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Highlight your message with PowerPoint's animated charts

Keep your audience focused on the information you're discussing by animating charts to display one data series at a time.
When you discuss the elements of a chart shown on a PowerPoint slide, you may simply point to each part of the slide as you discuss it. But a more engaging approach is to use animation to have each element appear on the slide at the right moment. For example, say you are discussing third-quarter sales for three products using the chart shown in Figure A, and you want to discuss and compare each product separately.

Figure A

You can use animation to make it easier to do. Follow these steps:

  1. Copy the chart you created in Excel.
  2. Open PowerPoint.
  3. Click in the Slide Layout pane and select Text And Content Layout. In PowerPoint 2007, click on the Home tab, click New Slide in the Slides group, and select Title And Content.
  4. Right-click the content area and click Paste.
  5. Select the chart.
  6. Choose Slide Show | Custom Animation. In PowerPoint 2007, click the Animations tab and then click Custom Animation.
  7. In the Custom Animation task pane, choose Add Effect, click Entrance, and then choose the desired effect. Fly In is a good choice, but it doesn't work for this technique in PowerPoint 2003; it does work in PowerPoint 2007.
  8. Click the drop-down list at the bottom of the Custom Animation pane and choose Effect Options.
  9. Click the Chart Animation tab and then select By Series from the Group Chart drop-down list (Figure B).

Figure B

  1. Click the Play button to try out the effect.

When you run the show, you will be able to click on the slide and the background will appear. Click again and the graph for Word Processing will display. When you have finished talking about Word Processing sales, you can click the slide again and the graph for Spreadsheet Sales will appear. When you are ready, click again to display the graph for Database Sales.


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