PowerPoint presentations that contain static text and images are often very effective in the hands of a skilled presenter. Adding a touch of animation to some of the text in the presentation, on the other hand, may serve to emphasise the importance of certain words or phrases in the minds of the viewer. Animations should be used selectively in PowerPoint, as overuse may have the opposite effect, distracting the viewer from your message.
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To emphasise the appearance or entrance of text on a slide, PowerPoint provides a variety of "Entrance" effects. The simple "Appear" effect hides text until it is fired. "Fade," "Split," "Wipe" and "Shape" produce a similar effect in revealing the text element, adding shapes and gradual revelation of the text. The "Float-In" effect is the simplest of the movement effects, introducing the text element to its location from a number of different directions of the slide. Effects such as "Zoom," "Bounce" and "Grow and Turn" also utilise movement but should be used sparingly. Overuse makes these extreme effects look gimmicky, and they will detract from the message of your presentation.
Text that is already visible on a slide may draw attention to itself through the application of an "Emphasis" effect. This group of effects can change the colour, shape or dimensions of the text, or enable it to move in some way. The most subtle of the effects are those that change the attributes of the text without movement or modification, such as "Darken," "Lighten" or the various colouring effects. The "Underline" effect is also subtle, drawing a line under the selected text element. The "Pulse," "Color Pulse" and "Bold Flash" are brief in their duration but animate the text just enough to catch the eye of the viewer. The "Emphasis" group also includes movement-oriented effects such as "Teeter," "Wave" and "Spin." These effects move the text to grab attention but return it to its default form when finished.
Text may also be animated in such a way that it vanishes from the slide and user's view. Such effects are excellent for drawing attention to change or transition. Many of these effects are direct opposites of the "Entrance" effects. "Disappear," for example, makes existing text simply vanish from view. The "Flyout" and "Float-Out" effects mimic the "Fly-In" and "Float-In" effects but move the text off the slide.
The PowerPoint effects may be combined to create unique visual experiences with text elements. For example, the "Fly-In" entrance effect is enhanced by having the text fade in at the same time. Adding the "Fade" entrance effect to the element and setting it to activate with the "Fly-In" effect results in both effects being applied at the same time. When you fire this combined effect, the text will gradually fade into view as it flies in along its path.
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