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Add a ticker tape readout to a PowerPoint slide

With this clever trick, you can scroll information across the bottom of a PowerPoint slide in ticker tape fashion.

PowerPoint is full of special effects. and with a little thought you can get more than you might expect. For instance, using the Crawl In animation, you can turn an ordinary text box into a ticker tape readout. There's a bit of a trick to the technique, but it's an easy one -- position an ordinary text box in an unconventional manner. Now, on with the technique (in PowerPoint 2003):

  1. Add a text box to the slide and type the message you want to scroll.
  2. Here's the trick: Move the text box off the left bottom edge of the slide. You want just the right edge left on the slide. By moving most of the text box off the slide, you allow the text to fully scroll off the left edge.
  3. Right-click the text box and choose Custom Animation.
  4. Choose Entrance from the Add Effect drop-down list and choose More Effects.
  5. Select Crawl In from the list of Basic effects and click OK.
  6. Change the Start setting to After Previous.
  7. Change the Direction setting to From Right.
  8. Change the Speed setting to Very Slow.
  9. From the effect's drop-down list, choose Timing.
  10. From the Repeat drop-down list, choose Until End Of Slide.
  11. Click OK.

Press [F5] and watch the message you entered into the text box in step 1, enter the screen from the right...

...scroll across the bottom edge...

...and off the left edge.

You might want to tweak the timing just a bit. The scroll should be slow enough to read, but not so slow that readers lose interest. Add the ticker tape effect to the Master Slide if you want it to appear on all the slides in the presentation. This technique isn't for your average presentation -- save it for those lively discussions where the presentation and the audience have a sense of humor.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

29 comments
thecattlefitter
thecattlefitter

I realy like the Ticker Tape... But I am wondering if any one knows how to add 10 pictures to scroll like a ticker tape on one slide??? Help would be greatly appreciated

mmoser
mmoser

Not sure what I did wrong. I have discussion bullets enter individually on click (from the master) but the ticker tape doesn't appear until after the last bullet point. Then it works. How do I get it to appear and scroll when the slide starts? I tried all the options.

Marshwiggle
Marshwiggle

There is no More Effects option in 2K. You can still get a scroll, but only once, and you can't set the speed.

amanda.tapac
amanda.tapac

From the effect?s drop-down list, choose Timing. From the Repeat drop-down list, choose Until End Of Slide. Click OK. Press [F5] and watch the message you entered into the text box in step 1, enter the screen from the right?

RU7
RU7

I had an issue that the last half of the slide's worth of text dissappeared when the scroll restarted. Then I aligned the right edge of the text box with the left edge of the slide and right aligned the text in the text box. Now the text scrolls completely off the slide before the next repetition starts. I also disabled wordwrap so the text scrolled in a single line, no matter how much text there is in the text box.

gmillward
gmillward

Although the dropdown list under "Timing" offers only a few options, with "Very Slow" representing 5 seconds, if you find even this too fast for your purposes, you can type a number of seconds into the Timing box, 20 seconds, for example, and this will slow the crawl down even more.

DavMar
DavMar

A novel idea to emphasise a concept, challenge to a decicion and a thought provoker. THank you!

steve
steve

I like the idea, and was pleased to note that in your scheme it enters from the right and moves to the left, which means that we read it left to right. some TV news programs still get it the wrong way around!

gmillward
gmillward

You can right-click on your ticker tape text and choose "Custom Animation". In the Animation panel that appears at the right of the screen, assuming you've already added your "Crawl In" effect, you should see two items that appear in the animation list, a text box containing your bullet points, and a shape containing your ticker tape text. Drag the shape containing the ticker tape to the top of the list, and have it start "with previous". The only issue I've had is that the ticker tape crawl start over as soon as I click to display the first bullet point. I got around that to some extent by adding some spaces to the beginning of my ticker tape text, and clicked quickly enough to display my first bullet point that the body of the ticker tape text had not yet appeared, masking the fact that the crawl was starting over. Not sure why it behaves like this, but there you go!

dhays
dhays

I hadn't thought of word wrap, I disable it in Excel, hadn't even considered it in this case. Timing question: The custom timing is changed when you click on the box for the added shape in the right-hand panel (custom animation) go to effect options, not on the default timing. This gives you a box with three tabs where you can change the location, timing and other effects. I deleted much of my commentary as I wasn't following her instructions fully, so I don't have anything to complain about!

kirsten.danielson
kirsten.danielson

This maybe obvious but this is also a great way to roll credits by moving the text box to the top and adding several lines of text within the text box. Change the direction to "From the Bottom" and you can roll the credits!

RU7
RU7

I was looking for this. I tried 10 and then 10 sec and gave up when it wouldn't accept them.

tracy.walters
tracy.walters

...I hadn't heard of it, and appreciate the author sharing it with us. Perhaps, Lyambor, you could share some of your knowledge with those of us who don't have your extensive experience.

michael.nkadi
michael.nkadi

I have to differ. As a rule I find ticket tapes as used on modern day television broadcasts distracting and headache-inducing. And that is indeed the point about all the gizmo's modern day presentation software provides and the abuse therefor that one so ften sees in the corporate environment. The point of a presentation is to engage the audience - not distract them!

ssharkins
ssharkins

I am surprised that it isn't a built-in effect -- it may be, but I've not found it! Glad you like it!

mmoser
mmoser

Thanks for the reply. The master animation is faded out, so it couldn't be moved. (again, I may have done something wrong) But, I did copy the effects to the slide, and I was then able to move the ticker tape animation to the top. I do have the same issue with the replay of the ticker tape after I hit the first bullet point, but I'm ok with that. I'm still getting my point across. Thanks again for your help---from a non-techie

RU7
RU7

Nuff Said

Rick_from_BC
Rick_from_BC

Michael nailed it. This trick may be useful in a kiosk setting, but I'll bet it will bug people at a 'live' presentation. You either pay attention to the speaker, or watch the effects on screen. If you think you are doing both, you are probably wrong. Research has shown we do poorly when we attempt to do both these activities simultaneously.

RU7
RU7

Here is a possibility. You know how the credits at the end of a movie roll up from the bottom? Well the last slide in a presentation could do the same thing with the credits crawling in from the bottom. The presenter could be closing or answering questions at the same time.

Rick_from_BC
Rick_from_BC

A good mechanic will have these tools. If he loans his toolbox to a friend, wanna bet that the friend will just HAVE to use those tools - "just to see." :-)

RU7
RU7

I agree that the capabilities of PowerPoint are frequently abused. But, just like a mechanic's tool box, most jobs can be done with a screwdriver, pliers, and a crescent wrench. But once in awhile you need a deep-dish, six-point socket with a universal joint, a 18" extension and a ratchet torque wrench. If you've got it, your in good shape. If not, the job might not be done quite as well.