Animate text and objects with motion paths in PowerPoint 2016 for Mac

You can add visual interest and emphasis to your presentation by animating a graphic or block of text so it that follows a set path on the slide. To do this, select the object you want and go to Animation > Path Animation.

Choose a predefined path and modify it to fit your needs or draw your own custom path animation:

Using predefined paths

Using custom paths

Using predefined paths

In most cases, using one of the basic path animations is a perfect choice for adding interest to your slide. In the following example, we'll apply a Turn path animation to a graphic, use Effect Options to change the direction of the path, and then use Reverse Path Direction to get the final look we want.

Example: applying a predefined path animation to a graphic

  1. On a blank slide, click Shapes > Rectangle (or another shape if you prefer), and then click in the upper-left corner of the slide to insert it.

  2. With the rectangle still selected, click Animations > Path Animation, and then under Basic, click Turn.

    Apply an path animation on the Animations tab
  3. Wait until the animation preview is finished and click Effect Options > Down Right.

  4. Move your cursor over the animation end-point until it changes to a double arrow with a line through it, and then click and drag to the lower-right corner of the slide.

    Drag the corner of the animation path to resize it
  5. Finally, click Effect Options > Reverse Path Direction.

    Control-click the path to reverse it

    The animation now moves the graphic from the least visible place on the slide (lower right) to the most visible (upper left).

Using custom paths

To draw a custom path animation, select the object you want to animate and click Animations > Path Animations. The drawing method is different depending on the type of path you choose.

To draw a Curve or Freeform path: Curve or Freeform path animation buttons

  1. Click the start point, and then click each time you want to begin a change of direction.

  2. Double-click to finish.

To draw a Line or Scribble path: Line or Scribble path animations

  • Click and hold the mouse button to trace the shape you want, and then release the button when you're done.

To change a custom path once you've drawn it:

  • Control+click or right-click the custom path and click Edit Points.

    Custom path animation in Edit Points mode

    Tip: If you've never worked with editing paths in a graphics program before you may find it easier to delete the effect and draw it again.

See Also

Animate text and objects

Change or remove animation effects

Animate bullet points one at a time

Animate a word on a slide

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