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Animated PowerPoint Gratitude eCard


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.

Getting Started

  1. Open a Blank Presentation in PowerPoint
  2. Change the default slide layout to a blank slide
  3. Save the presentation and make sure you save periodically

Add the Gratitude Quote

  1. Add text box
  2. Paste in the gratitude quote you have
  3. I recommend the websites Brainy Quotes and A-Z Quotes.
  4. The links are in the description below.
  5. Next, change the font to a decorative font (In this example, I am use Dreaming Outloud Pro)
  6. Increase the font size to at least 40
  7. Resize the text box as needed
  8. Add a decorative border with 2 or 3 lines
  9. In the Format Shape tab, select the Border drop down.
  10. Add a border and change the weight to 6pt 
  11. From the drop down, choose Dashes and then More lines.
  12. Then choose an option with multiple border lines

Add leaves using stock illustrations

  1. From the Insert tab, choose Pictures and Stock Images...
  2. A quick tip for Mac OS, drag the image panel to the slide to create a floating panel
  3. Choose the Illustrations tab
  4. Search by the word leaf
  5. Select the ones you want
  6. Click the Insert button

Change leaf colors

  1. For autumn/Fall colors, use a site like Coolers.co to find a autumn color pallet
  2. Select a leaf and click the Fill drop down
  3. Change leaf colors either using the color pallet image or hex / rgb codes

Rename the Objects for Easy Identification

  1. In this example I will use the tree names (oak, elm, maple, serviceberry)
  2. Select an object and choose Selection Pane from the Format Shape tab
  3. Double click the name of an object and type in the descriptive name.
  4. Press Return or Enter to save the new name
  5. Continue until all of the objects have been renamed
  6. Click the Hide All button to hide text box and all leaves
  7. Click the eye of one of leaves to display it

Create Multiple Leaves

  1. Select the visible leaf
  2. Press Cmd (Ctrl) D to create three duplicates
  3. Spread them across the slide
  4. Rotate and resize each leaf to create variety
  5. Rename them with numbers so it is easier to identify each leaf
  6. Move the leaves above the slide (if needed, reduce view setting to see the objects and the slide)

Add Free Form Animation

  1. Select a leaf
  2. Click the Animations tab
  3. Click the Path Animation button (Motion Path in Windows)
  4. Choose the Free Form line option
  5. Place your mouse pointer over one object and draw the line down to past the slide's edge.
  6. Add curves to add a falling effect
  7. Double click to set the end point
  8. The green dot is the starting point and the red dot is the ending location
  9. Press the Preview button to see the path's starting and ending point.
  10. Both should be off of the slide
  11. You can drag either dot to extend the line
  12. Add a free form motion path to rest of the visible leaves
  13. Hide the leaves
  14. Repeat these steps for the rest of the leaves
  15. You should have 16 leaves total

Make Adjustments to Animations

  1. On the Selection Pane click the Show All button
  2. Display the Animation Pane
  3. Select all of the leaves
  4. Set the Duration to Very Slow (5 seconds)
  5. Rearrange the animations so a variety of leaves will fall together
  6. This is where the numbering comes in handy
  7. You should have two sets of leaves
  8. Do not create an actual group because the leaves will animate together as a clump instead of individually
  9. Make sure the first leaf in the first group is set to On Click
  10. Select the rest of the leaves in the group and select With Previous
  11. Select 2 or 3 leaves and add a delay of one second
  12. Select the first leaf of the second group
  13. Change the Start to After Previous
  14. Select the rest of the leaves in the group and change the Start to With Previous
  15. 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.
  16. On the Selection Pane,  move text box to the top of the list to place it in front of the leaves
  17. Click the Preview button to check the placement and timing of the leaves
  18. Make adjustments as needed.

Export the slide as an animated gif

  1. Choose File and Export
  2. Select animated gif
  3. Change the parameters as needed
  4. Click the Export button
  5. Open the file to preview
  6. 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.

About the Author

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Jennifer Sharkey is known as the Virtual Presentation Specialist. Being passionate about seeing people shine and be heard, she leans into her 20+ years of public speaking experience and uses what she has learned from presenting, both in-person and virtually, to small groups all the way up to 5000 people. Jennifer draws from her experience as an associate professor, academic librarian, and coach to help holistic coaches master virtual presentations to grow their business. Her unique immersive program provides practical strategies and methods to build confidence, engage audiences, and generate authenticity and authority.

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