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Animated PowerPoint Timeline 2022

Take your visual timelines to the next level through animation. This video demonstrates step by step how to build a visually impressive timeline and then how to apply the animation. Included is a free template download.

First, as a time saving strategy, I identify the exact information I want to include on this slide visual timelines should not be text heavy so it's important to be succinct and to the point. In this example, I include the month and milestone. Because my timeline also includes an icon, I’ll list what icon I want to include for each milestone

Insert a slide with the layout title only. Change the default font in the Design tab to Century Gothic. In the View tab, show the Guides and Gridlines to help align the objects

First, add the teardrop shape. Drag down on the small yellow sizing handle to bring down the point. Then add a circle and place it over the teardrop. Change the color to white and no outline. Last, add the icon, resize to fit the circle and change the color to medium gray.

Then group these elements together (Select Group for the Format tab or right click and select group or press Option Command G [mac] Control G [windows]). Next, add a circle, In the Shape Format tab, lock the aspect ratio and change the size to .25.

Align the elements using the Align > Center in the Shape Format Tab. Then group these elements together (Select Group for the Format tab or right click and select group or press Option Command G [mac] Control G [windows]).

Duplicate this group 4 more times. Drag the right and left teardrop to each end of the slide. Select all of the groups and evenly distribute horizontally from the Shape Format tab. Change each icon by selecting the Change Graphic button in the Graphic Format tab and choosing From Icons…

Now change the shape fill of the teardrop and corresponding circle. I like downloading color palettes from website Coolors. I add the palette image to the slide and then use the eyedropper option to select the color. To do this select the teardrop and small circle.

Click the dropdown arrow in the Shape Fill button on the Shape Format tab. Click more colors and click the eyedropper icon. Then click the color in the color palette image. Repeat for the rest of the elements.

Next, draw a line from the left of the slide to about one inches. Holding down the shift key helps keep the line straight. Then change the color to a medium gray and set the line weight to 6pt. Then align it approximately center with the small circle.

Duplicate the line using Command D [Control D Windows]. Make the line longer to about 2 inches. Select the second line and duplicate four more times. Select all of the lines. Then align them using the Align > Middle in the Shape Format Tab. And using the arrow keys align with the small circle.

Now, add the text box for the month and add the text. Change the font size to 32. Add the textbox for the milestone and change the font size to 24, center the text, and resize the box as needed. Then duplicate both text boxes and move under the second teardrop. Duplicate these three more times. Change the text for each month and the milestone.

Now apply the animation to each element. First, select all of the teardrop groups and select Ungroup from the Shape Format tab (or right click and Ungroup). Selecting the first line, click the Animations tab and choose Wipe. Then in the Animations option button, choose from left in the Effects Option button, and a duration of one second.

Select the small circle and choose the Appear animation and change the Start to After Previous. Then select the first teardrop group and choose the Wipe animation and change the direct to from top in the Effects Option button. Change the Start to After Previous.

Select the first text boxes and choose the Wipe animation and change the Start to With Previous. Then select the first line and double click the Animation Painter. Then click each line to apply the same animation. Click the Animation Painter button again to deactivate it. Repeat this for element. Display Animations Pane and drag and drop the animations.

If you have a longer timeline, you can duplicate the slide and add the Push transition to that slide. Remove the animation from the first line for a smoother transition.

Download the free template.

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About the author 


Jennifer has 15+ years of public speaking experience - ranging from groups of 5 to 5000. She draws from her experience as an instructor, academic, and librarian to help others with their presentation skills. When not presenting she loves creating and designing online courses, video, images, slide decks, handouts, conference posters, and infographics.

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