2003 have made major strides in the field of animation
capabilities—unlike earlier versions, which provided only entry animations,
the new versions allow entry, emphasis, exit and motion path animations—all
of which can be fine-tuned to play using a basic timeline. Such a plethora
of options does ensure that PowerPoint has one of the best animation
this also means that anyone can include animated elements in PowerPoint
presentations even if they are not required, relevant or suitable.
In this article, we’ll first create a simple presentation that uses animation
triggers that showcase the new capabilities of PowerPoint 2002 and 2003.
We’ll follow that with creating a countdown timer that would work in all
versions of PowerPoint since PowerPoint 97.
You'll need two images to illustrate the trigger animations—I've used
images downloaded from Microsoft Office Online's Clipart section.
Create a new presentation (Ctrl + N) and insert a blank slide.
Insert two images of the same size within this slide - choose Insert
| Picture | From File. Keep both of them in different areas of
Right-click one of them and choose Custom Animation from the resultant
menu. This will activate the Custom Animation task pane.
Click the 'Add Effect' button and then choose an Entrance animation.
I've chosen the Appear animation since that provides the most optimum clickover effect.
By default, PowerPoint chooses "On Click' for the Start options.
That's what we want so don't alter that.
Below that option, you'll find the name of your image in a listing of
animations. Besides the name, you'll find an arrow that reveals
a drop-down menu on being clicked. Choose the Timing option in that menu.
This will open the Timing tab of the animation dialog box. Click the
'Triggers' button so that more options are visible. Choose the
second option that reads 'Start effect on click of:' and choose the name
of the second image we inserted within the slide. Click OK.
Place both the images one on top of the other (that's why we chose images
of the same size) and play the presentation. Clicking on the
visible image should show us the other image. If that doesn't work, right
click the image that's visible and choose Order | Send To Back
(or Send Backward multiple times depending on how many objects
you have onscreen).
Save your presentation.
Create a new presentation (Ctrl + N) and insert a blank slide. Or insert
a blank slide in an existing presentation.
Insert a text-box and type the number '1' or '01' or '001' depending
on how many digits you want your counter to display. Change the
text alignment to center, change the font size to something large like
200 and resize the text box so that all digits are placed on the same
line. Change your font style as required and position the text box right
in the center of the slide, using guides or grids to position as required.
Choose Slide Show | Slide Transition—this will activate the Slide
Transition task pane in PowerPoint 2002 and 2003 (or open the Transition
dialog box in older versions).
Choose a simple transition—for this example, I chose the Box Out
transition effect. You can also choose the 'No transition' option
if you prefer. I've also set the Speed to Fast and opted to automatically
advance slide after 10 seconds. You might want to choose a shorter
or longer time delay for the transition.
Choose View | Slide Sorter and click the formatted timer slide. Choose
Edit | Copy (or Ctrl + C). Then choose Edit | Paste (or Ctrl + V) to paste
an identical slide. Paste as many times as required until you end up with
the number of slides you want your countdown to contain.
Within each of the consecutive slides, you'll want to edit the countdown
number in reverse order so that the last slide contains the number
We just finished creating a countdown timer—you might want to experiment
with slide backgrounds, transitions, animations, font color and
style, etc. to create a unique look. You might even want to experiment
with digit styles or include seconds within the slides (for example 01:00)
- also you may want to add some text to each countdown slide like "minutes/seconds
remaining" or similar.