Use PowerPoint 2010 dynamic transitions to visually link data

Use PowerPoint 2010's new dynamic transitions to pan from one slide to another, and back again.

Data comes in many forms, including tables that are often too wide or too long for a single slide. When this is the case, you probably split the table between two or more slides. Now, PowerPoint 2010's new dynamic transitions provide a visual way to pull those slides together.

Making a transition

A dynamic transition is a transition that allows your content to seemingly move, while the background stays the same.  When you use the same background for slides that you relate in this way, the content appears to flow up and down or left and right, independently. In other words, the content is rolling by, but the slide isn't changing - at least, that's what the viewers will think they see.

Dynamic transitions now works both backward and forward (they only moved forward before). Therefore, when you move to the previous slide, the transition works in reverse.

Now, let's work through a quick example. (You won't be able to see the effect via any figures very well, but you can download the demo.)

Below, are two slides that share a list of titles, but the list is too long for one slide - so it's split between two. Furthermore, during the presentation, you know that you'll want to move back and forth between the two slides, discussing the information as a single entity.

First, this effect has more impact if there's something in the background that doesn't seem to move. The quickest way to accomplish this is to add a footer via the master slide by clicking the View tab and then clicking Slide Master in the Master Views group. In this case, I copied the TechRepublic graphic to the Clipboard. Then, I double-clicked in the footer placeholder and pressed [Ctrl]+V to paste the graphic into the footer.

You could also click the Insert tab, click the Header & Footer option in the Text group, click the Footer option in the resulting dialog, and enter any text you like. What you add isn't terribly important.

Now, to pull the two slides together a bit, let's apply a dynamic transition to the two slides, as follows:

  1. Select the second slide.
  2. Click the Transitions tab.
  3. Display the Transition To This Slide gallery (click the dropdown to the right) and select Pan from the Dynamic Content section, or choose it from the Quick Gallery, if it's available.
  4. From the Effect Options dropdown, choose From Bottom. (If the data is wide rather than long, choose From Right.)

Now you're ready to display the first slide so press [F5]. When you click the first slide, PowerPoint slides the second up from the bottom. (This is the part that I can't show you in figures.) Just keep your eye on the footer - it won't move. It might disappear for a moment, but it won't move!

It appears as though the content is sliding over the footer and sliding into place to replace the content on the same slide, making the content on the second slide an extension of the first slide. The end result is a seamless pan from one slide to another, without the visual and psychological interruption, that goes with it.

To move back and forth between the two slides, keeping the dynamic transition in place, use the up and down arrow keys (when panning to the side use the right and left arrow keys).

When printing handouts, you can print the data together, rather than splitting it between multiple pages.


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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