How to Reveal One Line at a Time in Microsoft PowerPoint

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With her B.S. in Information Technology, Sandy worked for many years in the IT industry as a Project Manager, Department Manager, and PMO Lead. She learned how technology can enrich both professional and personal lives by using the right tools. And, she has shared those suggestions and how-tos on many websites over time. With thousands of articles under her belt, Sandy strives to help others use technology to their advantage. Read more…
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PowerPoint offers many ways to create unique presentations using animations. You can do something simple like making a typewriter animation or something theatrical like displaying Star Wars scrolling text. Another option is to reveal one line at a time.
By using an animation to bring in individual lines in PowerPoint, you can not only create a distinctive slideshow, but a useful one too. You may want to expand on each item in a bullet list, further explain each step in a numbered list, or discuss separate lines without a list at all.
Here, we’ll show you how to reveal lines one at a time in a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation.

Set up the Animations in PowerPoint
Customize the Animations
  Change the Effect Options
  Select a Start Action
  Adjust the Duration
  Use the Animation Pane

Go to the slide with the text you want to animate and select the first line you want to make appear by dragging your cursor through it.
Select a line of text in PowerPoint
Head to the Animations tab and click the arrow on the bottom of the animation collection. This displays all available effects.
Choose one of the Entrance animation effects. You can use an option like Appear, Fly In, or Float In for something subtle or go all out with Grow & Turn, Swivel, or Bounce.
Pick an Entrance effect
You should see a brief preview of the animation. If not, click “Preview” on the left side of the ribbon. You can also automatically see each animation you apply or edit. Click the Preview arrow and select “AutoPreview” to put a checkmark next to it.
Preview animations
Select each additional line you want to animate, one at a time, and apply the animation as you did with the first line. You can use the same effect or choose a different one if you like. You’ll see each line numbered with the order in which the animations appear.
Animated lines in PowerPoint
RELATED: How to Make Animated Characters in PowerPoint
Now that you have the initial animations set up, it’s time to customize the Effect Options, Start action, and optionally the Duration.
Depending on the Entrance animation you select, you may have additional settings for the effect. For instance, you can choose a direction for the effects such as from the top, bottom, right, or left for the Fly In animation or up or down for the Float In effect.
Select each animation and click the Effect Options drop-down arrow. Then choose the direction for the animation.
Select an Effect Option
If the Effect Options button is grayed out, then there are no available options for that particular animation per line.
Effect Options grayed out
If your plan is to reveal one line at a time in PowerPoint to speak more about each of those lines, then you probably want complete control as to when they display. To do this, select an animated line and go to the Timing section of the ribbon on the Animations tab.
In the Start drop-down list, pick “On Click.” Do the same for each animated line on the slide. Using this option, each line will appear only when you click the slide.
Pick a Start action
If you prefer to simply display one line at a time without any additional action, select “On Click” for the first line to start the slide animations and “After Previous” for the subsequent lines. Using this option, each animated line will display one at a time automatically.
You can also use the Delay box directly below the Duration box to add a number of seconds for the time between animations when using “After Previous.”
Select After Previous and add a Delay
Another customization you may want to make is for the Duration. Each animation has a default timing for how long the effect plays from start to finish. You can change this by using the Duration box in the Timing section of the ribbon on the Animations tab.
Either enter a number in seconds or use the arrows to increase or decrease the speed of the animation.
Adjust the Duration
In addition to customizing your animations with the ribbon, you can use the Animation Pane. This is a side panel that lets you change the Start action, edit the Effect Options, remove an effect, or reorder your animations.
RELATED: How to Disable or Delete PowerPoint Animations
On the Animations tab, click “Animation Pane” in the Advanced Animation section of the ribbon.
Click Animation Pane in the ribbon
You’ll see the sidebar display with your current slide animations listed in order. Select and drag or use the arrows at the top to rearrange them or click the arrow to the right of an animation to make edits.
Use the Animation Pane
To close the Animation Pane, click the X on the top right of it or deselect the Animation Pane button in the ribbon.
Whether you want a dramatic effect or a useful one for expanding on talking points, you can easily reveal one line at a time on a PowerPoint slide.
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