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Setting Slide Transitions Quickly in MS PowerPoint

Setting Slide Transitions Quickly in MS PowerPoint

If you’re a PowerPoint user then you probably have, at one time or another, done some work with slide transitions.

As I’ve worked with people I’ve noticed that they go through the routine of viewing a slide in the slide view (one slide at a time), use the Slide Show menu / Slide Transitions choice to set the transition effect, then move to the next slide and repeat the process.

This, without a doubt, works, but if you’ve got a long presentation it can take forever. (OK, maybe forever is a bit of an exaggeration, but if you’ve got 30 slides that’s just how it feels!)

Would you like a more efficient way to set these transitions?

Was that a “Yes” I heard? (Once again, thanks for playing your part here.)

How about a bonus where you can also select Preset Animations at the same time?

Sound good? Yeah, it did to me too.

So, where do we find this wonderful little time-saver?

I’ve got two words for you.

Slide Sorter.

Slide Sorter?

Yep, the Slide Sorter is the answer to your time issues.

Open your presentation and switch to the Slide Sorter view. (View menu, Slide Sorter or the Slide Sorter button located in the bottom left corner of PowerPoint window.)

Now, just to be sure that you have the toolbars you need, make sure that in the View menu / Toolbars choice that both the Animation Effects and Slide Sorter choices are checked.

If one of them appears as a floating toolbar, simply grab the title bar and drag it into the toolbar area. It will settle in there just like all the other toolbars.

At any rate, you should have both of these toolbars:


Now that you have the necessary equipment, let’s get to the transitions and effects.

You begin by selecting the slide(s) where you will apply a transition and / or effect. To select multiple slides either click / hold the left mouse button to drag a selection rectangle or use the Shift key with left clicks.

Now let’s apply the fun stuff.

Slide transitions can be found in the drop-down list below the words No Transition.


Text effects can be applied from the drop-down list below the words No Effect.


Symbols will appear under the left corner of the slide. The symbol on the left indicated that a transition was set and the one on the right indicates that you’ve set an effect.


If you wish to apply a Preset Animation (text effect plus sound) simply click the type you wish to set from those available on the Animation Effects toolbar. (The bottom toolbar pictured above.)

You may find that this toolbar will change its options based on the elements of the slide highlighted. (I know, just what you needed… rules that change as you go along. Like you don’t already have enough of those!)

And that’s it.

You can change as many slides as you want—as quick as can be—without all the flipping back and forth between slides and the repeated opening of the Transition window.

Welcome to PowerPoint life in the fast lane.

~ April