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Office 2013 Guide to PowerPoint Transitions and Animations

There are two kinds of people in this world. Those who say effects are useless and only waste time, and others, who insist that they are a key part of any PowerPoint presentation. I’m from the second kind, personally, and that’s exactly why I took this opportunity to break down all the PowerPoint effects and explain where they should be used. This is quite a long guide, which is broken up into four parts, so you may want to give it some extra attention.

PowerPoint Transitions

I’ll start with the transitions. The transition is a short animation that you can place in between two slides. Transitions used more often than animations, which is why we’re giving you a full in-depth look at all 46 transitions PowerPoint 2013 has to offer. (Click the GIF image to view it larger in more detail.)

Transition

Information

Effect Options

GIF

None PowerPoint Transition

This is the default setting for each slide after you’ve added it. I highly recommend that you don’t leave any slides with the transition set to None, because it seems rather unprofessional and ignorant.

  • None
None PowerPoint Transition GIF
Cut PowerPoint Transition

Just like the None option, Cut is a transition effect which does absolutely nothing. It simply cuts to the next slide without any animation whatsoever. The only time when it may come in handy is if you decide to try the Cut Through Black effect option, which gives the transition a nice movie trailer look.

  • None
  • Through Black
Cut - PowerPoint Transition GIF
fade PowerPoint Transition

The Fade transition is one of the best transitions you can chose for just about anything. It fits nicely everywhere, it’s not too distracting, and it gives the presentation a smooth and professional look. Probably my all-time-favourite.

  • Smoothly
  • Through Black
Fade - PowerPoint Transition GIF
push PowerPoint Transition

Push is a transition that emphasises on advancing forward. Use it as a regular transition throughout most of your presentation, or whenever you’re bringing new information to the table or changing the topic.

  • From Bottom
  • From Left
  • From Right
  • From Top
Push PowerPoint Transition GIF
Wipe PowerPoint Transition

Transitions between slides using Wipe is nice and smooth. It’s a slow and gradual transition that fits almost everywhere, so you can use it just like you would use Fade.

  • From Right
  • From Top
  • From Left
  • From Bottom
  • From Top Right
  • From Bottom Right
  • From Top Left
  • From Bottom Left
Wipe PowerPoint Transition GIF
Split PowerPoint Transition In earlier versions of PowerPoint, Split was much more direct and spontaneous. In the newer ones, however (2010 and 2013), the effect is much smoother. It’s a nice transition to use throughout most of your presentation.
  • Vertical Out
  • Horizontal In
  • Horizontal Out
  • Vertical In
Split PowerPoint Transition GIF
Reveal PowerPoint Transition

The Reveal transition is among the slower transitions in PowerPoint. The name speaks for itself – use it when you want to reveal something using a transition that is not dramatic, but rather slow and smooth.

  • Smoothly From Right
  • Smoothly From Left
  • Through Black From Right
  • Through Black From Left
Reveal - PowerPoint Transition GIF
Random Bars PowerPoint Transition

Random bars is a PowerPoint transition which I’ve personally never liked. The never version of it is a lot smoother than the previous one, but it’s still a rather meaningless transition. The less you use it, the better.

  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
Random Bars PowerPoint Transition GIF
Shape PowerPoint Transition Shape is one of those “double sided blade” transitions. While not very useful in general, it can come in very handy on some rare occasions. For example, the Plus effect option is great when pointing out something positive, or when adding something to the information mix.
  • Circle
  • Diamond
  • Plus
  • In
  • Out
Shape PowerPoint Transition GIF
Uncover PowerPoint Transition

The quick transition Uncover can work great as a general transition throughout most of the presentation. Keep in mind that this transition will work a lot better if you’re doing a quick, fast-paced presentation.

  • From Right
  • From Top
  • From Left
  • From Bottom
  • From Top Right
  • From Bottom Right
  • From Top Left
  • From Bottom Left
Uncover PowerPoint Transition GIF
Cover PowerPoint Transition

Cover is, obviously, the exact opposite of Uncover. You can use it just like you would the other one. The transition visually stacks slides on top of each other, so use it whenever you’re “stacking up” information or as a general transition throughout your presentation.

  • From Right
  • From Top
  • From Left
  • From Bottom
  • From Top Right
  • From Bottom Right
  • From Top Left
  • From Bottom Left
Cover PowerPoint Transition GIF
Flash PowerPoint Transition

The Flash transition falls into the dramatic and spontaneous category. Use it when you want to introduce something with a bang, or when you want to quickly direct the viewers’ attention to something important.

  • None
Flash PowerPoint Transition GIF
Fall Over PowerPoint Transition

Fall Over isn’t among my favourite transitions, but it still does the job. Use it when discarding a slide showing old information and moving to a slide with more recent data, or whenever something has “fallen apart” – plans, projects, ideas etc.

  • Left
  • Right
Fall Over PowerPoint Transition GIF
Drape PowerPoint Transition Drape is a nice transition that stands right in the middle between spontaneous and smooth. Use it as a general transition throughout most of the presentation and when you don’t like going to extremes (in terms of transitions).
  • Left
  • Right
Fall Over PowerPoint Transition GIF
Curtains PowerPoint Transition

Want a very classy transition? Curtains is definitely a candidate. Use it as a transition from the title slide to Slide № 2, or when unveiling what the audience has been waiting for all along.

  • None
Curtains PowerPoint Transition GIF
Wind PowerPoint Transition

Wind is a rather interesting transition. Similar to Fall Over, it can represent an idea that was “blown away”. In a more creative look, however, this effect is great when you’re using a full slide to display a country’s national flag and want to advance.

  • Right
  • Left
Wind PowerPoint Transition GIF
Prestige PowerPoint Transition

Curtains not the type of classy you were looking for? In comes Prestige a wonderful transition which I really love. Great for advancing the title slide, and a very clever animation idea if you’re presenting anything related to food (revealing the dish).

  • None
Prestige PowerPoint Transition GIF
Fracture PowerPoint Transition

Fracture. A very dramatic transition that mimics shattering glass. Again, just like Fall Over or Wind, this is a great transition to use when emphasizing on failures. It’s also nice when you want to “shatter the old idea into pieces” and present the new one, which was waiting behind it all along.

  • None
Fracture PowerPoint Transition GIF
Crush PowerPoint Transition

To me, Crush is even more dramatic than Fracture. It’s literally saying “You saw that, right? Now forget about it. Here’s the real deal.”. This can be a great transition if used with caution, and if put into the right place.

  • None
Crush PowerPoint Transition GIF
Peel Off PowerPoint Transition Peel Off is a standard transition for advancing slides. To some, this transition resembles turning a page, which emphasizes on progress and moving forward. Altogether, it is a  nice and classic transition.
  • Left
  • Right
Peel Off PowerPoint Transition GIF
Page Curl PowerPoint Transition

Page Curl, unlike Peel Off is actually meant to represent turning a page. The Double Left and Double Right effects are very useful when switching slides with a two-column layout. As for the Singles, to me, they are a slightly better variation of Peel Off.

  • Double Left
  • Double Right
  • Single Left
  • Single Right
Page Curl PowerPoint Transition GIF
Airplane PowerPoint Transition GIF

Airplane – might want to watch out with this one. A quick and rapid transition emphasizing on positivity, progress, and “flying”. Still, I would advise you not to overdo this one. It’s a bit cheesy and, in my opinion, should only be used once or twice, if needed.

  • Right
  • Left
Airplane PowerPoint Transition GIF
Origami PowerPoint Transition

Way to go from cheesy to cheesiest. Origami is quite similar to Airplane, but a lot sillier. Unless you’re actually doing a presentation about Origami, I see no reason to use this transition at all. It’s what could turn a serious presentation into a laughing matter, so try to completely avoid this transition at all costs.

  • Right
  • Left
Origami PowerPoint Transition GIF
Dissolve PowerPoint Transition

Dissolve is a classic transition we know and love from previous versions of PowerPoint. Okay… maybe I lied about the part where I said we love it. While slightly smoother in PowerPoint 2013, it’s still rather meaningless and bad looking transition. I tend to avoid this as best I can.

  • None
Dissolve PowerPoint Transition GIF
Checkerboard PowerPoint Transition

Checkerboard is yet another transition you probably all know from older PowerPoint versions. Its revamped look in 2013 makes it look a lot smoother and more professional. While the transition itself doesn’t seem to emphasize on anything, it’s a good transition to use throughout most of the presentation if you need to maintain consistency.

  • From Left
  • From Top
Checkerboard PowerPoint Transition GIF
Blinds PowerPoint Transition Blinds is a good transition which, similar to Drape, stands in the middle between dramatic and smooth. A good alternative to Checkerboard, since the black background here is a bit less visible. I would probably use this transition throughout most of my presentation if it was a bit slower. Fortunately there is a way to slow it down with the Duration option, which makes it nearly perfect (to me).
  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
Blinds PowerPoint Transition GIF
Clock PowerPoint Transition GIF

Clock is a great transition due to its revamped look and smoothness in 2013. I like to use this when I’m showing a before and after. The clock motion itself emphasizes that it took some time to achieve the result seen in the “after” slide, and the medium speed makes things even better. Additionally, if you get bored of the standard clockwise motion, the Counterclockwise and Wedge effect options present two great alternative transitions which you should also keep in mind.

  • Clockwise
  • Counterclockwise
  • Wedge
Clock PowerPoint Transition GIF
Ripple PowerPoint Transition

Ripple is a very calm and smooth transition. Incredibly valuable when transitioning to slides with images of seas, oceans, or just about any kind of liquid, for that matter. I have used this in the past for some of my biology presentations and it made a great impact. Additionally, the five available effect options make this transition even more flexible and customizable. All in all, a wonderful transition if used correctly.

  • Center
  • From Bottom-Left
  • From Bottom-Right
  • From Top-Right
  • From Top-Left
Ripple PowerPoint Transition GIF
Honeycomb PowerPoint Transition

Honeycomb is another transition which I tend to avoid. Sure, it’s fancy and flashy, but altogether a bit too slow and rather unfitting for anything. Obviously, this transition would be in your top 3 if you work for a honey making factory as a presenter, but that’s all very unlikely.

  • None
Honeycomb PowerPoint Transition GIF
Glitter PowerPoint Transition

Hexagons or Diamonds? Choose for yourself with the Glitter transition. A transition that’s neither extremely good, nor bad. It stands right in the middle as a savior if you start to realize you’re overusing some of the other transitions.

  • Hexagons From Left
  • Hexagons From Top
  • Hexagons From Right
  • Hexagons From Bottom
  • Diamonds From Left
  • Diamonds From Top
  • Diamonds From Right
  • Diamonds From Bottom
Glitter PowerPoint Transition GIF
Vortex PowerPoint Transition

Here’s an interesting one. Vortex is a very flashy and fancy transition which is surprisingly well made. I sometimes use this transition before my ending slide or when introducing something very important into the presentation. Use this transition only once per presentation to avoid making the special seem like the ordinary.

  • From Left
  • From Top
  • From Right
  • From Bottom
Vortex PowerPoint Transition GIF
Shred PowerPoint Transition

Shred is a transition which nails the perfect level of flashiness. If you want the more standard shredding effect you see on the GIF, pick the Strips In or Strips Out effect options. And if you’re looking for a shorter version of Vortex, but one that’s just as flashy, try Particles In or Particles Out. Yet another useful transition that can represent the “out with the old, in with the new” concepts in your presentation.

  • Strips In
  • Strips Out
  • Particles In
  • Particles Out
Shred PowerPoint Transition GIF
Switch PowerPoint Transition Switch is a very good transition which can be used throughout most of your presentation. It’s the perfect mix of smoothness along with the sharper and bolder look of Uncover. Use this as a general transition, or when “switching” from one point to another.
  • Right
  • Left

 

Switch PowerPoint Transition GIF
Flip PowerPoint Transition

Flip reminds me of flipping over a flashcard. As a matter of fact, I’m almost fully convinced that’s what it was meant for in the first place. This Windows 8-ish effect is great when displaying a question and then flipping over to reveal its answer. Very effective and useful if you happen to have your presentation laid out in a similar way.

  • Right
  • Left
Flip PowerPoint Transition GIF
Gallery PowerPoint Transition

The Gallery transition is nice to keep in mind when moving through a series of slides with nothing but a full-size photo on them. Essentially, it’s a good effect when displaying slides that contain more images than they do text. Personally, I wouldn’t use this as a general transition, due to the slightly distracting reflection below the slides, but that’s just a matter of my opinion.

  • From Right
  • From Left
Gallery PowerPoint Transition GIF
Cube PowerPoint Transition

Cube is another transition which will probably always be in my all time favourites. It fits just about everything – advancing slides with information, images, charts and much more. It’s simple, straightforward, and the added smoothness in 2013 makes it better than ever.

  • From Right
  • From Bottom
  • From Left
  • From Top
Cube PowerPoint Transition GIF
Doors PowerPoint Transition

Doors is another transition that emphasizes on “the big reveal”. It’s quick, simple, and far from the flashiness of any other transitions. Works great if your first slide has a two-column layout and your second one is a big title or image.

  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
Doors PowerPoint Transition GIF
Box PowerPoint Transition Box is essentially the Cube transition viewed inside out. Sadly, it doesn’t look as good from an inside view, making it an okay transition that is still nothing special. Use this only if you run out of other transitions.
  • From Right
  • From Bottom
  • From Left
  • From Top
Box PowerPoint Transition GIF
Comb PowerPoint Transition

Comb looks like a watered down version of Shred. The cut-out pieces moving to the left and to the right move slightly faster at the bottom, which introduces a fake feeling of smoothness to this rather old transition. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either. That’s exactly why this is one transition which you might want to avoid.

  • Horizontal
  • Vertical
Comb PowerPoint Transition GIF
Zoom PowerPoint Transition Zoom is quick and straightforward. The title of this transition speaks for itself, and there’s only one trap which you might want to avoid – the Zoom and Rotate effect option. It literally turns this wonderfully smooth transition into a cheesy and distracting one. Whatever you do and wherever you use it, avoid the Zoom and Rotate effect option at all costs.
  • In
  • Out
  • Zoom and Rotate
Zoom PowerPoint Transition GIF
Random PowerPoint Transition

It’s needless to say that Random definitely won’t be amongst your favourite options. You never know what you’ll get – it can either be a really fitting transition, or one that is and absolute fail (Origami?). If you’re not sure which transition to pick, you’re better of playing it safe with Fade and risking to bore a few people, rather than giving PowerPoint the change to ruin your entire presentation due to just one badly randomized transition.

  • None
Random PowerPoint Transition GIF
Pan PowerPoint Transition

Pan is just like the Push transition. The only difference is the smoothly fading background, which you may like more than the standard looking slide overlay on Push. It’s all a matter of taste, so take your time between the two to find out which one you like better.

  • From Bottom
  • From Left
  • From Right
  • From Top
Pan PowerPoint Transition GIF
Ferris Wheel PowerPoint Transition

Ferris Wheel is an interesting transition. Presented full screen, this is probably the transition which best succeeds at combining smoothness and dynamics. The angle of the outgoing and incoming slides bring the right amount of motion to the table, while the slowly fading background nicely contrasts while the transition is on-going. A great saviour if you’re running out of transition ideas.

  • From Right
  • From Left
Ferris Wheel PowerPoint Transition GIF
Conveyor PowerPoint Transition GIF

Conveyor - an odd name for an transition that just seems really familiar. Why? Because it is. Conveyor is just an alternative version of Gallery, again utilizing the smooth background fade. Pick wisely, because these two transitions are as different as they are similar.

  • From Right
  • From Left
Conveyor PowerPoint Transition GIF
Rotate PowerPoint Transition

Rotate is a clone of Cube, again using a smooth background fade. Not much there can be said here. Just like Pan and Push, these two are really similar, so it’s all up to you.

  • From Right
  • From Bottom
  • From Left
  • From Top
Rotate PowerPoint Transition GIF
Window PowerPoint Transition

Window – the smooth background fade version of Doors.
> inb4 similar transitions
> inb4 essentially the same

  • Vertical
  • Horizontal
Window PowerPoint Transition GIF
Orbit PowerPoint Transition

Well, well, well – seems like Box got it’s smooth background version as well. It’s cleverly named Orbit and is fits into the same situations where Box does.

  • From Right
  • From Bottom
  • From Left
  • From Top
Orbit PowerPoint Transition GIF
Fly Through PowerPoint Transition Last, but definitely not least… another clone. Surprisingly, one that actually looks and works pretty good. Fly Through is (you guessed it) a revamped Zoom transition. Just like Shred, it seems to nail the perfect level of flashiness quite well. I use this effect quite often, and when I realised it, I honestly thought PowerPoint were trolling us by putting one of their best effects at the bottom.
  • In
  • Out
  • In with Bounce
  • Out with Bounce
Fly Through PowerPoint Transition GIF

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