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Dimming Text in PowerPoint

If you’re a regular user of PowerPoint animations, then I’m sure that you’ve used some sort of effect when introducing a list of text.

You know what I mean… you’ve got a list of 5 things and each one will slide in on their own click.

This is great because your audience can’t spend their time ignoring you and reading ahead. (Well OK… the ignoring part can’t be helped, if that’s what they are determined to do, but we certainly don’t want to help them in that endeavor.)

But once you’ve finished discussing one point and you’ve moved on to the next, what can we do to help the audience move along with us without actually removing the previous point from the screen? (After all, you may need to refer back to one of them, so we don’t want them completely gone.)

Today I’d like to take a look at one of the easiest things you can do to help focus their attention on the current item in the list…

Today we’re going to look at dimming text.

The cool part about this one is that it’s already available within the animations. All you have to do is change a single setting and the current text will dim whenever you click to move on to the next element in the list.

This setting can be found within the effect options once the entrance effect is established.

After you’ve applied an entrance effect to your text box, you should see something like this in the Custom Animation pane:


Click the down arrow on the right side of the entry, and choose Effect Options.

When the dialog box opens, you’re looking for the After animation field on the Effect tab.


As you can see from the drop-down list, you actually have a few choices.

You can choose a color for the text to change to when you move on to the next animation. The color blocks are from the current theme, or click More Colors to use anything else.

Don’t Dim is the choice to make for there to be no alterations to the text after the animation is over.

Hide After Animation will do just that… as soon as the entrance animation is complete the information disappears.

Hide on Next Mouse Click will remove the information when you click to move on.

If I’m going to use any of them, I tend to choose the color option. I pick a color that complements the presentation and yet will take focus off of that particular line.

In essence, I have the text change to a color that will “dim” it – it’s still quite visible but not the most eye-grabbing text on the screen.

When you’ve made a choice you can click OK.

Preview your slide… you’ll see what I mean about how this simple setting will help the audience keep focused on the point you’re currently trying to make.

~ April