Tap into your creativity this holiday season and create an animated gratitude ecard. Saving as a .gif allows you to share across multiple platforms including social media, texts, and email.
- Open a Blank Presentation in PowerPoint
- Change the default slide layout to a blank slide
- Save the presentation and make sure you save periodically
Add the Gratitude Quote
- Add text box
- Paste in the gratitude quote you have
- I recommend the websites Brainy Quotes and A-Z Quotes.
- The links are in the description below.
- Next, change the font to a decorative font (In this example, I am use Dreaming Outloud Pro)
- Increase the font size to at least 40
- Resize the text box as needed
- Add a decorative border with 2 or 3 lines
- In the Format Shape tab, select the Border drop down.
- Add a border and change the weight to 6pt
- From the drop down, choose Dashes and then More lines.
- Then choose an option with multiple border lines
Add leaves using stock illustrations
- From the Insert tab, choose Pictures and Stock Images...
- A quick tip for Mac OS, drag the image panel to the slide to create a floating panel
- Choose the Illustrations tab
- Search by the word leaf
- Select the ones you want
- Click the Insert button
Change leaf colors
- For autumn/Fall colors, use a site like Coolers.co to find a autumn color pallet
- Select a leaf and click the Fill drop down
- Change leaf colors either using the color pallet image or hex / rgb codes
Rename the Objects for Easy Identification
- In this example I will use the tree names (oak, elm, maple, serviceberry)
- Select an object and choose Selection Pane from the Format Shape tab
- Double click the name of an object and type in the descriptive name.
- Press Return or Enter to save the new name
- Continue until all of the objects have been renamed
- Click the Hide All button to hide text box and all leaves
- Click the eye of one of leaves to display it
Create Multiple Leaves
- Select the visible leaf
- Press Cmd (Ctrl) D to create three duplicates
- Spread them across the slide
- Rotate and resize each leaf to create variety
- Rename them with numbers so it is easier to identify each leaf
- Move the leaves above the slide (if needed, reduce view setting to see the objects and the slide)
Add Free Form Animation
- Select a leaf
- Click the Animations tab
- Click the Path Animation button (Motion Path in Windows)
- Choose the Free Form line option
- Place your mouse pointer over one object and draw the line down to past the slide's edge.
- Add curves to add a falling effect
- Double click to set the end point
- The green dot is the starting point and the red dot is the ending location
- Press the Preview button to see the path's starting and ending point.
- Both should be off of the slide
- You can drag either dot to extend the line
- Add a free form motion path to rest of the visible leaves
- Hide the leaves
- Repeat these steps for the rest of the leaves
- You should have 16 leaves total
Make Adjustments to Animations
- On the Selection Pane click the Show All button
- Display the Animation Pane
- Select all of the leaves
- Set the Duration to Very Slow (5 seconds)
- Rearrange the animations so a variety of leaves will fall together
- This is where the numbering comes in handy
- You should have two sets of leaves
- Do not create an actual group because the leaves will animate together as a clump instead of individually
- Make sure the first leaf in the first group is set to On Click
- Select the rest of the leaves in the group and select With Previous
- Select 2 or 3 leaves and add a delay of one second
- Select the first leaf of the second group
- Change the Start to After Previous
- Select the rest of the leaves in the group and change the Start to With Previous
- For more leaves, select all of the them and duplicate by pressing Cmd D (or Ctrl D for Windows) and arrange slightly to the left or right of the original group.
- On the Selection Pane, move text box to the top of the list to place it in front of the leaves
- Click the Preview button to check the placement and timing of the leaves
- Make adjustments as needed.
Export the slide as an animated gif
- Choose File and Export
- Select animated gif
- Change the parameters as needed
- Click the Export button
- Open the file to preview
- The file can now be posted to social media, sent via email, or embedded on a web page.
In the comments below, share what strategies you've used to create a gratitude ecard.