Open Source

Create custom animations in LibreOffice Presents

Jack Wallen shows you how to bring your LibreOffice presentations to life with custom animations.

LibreOffice

You're creating a new presentation with LibreOffice Presents. You want this presentation to really WOW the audience, but you're not sure how to add that extra "something" to make the audience take notice. You've got transitions, music, a great script, perfect images ... what else is there?

Custom animations.

That's right, I said it. Custom animations. You can reveal and move the slide elements like a pro with this great feature. It's incredibly easy. Let me show you.

I'll assume you have the LibreOffice Presents basics down — you can create a slide and add elements and transitions to a slide. With that assumption out of the way, let's take the next evolutionary step and add animations. I'll demonstrate this by showing you how to add animations to text and how to add a motion path to an image. The motion path is the animation that can really draw attention to a slide or slide element.

First a bit of text animation.

Let's take a simple slide with a title, an image, and a single line of text. What we want to do is highlight the line of text with an animation and then make the image move. The first thing you must do is select the single line of text. When you do that, click on the Custom Animation button on the right edge of the Presents window (third icon from the top, as shown in Figure A).

Figure A

Figure A

The Custom Animation icon in the right navigation.

Click the plus sign [+] near the bottom of the right pane. This will open the animations pop-up window, where you can select the type of animation to add (Figure B).

Figure B

Figure B

Select your animation from the many options.

You can select whatever type of animation you like for the text. Instead of an entrance animation, let's go with an emphasis animation. Click on the Emphasis tab, and select an animation like Grow With Color. Select the speed for the animation, and then click OK to apply. Depending on the animation you choose, there will be different options to select from. Next, identify how the animation is to start. You can also click on the three dots (to the right of the Color drop-down) to open the options window (Figure C).

Figure C

Figure C

The animation options window.

From this window, you can craft the animation to perfectly meet your needs (such as adding sound, dimming after animation, timing, etc.). Customize the animation, and click OK to apply.

Now, let's create the Motion Path for the image element. This is equally as easy. On the slide, click the image to be animated, and then click the plus sign [+] in the right pane. From the animation pop-up, click on the Motion Paths tab. Let's create a freeform line for the image to follow. Click on Freeform Line, click OK, select the speed of the animation, and then draw the path with your cursor that you would like the image element to follow. At this point, you should see a dotted path representing the freeform line that you created (Figure D).

Figure D

Figure D

The path the image element will follow.

Now, if you go into slideshow mode, you can watch your animation in action (see the video below).

There's no reason your presentations have to be stuck with flat, motionless elements. With LibreOffice, creating eye-catching animations is as simple as a few clicks. Give this a try, and watch your presentations come to life!

What's your go-to presentation tool? Share your favorite in the discussion thread below.

About Jack Wallen

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.

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