PowerPoint offers a number of animation effects and most effects have a number of options. You could spend a lot of time working through all the options and still not get an elegant solution. Sometimes, the answer isn't settings that are more complicated, it's a simple change of perspective.
The flip entrance effect is a great example of what I'm describing. It's easy to apply and it's an interesting effect, as is. The following slide uses this effect to flip (or fly in) letters of a nursery rhyme. Not easy to get a picture of, but the effect's easy to add:
- Insert a text box and enter the text. I used Tempus Sans ITC, 36 - I thought it looked a bit whimsical without being ornate.
- With the text box selected, click the Animations tab and then click Add Animation in the Advanced Animation group.
- Choose More Entrance Effects from the gallery.
- From the Exciting section, select Flip, and click OK.
- Open the Animation Pane by clicking Animation Pane in the Advanced Animation group.
- Choose With Previous from the Start control.
- Click F5 to run the slide.
PowerPoint flips each letter into place - it resembles birds flying in and roosting. As it's, it's interesting and a bit playful, but with a simple change of perspective, we can make it unusual.
You're probably wondering what I mean by perspective. In this case, I mean a simple rotation of the text. The effect is the same. To flip the text, do the following:
- Right-click the text box and choose Format Text Effects.
- In the resulting dialog, choose Text Box in the left pane.
- From the Text Direction dropdown, choose Rotate All Text 270°.
- Click Close.
- Then, resize and reposition the text box using the following slide as a guide.
Getting something a bit out of the ordinary doesn't have to mean more bells and whistles - sometimes it's as simple as changing the perspective a bit. Unfortunately, in this case, you lose that roosting birds effect, so it's a tossup as to whether this rotated flip is better than the horizontal flip.
Rotating the text is doable in PowerPoint 2003, but it isn't as easy to implement.
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.