Solution: Animating a PowerPoint Table

About this lesson

Animating a PowerPoint Table Quickly. The tool that Microsoft forgot. Learn the easiest and most elegant method for animating any PowerPoint Table to take full control of presenting your data.

This is the most practicable approach that is flexible, fast, and easy to change afterward. Great for any version of PPT be it on a Mac or Windows and this will work with all versions of PowerPoint.


00:00 Intro
00:55 The Project Preview of Table Animation
02:40 Starting the Project – Detailed Step by Step
03:15 Appropriate Versions – ALL!
03:32 Step 1 – Build the Table
04:02 Adding a Table Placeholder
04:29 Pro Tip – Make Sure the Table is COMPLETE
05:13 Step 2 – Calculate the Number of Animation
05:48 Step 3 – Duplicate Slide to Match Animation Number
06:18 Step 4 – Remove the Data Slide by Slide
07:48 Step 5 – Turn on Slide Transition
08:30 Bonus – Edit and Update the Table
09:47 The Wrap-Up


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility All Versions


Course Completed

PDF Files There are not any files associated with this lesson.



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PowerPoint has some amazing slide animation tools. But animating a table is not one of them. This is always been a missing feature. You can animate charts and SmartArt and bullet lists, but not tables. The internet is filled with overly complicated and time consuming solutions, such as breaking the table into parts and into objects. or exporting to Excel and then back into PowerPoint, or some unsophisticated animation reveals. But here at, I’d like to share this simple solution that I’ve been using for years. Hi, this is Les from, where I share my decades of experience with you for free. And now let’s look and see a quick and easy way to do table animations. This is a simple five step process. With the very first step being build the table. Let me run through the highlights of all the steps. And then we’ll come back and build a new table together and animate it. So with the table created, it’s important to have all the finished data and formatting done before you begin the animation process. Step two is decide how many animations you want, and count them. If you’re going to animate my rows in this table would need for animations. And if you want to animate my quarters, then we’d also need for animations just by chance. Step three. Now duplicate the same slide the number of animations you want. In our example, we wanted for animations. So we’ll create four exact copies of the same table slide. Step four is to go into each slide and remove the data in our case, row by row to set up the appearance of the animation. Slide four has all the data. Slide three has a Los Angeles data removed. Slide two, we’re going to remove the Chicago data. And on slide one, the Atlanta data is now removed, so that we’re only showing the New York row. For step five, recreate the illusion of a table animation. By adding slide transition. Several types of transitions will work but fade is the most reliable. And that’s it. Let’s go try it out and run the animation show.

Here is slide One with only the New York data display. A click of the mouse advances to the second slide with the Atlanta row of data appearing and on slide number three. We continue our illusion of a slide animation with the Chicago row. And finally another click and slide number four appears with the completed data for Los Angeles. It is that easy. So let’s go build it. And along the way, I will provide some subtle techniques to keep you out of trouble. I am working in the latest version of PowerPoint on a Windows computer using Office 365. But this technique will work with any version going back decades and on both Windows and Mac computers. To get started, let’s go to the Home Ribbon Menu and add a new slide. And just to show that this really is being built from scratch, I’m going to delete the pre made slide. Do note that we’re using a custom template see above for a link on how to build your own templates. And now, I’m going to give the table a title of table animation project there are four or five, five ways to add a table. For this example I’m going to click on this small faith table icon in the text placeholder and choose the default of five columns into rows. This can be changed later on if you desire. And now I’m going to speed up my typing to complete the creation of our project table. If you need more help on learning how to create tables in PowerPoint, subscribe to our YouTube channel and look for the tutorial link listed above. Here is the first key tip. Make sure the table has all the accurate data and is properly formatted. before going on to step two. It will save you from having to repeat the steps if you change your mind and the data later. Here. I’m going to go to the table design and select a slightly different look. And for some more formatting, I’m going to select all of the text in the table. I’m going to go to the Home Ribbon Menu to find a new more bold font of Franklin Gothic Book. And finally, to get the slide looking exactly the way I want, I’m going to move the whole table down a bit on my slide. Perfect. So on to step two, decide what you want to animate, and count the number of steps. In this table, if I want to animate by row, it would be four rows. And if instead I wanted to do it by columns, it would be four columns. Here’s another pro tip, the side of the first few should or should not include the first set of data. We’re going to start with an empty table, then make sure that you include that in your animation number count. Step three, duplicating the slides to match the animation number count, select the thumbnail slide on the left, and then duplicated and now you have an identical number of exactly the same slide to match your animation count from step two. Here, I’m using the right mouse click and duplicate technique. But you could copy and paste or use the shortcut command of control D. Step four, removing data to prepare each slide to support the animation build, start with the first slide in the series. One stylistic approach is to remove all the data, leaving just the titles plus the shading and the border. Here, I deleted everything. But the top titles of the seasons of the year, then the following rows built out one by one by one, that the viewer has no context of how many rows there might be. So the other stylistic choice is to keep the framework of the borders, and just use the delete key to remove the data. Now your viewer will have some context of where we’re heading. So for slide one, I’m taking out all the data. For slide two, I’m going to delete the series of data for summer, fall and winter. And for slide three, over move just the fall and winter. For slide four, out goes just the winter data. And for slide five, we leave it untouched, revealing all the data and our animation bills.

Now let’s check it out in the slideshow view. with each click, we get the column of data building in an animation appearance. Very, very easy. But I want to add a step five, which is to make sure that the transition between the slides are seamless. And here I’m going to select all the slides, I’m gonna go the transition Ribbon Menu, and then I’m going to choose fade. And just to give it a little more silky transition, I will change the transition duration to two seconds, giving it a smoother introduction of each new column of numbers. Now watch as we play through this finish slideshow, each season of numbers flowing in smoothly, one column at a time. And all of that core work took just around two minutes. But wait, what if we need to make a change to the numbers and the layout of the table. Simple enough. First, delete all the partially filled table slides. We should now have just one slide with everything in and on that slide. Go ahead, make your changes. Here we’re going to add in a new location of North square and we’ll add some extra data. Once we get this slide looking just right, go ahead and count up the number of animations you want to do. Then duplicate that number of animations. Go through and remove the build data slide by slide by slide. And now we’re going to have one extra slide to work on. But with just a little effort. We have finished the collection of the individual slides to animate our single table. And I present our final results with a new row of data. Once again, this is an extremely elegant solution for the feature set that Microsoft left out. And since we’re building it by hand, we actually may have more control on the final result. This animation trick was easy enough. If you have more questions or tips, leave them in the comments below. And as always Do like and share, and subscribe if you want to see more of our other secret tricks, or to watch our other power up table tutorials. All of our Microsoft Office free training can be found at our website of So until next time, go Power Up