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The Finer Points of PowerPoint Motion Paths

Today I thought I would extend our discussion to one more aspect of motion path animations.

This is one that I’ve used frequently to get exactly the custom effect I really want to see during the presentation.

With this one you can use the ease of the preset motions and still get the custom path that your presentation requires.

With this in mind, let’s get right to business.

To start, we need an object with its motion path.

With paths such as straight lines you can simply click on the path itself and see the endpoints become active.


You can then use the old click-hold-and-drag method to move each end independently around the slide.

This allows you to change the length and / or direction the path takes but doesn’t move the object – just the path is changed.

However, with some paths such as the bounce, when you click it you don’t get activated endpoints for moving them.


Instead you get the same handles around the path that you’d see on any graphic or shape. These allow for change in size or shape as a whole and the green circle gives you the ability to rotate the path.

But, what if you actually wanted to alter the actual path shape more than the provided handles provide?

No problem… you just need to take a “finer” look and see all the points used to create the path.

Accomplishing this is pretty simple.

You need to right-click on the path.


From the small menu that opens choose Edit Points.

At this juncture you should be looking at the path with lots of black points throughout.


Any of the points can be moved to alter the portions of the path connected to it. The red dotted line represents what the results of the movement will be should you let go of the point in that location. Notice that only the point you drag will move – all others stay put so the path just to either side of the point is all that is changed with a single drag and drop.

This method will actually change the shape of the path, not just resize it.

Give this trick a try. I find that it’s a very efficient way to create a truly custom animation without all the hassle of drawing one from scratch.

~ April