Add a motion path animation effect

PowerPoint for Office 365, PowerPoint 2019, PowerPoint 2016, PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2010

You can apply motion path animation effects to move slide objects in a sequence that tells an effective story.

For example, the plane on the right (below) shows the starting point of the plane, and the dotted line between the two planes shows the path it will take when the animation plays. The transparent image on the left is where the plane will end up when the motion path animation is done.

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.


Office 365 subscribers have an easier option for motion-based animation: Morph

Add a motion path to an object

"Curvy Left" motion path

  1. Click the object you want to animate.

  2. On the Animations tab, click Add Animation.

    Add Animation

  3. Scroll down to Motion Paths, and pick one.

    Scroll down to Motion Paths

    Tip:   If you choose the Custom path option, you will draw the path that you want the object to take.

    Draw a custom path

    To stop drawing a custom path, press Esc.

Advanced motion path options

  1. If you don’t see a motion path that you want, at the bottom of the gallery, click More Motion Paths.

    More motion paths

    Click an animation to see a preview of how the object will move on your slide.

    Click a motion path animation

  2. Once you pick the motion path you want, click OK.

    To remove and animation, on the slide, click the motion path (dotted line with arrow), and then press Delete.

    Click the motion path and press DELETE

Editing motion paths

  1. To do things like change the direction of the motion path, edit the individual points of the motion path, or to lock (make it so others can’t change the animation) or unlock the animation, click Effect Options.

    Edit a motion path effect

  2. To preview the motion path, click the object on the slide, and then click Animations > Preview.

    Tip:   Preview is located on the Animations tab, just below the File tab on the far left.

    Click Preview

Apply a motion path to an object

Before you apply a motion path to an object, you need to add the object, such as a picture or clip art, to a slide. Choose clip art or a picture that has a transparent background, because when you apply the motion path, the clip art appears (without a background) to be moving across the slide as a single object.

When you search for clip art and pictures online, you'll be directed to Bing. You're responsible for respecting copyright, and the license filter in Bing can help you choose which images to use.

To apply an animation effect to a SmartArt graphic, see Animate your SmartArt graphic.

  1. After you add the object to the slide, drag it to the location on the slide where you want the object to start moving from.

  2. Click the object.

  3. On the Animations tab, in the Animations group, click Custom Animation.

  4. In the Custom Animation task pane, click Add Effect, point to Motion Paths, point to Draw Custom Path, and then click Scribble.

    The pointer becomes a pen.

  5. Starting at the clip art or other object, draw the path that you want your object to follow on the slide, and then click where the object should stop moving.

1. The clip art object with the fourth animation effect applied to it

2. The motion path

3. The entrance animation effect applied to the first bullet of text

4. The exit animation effect applied to the first bullet of text

5. The entrance animation effect applied to the second bullet of text

6. The exit animation effect applied to the second bullet of text

Draw a motion path

Expand your Office skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.