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Lock Motion paths

Thursday, August 6th, 2009 by | Filed Under: MS PowerPoint

Previously we’ve discussed PowerPoint motion path custom animations. (Click here to view the motion path article.)

They are entertaining and definitely have some good aspects when it comes to grabbing attention.

I don’t know about you, but when I learn something new I tend to get right in there to find my options. You know, what exactly can I do with this new trick?

So, while on my adventure with animations I’ve definitely been into animation settings trying to see what was available.

There’s a specific aspect of a motion path’s setting that I’d like to discuss today… that being whether it’s set as locked or unlocked.

First, let me remind you as to what it is that you see when working with a motion path:


By default, if you move the object (in this example it’s the purple star) then the motion path is moved with it.

PowerPoint considers this to be an unlocked motion path – meaning that the path’s location on the slide is dependent upon the movements of the object. It goes where the star goes.

To have a locked motion path is to have a path that doesn’t move with its object. It’s “locked” in place on the slide… well sort of locked in place.
Basically, if you move the star the path stays exactly where it is but this doesn’t mean that it can never move. The path is its own element that can be independently moved around the slide just like anything else.

To decide which you prefer to work with you’ll need to explore the options and how it makes a difference in your work.

So, to that end let me show you where to find the locked vs. unlocked setting.

In the Custom Animation pane you would have a list of animations, each one having a down-arrow on the right side of the listing. Click this down-arrow and choose Effect Options.


On the Effect tab in the Settings section you’ll find what you’re looking for.


Choose either locked or unlocked from the drop-down list.

Click OK to go back to your presentation.

Time to play! After all, you’ve got to decide which option works best for you and that means time a bit of time “playing” with the choices.

~ April

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