How to edit layers in an animation powerpoint slide

Written by james t wood Google
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How to edit layers in an animation powerpoint slide
Well-animated PowerPoint slides can bring life to still, boring slides. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Like the illusions of an alliance-approved magician, customised and layered animations in a PowerPoint presentation can spark wonder in an audience. Adding animations is deceptively simple with the Microsoft Office PowerPoint tools, but once several animations are layered on a slide, it can be difficult to select one layer to edit without choosing the layer on top instead. To help with this, PowerPoint has the Custom Animation tool box in which you can see all the layers and timings for the animations on each slide at a glance and edit them at will.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Click on the PowerPoint slide with the multilayered animation you want to edit. Click on the "Animations" tab and then choose "Custom Animations." A box will appear to the right of the slide with animation tools and, in the middle, a list of the animations on that slide in order of appearance.

  2. 2

    Move animations up or down in the layers by moving them in the list. You can either click and drag an animation to the position you want or click to select it and then use the up and down arrows under the list to move the animation up or down one layer at a time.

  3. 3

    Click an animation from the list, and then click the drop-down arrow to the right of the animation title. Choose "Show Advanced Timeline" from the options. Here you can see, on a timeline, when all the animations occur and how long they last. Click and drag any of the time bars to adjust the length and the starting time of the animations.

  4. 4

    Change an animation by clicking on it and then clicking the button in the upper-left corner of the Custom Animation box, now labelled "Change." Choose a different animation for that item. The previous animation will be removed and replaced with the new one. Note that the "Change" button is the same button you use to "Add Effect" if you don't have an animation selected from the list in the Custom Animation box.

  5. 5

    Click "Play" at the bottom of the Custom Animation box to see the different layers animate on the slide and the timeline progress in the Advanced Timeline. Use this to test your edits and see how they will look during the presentation.

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