slides.

Using Slide Transition Commands

You can work from Slide Sorter or Normal view to apply transition effects to slides. In this section, you learn how to work with transition effects from both views.

From Normal View

Although you have just one slide in view at a time in Normal view, you can select and apply a transition effect to the current slide or to all slides included in the current presentation.

  1. Select Slide Show, Slide Transition. The Slide Transition window appears (see Figure 1).

  2. Figure 1 The Slide Transition window.

    1. Click the pull-down menu in the Effect pane. A list of transition effects is displayed.

    2. Select an effect from the list. Upon selection, the picture above the list shows you the result of that effect.

    3. Select the Slow, Medium, or Fast radio button. The picture above the pull-down list shows you the selected speed result.

    4. Select On mouse click in the Advance pane if you plan to advance to the next slide with a mouse click. The Enter key on your keyboard advances to the next slide as well, regardless of whether or not you choose On mouse click.

    5. Select Automatically after if you plan to advance from slide to slide automatically. Be sure to rehearse ahead of time to ensure that you've included enough time in the text field before advancing automatically to the next slide.

    6. Use the Sound pull-down menu to select a sound that plays during the slide transition. If you choose Loop until next sound, the current sound plays continuously while the slide is in view. This may be distracting and annoying to your audience.

    7. When you have finished, click Apply to All to apply the settings to all the slides in the current presentation. Apply to applies the settings to the current slide only.


    For a quick preview of transition and/or animation, select Slide Show, Animation Preview. A small preview window, which appears in the upper-right corner of the screen, provides you with a peek at transition and animation effects for the current slide. Click one time on the preview window to view again.

    From Slide Sorter View

    You can perform the same task in Slide Sorter view. Slide Sorter view is a more productive environment to work in while setting transition or animation effects in a presentation. Before you get started, make sure you have the Slide Sorter menu handy (as shown in Figure 2) for ease of use.

    Figure 2 The Slide Sorter menu comes in handy when adding transition effects in Slide Sorter view.

    If your Slide Sorter menu is not available, follow these steps to display it:

    1. Select View, Slide Sorter to switch to Slide Sorter view. You can also click the Slide Sorter view button located on the lower-left side of the presentation window.

    2. Select Tools, Customize. The Customize window is displayed. Items displayed in the Customize window appear based on the current view.

    3. Click the Toolbars tab to display its page.

    4. Click one time on the Slide Sorter checkbox to display its menu in the presentation window.

    5. When you have finished, click the Close button. You are returned to the Slide Sorter view in the presentation window.

    Information at a Glance

    In Slide Sorter view, you can easily see if slides have a transition effect or not. Notice the slide transition icon that appears under each slide with a transition effect. This icon corresponds to the icon on the Slide Sorter menu.

    For a quick inventory on which transition effect is used for individual slides, click one time on the first slide and then use the right arrow to go from slide to slide. The information in the Slide Transition Effect pull-down menu changes, based on the transition effect applied to a particular slide.

    If you want to change a transition effect, use the pull-down menu to select a new one. Upon selection, you get a free mini-preview too, right in the slide sorter.

    Working with Multiple Slides

    You also have the ability to apply transition effects to multiple slides at one time in Slide Sorter view.

    1. Hold down the Control key, and select the slides you want to apply a transition effect to.

    2. Click the Slide Transition Effect pull-down menu to select a transition effect.

    To save even more time, you can also view the transitions and/or animations for the entire presentation in Slide Sorter view. Here's how:

    1. Hold down the Control key, and select the slides you want to view transition effects for; or select Edit, Select All to select all the slides in the presentation.

    2. Select Slide Show, Animation Preview; or right-click and select Animation Preview from the floating menu. This is an excellent method to get a quick view of what your audience may experience during your presentation.


    If you select more slides than are viewed in the window, the animation preview continues for all selected slides; however, you will not see those that are not in view.

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