Microsoft

How to animate a PowerPoint chart or table

Draw attention to specific PowerPoint chart elements or table data by adding a bit of animation.

Animation, used correctly, can make text or a graph really stand out. But you may not realize that you can animate a chart or table. For instance, you might want to highlight individual product or regional totals using a graph that analyzes them all as a group. Animating a table by displaying additional information for each row — row by row — can be effective. To add animation to a chart, do the following:

  1. Click Slide Show on the Standard toolbar and choose Custom Animation. In PowerPoint 2007, click the Animations tab and choose Custom Animation.
  2. Select the chart.
  3. To add a Wipe effect, when PowerPoint displays the chart, click Add Effect, choose Entrance, select Wipe, and click OK. (If you don't see the Wipe animation, choose More Effects.)
  4. By default, PowerPoint will add the animation to the chart as a whole. To animate elements, right-click the appropriate animation item in the task pane and choose Effect Options.
  5. Click the Chart Animation tab.
  6. Choose the appropriate object from the Group Chart drop-down control to animate the chart as a single object, by series, by category, or by the elements in the series or category. Click OK.
You can animate the chart as a whole or individual elements, and most of the time that's adequate. However, you can't use different animations for each element. In addition, you can't easily animate individual rows of a table this way. To animate a table or to provide more enhanced animation to a chart, upgroup the chart or table first. Then, you can animate each element individually. To ungroup a chart or table, do the following:

  1. Right-click the chart or table and choose Grouping.
  2. Select Ungroup.
  3. When asked if you want to convert the chart or table, click Yes.
Use caution when deciding to ungroup a chart or table. Once you do so, PowerPoint will no longer treat the combined elements as a chart or table. You won't be able to update an ungrouped chart by changing its underlying data and you might lose special formatting. You can't ungroup a chart or table in PowerPoint 2007.

About Susan Harkins

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.

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