Add a ticker tape readout to a PowerPoint slide

With this clever trick, you can scroll information across the bottom of a PowerPoint slide in ticker tape fashion.

PowerPoint is full of special effects. and with a little thought you can get more than you might expect. For instance, using the Crawl In animation, you can turn an ordinary text box into a ticker tape readout. There's a bit of a trick to the technique, but it's an easy one -- position an ordinary text box in an unconventional manner. Now, on with the technique (in PowerPoint 2003):

  1. Add a text box to the slide and type the message you want to scroll.
  2. Here's the trick: Move the text box off the left bottom edge of the slide. You want just the right edge left on the slide. By moving most of the text box off the slide, you allow the text to fully scroll off the left edge.
  3. Right-click the text box and choose Custom Animation.
  4. Choose Entrance from the Add Effect drop-down list and choose More Effects.
  5. Select Crawl In from the list of Basic effects and click OK.
  6. Change the Start setting to After Previous.
  7. Change the Direction setting to From Right.
  8. Change the Speed setting to Very Slow.
  9. From the effect's drop-down list, choose Timing.
  10. From the Repeat drop-down list, choose Until End Of Slide.
  11. Click OK.

Press [F5] and watch the message you entered into the text box in step 1, enter the screen from the right...

...scroll across the bottom edge...

...and off the left edge.

You might want to tweak the timing just a bit. The scroll should be slow enough to read, but not so slow that readers lose interest. Add the ticker tape effect to the Master Slide if you want it to appear on all the slides in the presentation. This technique isn't for your average presentation -- save it for those lively discussions where the presentation and the audience have a sense of humor.