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Animating SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint®

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in The Office Tech Pro

While animation can be overdone, when used judiciously, it can add punch to your message. This is one example of how to accomplish that goal.

1. Choose your weapons. From the Insert tab and the Illustrations group, I clicked the SmartArt icon and chose the Gear diagram from the Cycle category.

2. Ungroup elements. After typing my desired titling, on the Home tab and the Drawing group, from the Arrange button, I chose Ungroup. You might need to do this more than once in order to get to the individual drawing objects. This one required a double dose of ungroup.
3. Choose carefully. Select just the objects you wish to animate. Sometimes it’s helpful to test this by selecting what you think you want to animate and then moving them slightly with the arrow key. Observe exactly what moves, so you know to what you’ll be applying the animation.

4. Spin it. To apply the desired animation, from the Animations tab, and the Animations group, click the Custom Animation button, and then Add effect in the Custom Animation task pane. In this case, I wanted to make the gears spin in the direction of the arrows in the diagram, so I chose Emphasis, and then Spin. If you don’t see the desired effect, choose More Effects. 

5. Tweak. In this SmartArt object, the middle gear arrow indicates a counter-clockwise spin. Since the default direction was clockwise, I adjusted the Amount field to reverse the second animation in the list.

Have fun with this! But, be warned. Animation without a purpose might entertain your audience once, but become tiresome if overused. A special note of thanks to Jeff Butzen who inspired this blog post with a question in my PowerPoint® class at CTS in Chicago. Post your questions here or ask them in our webinars, such as Advanced PowerPoint on December 21. It’s my favorite source for material!

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