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Create Crawler Text in PowerPoint

Monday, January 4th, 2010 by | Filed Under: MS PowerPoint
 
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Ever have a presentation to give and some information you’d like the participants to know as they are coming into the room and settling down? Information maybe along the lines of a welcome, your name, materials to pick up, whatever…

What did you do?

Did you create a slide with a list of information and just leave it at that?

If you’ve got a lot to tell them, that may be your best bet.

But what if you’ve got just a few things and you want to use some “flair” when you do it. I mean a picture is nice, but a good animation can go a long way towards getting their attention.

Today I want to use the Crawl In animation to create a ticker-like effect on your slides. Whatever the information, you can use this animation to get it to continuously scroll across your slide.

Think about it… who can resist reading a crawling line of text?

Can you?

I know that when the severe weather or some other event occurs and the crawls start along the bottom of the TV screen, I can’t help but read it, even though it says the same thing it did on the last go around.

Anyway, with that in mind let’s take a look at the “how to”.

First, you’ll need to create the text box with the text you need to crawl across the screen. Remember, crawls are usually a single line of text, so you probably won’t want to create something that wraps in the text box. (Unless it’s an address or something that would look correct that way.)

Next you need to position the text box completely off and to the left of the slide, like this:

image

Yep – I know you think it’s a weird way to go but you do need it that way. Believe me, I tried putting it on the slide thinking that it wouldn’t matter, but it would never finish a complete crawl through before it disappeared and then started over. Definitely not the effect I was going for.

Next we’re off to the animation department.

Older versions of PowerPoint: Slide Show menu, Custom Animation choice.

PowerPoint 2007 and 2010: Animations tab of the Ribbon, click the Custom Animations button.

With the pane displayed, we’re ready to really get started.

Select the text box and click the Add Effect button, Entrance category, More Effects choice.

When the Add Entrance Effects dialog box opens, choose Crawl In and click OK.

image

With that done, we need to make adjustments to the settings.

Click the down arrow to the right of the animation listing in the Custom Animation pane.

image

Choose Timing from the list.

When the Crawl In dialog box opens, it’s time to make some decisions.

image

First, when should it start? On Click? With Previous? After Previous?

I chose With Previous because that starts the animation as soon as the slide starts, but the choice is obviously yours.

No need to set a delay (but you should note its location for a little later), but you’ll want to change the Speed. I found that about 20 seconds works well, it’s readable but not overly slow.

Now, obviously, if you want the crawl to go more than once, you’ll need to set a Repeat value. As you can see I chose End of Slide so that the crawl would continue for as long as necessary. Again, your decision.

Moving over to the Effect tab of this dialog box, you’ll want to change the direction to “From Right”.

Click OK.

Previewing your work should reveal a beautiful crawling line of text… just like we’d hoped for.

However, I’m not done quite yet.

I found myself disappointed by the gap in text as one run through had to end completely, before the next would begin.

So, back to work I went to find a solution… and I’m delighted to report that I did find one that made me infinitely happier with something that I was already pretty pleased with from the beginning.

What I did was to create a duplicate of the text box after all the animations were set. (Since the duplicate will be given the same animations, it saves a lot of time resetting things).

If you only want the one statement, leave the text box as an exact duplicate, if not, change out the text for your second statement. I found that this works best when the text is about the same length.

For the new text box you need to go back to the effect’s timing options and set a delay time of 10 seconds (assuming that you have a 20 second animation).

Lastly, you need to line the text boxes up vertically, so that it looks like one continuous line of text.

If you want them to crawl through at different locations, move them to meet your needs.

At any rate, you should find that this slide is as irresistible to read as all the other crawling text lines we seem to find so mesmerizing.

~April

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