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Animations and Transitions in OpenOffice Impress

I imagine that when the words animation and transition are used in reference to a slide show, we all know that they reference all the cool motions, entrances, exits and other exciting things we see while viewing the show.

The first question some may have is, what’s the difference between an animation and a transition?

An animation is the effects applied to individual elements on a slide, such as text and pictures. These effects may mark the entrance or exit of an object. They could simply emphasize an object or they could be motion paths which will move the object around the screen in predetermined path.

On the other hand, a transition is the way the next slide covers the last one when it enters the show. Does it come in from the bottom and cover the last one? Are there lines or boxes where the new slide “peeks” through until it takes over the screen completely? Maybe there’s a shape containing the new slide that expands until the old slide is completely out of view…

Whatever the specific effect, animations are effects on a slide and transitions are effects to move from slide to slide.

Now, where do we find them?

Both effects are found in the Task Pane. (View menu if you do not have yours currently set to open when Impress starts.)

Your Task Pane is like a “stack of pages” and on each one, you’ll find the options available to control specific elements.


Click on any one of the entries in the list, and it will switch the Task Pane to that “page” allowing you access to make changes.

If you take note, you’ll find animations and transitions as the last two entries on the list… it’s there that you’ll be able to select, preview and organize these elements.

Oh, and one quick note… you can also reach the options through the Slide Show menu:


Choosing either of these will open the Task Pane to the location of those effects.

Now that you know what they are and where to find them, it’s a matter of getting your feet wet. Any future information I give you on the subject will have a greater impact once you’ve got an idea of what’s there and what can be done.

Go ahead and give it a try – there’s just no substitute for the experience and knowledge you’ll gain by the old fashioned trial and error method.

~ April