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SmartArt Animation Options

Whenever it’s appropriate I find myself using SmartArt in my PowerPoint presentations.


Well, because they’re instant organization for my information as well as visually interesting.

Now, I also tend to like animations in my presentations, especially entrance animations, so that I can keep the audience’s attention on the current information and not what’s yet to come on the slide.

The question is… as you can imagine… can I animate my SmartArt?

And, if so, does it have to enter all at once? Can I have the separate elements enter in the order of my choosing? Can I have different elements of the SmartArt enter using different animations?

The answers are yes, no, no and yes.

Yes, you can animate SmartArt. No, all elements do not have to enter simultaneously. No, they can’t be put into a different order (at least not on any of the ones I tried). And, yes, you can use different animations on different elements.


With that said, let’s look at the things we can do.

First let’s talk about choosing an animation for the SmartArt.

You’ll need to select the SmartArt and navigate to the Animations tab of the Ribbon.


Use the down-arrow to select an animation from the animate list. Notice that the list also includes choices for how the elements enter… all at once, by levels, by element, etc…

If you don’t see the animation that you want then you could open the Custom Animation pane.

Once you set the animation type for the SmartArt you’ll find that by default it animates all at once.

Use the down arrow or right click on the animation listing to access the Effect Options.


On the SmartArt Animation tab choose the way you want the elements to enter.


Click OK.

This will change your custom animation list from one element to multiple.

You’ll find that everything else works just like well… everything else.

Change animation types, speeds, directions, whatever as you see fit.

Excellent graphic combined with awesome animation can lead to one great presentation!

~ April