LibreOffice's Impress offers every feature business users expect in a presentation tool, from templates to slide show rehearsal tools to transition effects and custom animations for making your presentations more memorable and professional. With the transition/animation tools, you can add slide to slide transitions, object within slide transitions, and custom object animations.
LibreOffice has an outstanding interface that makes the creation and management of these transitions and animations a snap. Before I show how to add transitions and animations in LibreOffice Impress, I want to emphasize an important point: If you go overboard with transitions and animations, your presentations will look unprofessional.
Slide to slide transitions
After you create and save your presentation, you can start to add your transitions. I want to apply the same transition to all slides, so I'll follow these steps:
- Expand the Slide Transition section in the right pane (Figure A).
- Select the transition you want to use from the Apply To Selected Slides options (you will get a live preview on your currently selected slide).
- Click the Apply To All Slides button.
You should also select whether you want the slide to advance On Mouse Click or Automatically After a specified amount of time.
Now that you have applied the same transition to all slides in the presentation, you can click the Slide Show button to test out the effect on all slides. It is also possible to modify the transition speed and add a sound to the transition. Both of these options are configured under the Modify Transition section.
Object within slide transitions
Transitions for text or images within the slide are just as simple to create as the slide to slide transitions; the only difference is, in order to create the effect, the object must be selected on the slide. Once you select the object, follow these steps:
- Expand the Custom Animation section in the right pane (Figure B).
- Click the Add button.
- Select the desired transition from the list.
- Select the speed for the transition.
- Click OK.
Instead of an enter/exit transition, you can select an emphasis transition from the Emphasis tab. (Click the image to enlarge.)When the transition happens, it is possible to configure from the Start drop-down (Figure C), which presents three choices:
- With Previous: The effect happens as the previous effect happens.
- After Previous: The effect happens as soon as the previous effect finishes.
- On Click: The effect happens only when the mouse is clicked.
When the transition happens can largely depend upon how you need the effect to occur and how best it can be used for emphasis.
Now test the transition to make sure it looks good.
Custom object animations
It is possible to set specific motion paths for an object. You can take an image on a slide and make it follow a specific path (which you create) around the slide.
In order to create a motion path for an object, follow these steps:
- Add the object (this can be an image or text) to the slide.
- Select the object.
- Click the Add button under Modify Effect.
- Click the Motion Paths tab.
- Select Freeform Line from the list (Figure D).
- Select either Slow or Medium from the Speed drop-down (Fast and Very Fast are probably too fast for motion paths).
- Click OK.
- With your cursor, draw the path for the object on the slide.
- Click Slideshow to sample your work.
If you don't want to select Freeform Line, you can select from one of the pre-defined motion paths listed.Once the motion path is successfully drawn, it will appear as a dotted gray line within the slide (Figure E). Figure E
Make sure you play the animation back to ensure the object's final position is correct. (Click the image to enlarge.)If the final position of the object is not correct, you can adjust the motion path by clicking on any point in the path. The path will change to a dotted line (Figure F), so you can click on any node (blue dot) and drag that node to where you need it. This allows you to change the beginning and end points, as well as smooth out lines and curves. Figure F
Although you cannot add new nodes to the path, you can adjust each node as needed. (Click the image to enlarge.)
After you add or modify the path, be sure to save the presentation and play the animation back.
That's it! You've brought your presentation to life with effects and custom animations.
There's plenty more you can do with this tool, so make sure you poke around to see how many stops you can pull out to get your presentation looking as eye catching and professional as possible.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for Techrepublic and Linux.com. As an avid promoter/user of the Linux OS, Jack tries to convert as many users to open source as possible. His current favorite flavor of Linux is Bodhi Linux (a melding of Ubuntu and Enlightenment). When Jack isn't writing about Linux he is hard at work on his other writing career -- writing about zombies, various killers, super heroes, and just about everything else he can manipulate between the folds of reality. You can find Jack's books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Outnumbered in his house one male to two females and three humans to six felines, Jack maintains his sanity by riding his mountain bike and working on his next books. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website Get Jack'd.