Tutorial: PowerPoint Slide Transition

About this lesson

PowerPoint slide transition is usually the last finishing touch you add to your presentation before giving in front of a group or online. The concept is to add some subtle hints of the upcoming slide, such as this FADE transition. It is borrowed from the world of cinema, where the goal is to avoid jolting changes from one shot to the next.

This tutorial will get started from square one all the way up to mastering the tool.


00:00 Intro
00:24 Quick Examples
01:20 Tutorial Topics
01:28 Where to Apply Transtions
01:58 Applicable Versions
02:15 Adding a Transition
03:03 Issues on Online Presentation, Like Zoom
03:30 The Preview Tool
04:30 Transition Choices
05:29 Pro Tip: Starting Slide Show from Current Slide
06:07 Visual Indicators of What has Transitions
06:40 How to Erase a Transition
07:02 Working in Slide Sorter View
07:21 Adding Transitions to Multiple Slides
07:42 Apply Transition to ALL SLIDES
08:09 Importance of Consistency
08:30 Apply Transition to Subset of Slides
09:30 Selecting Non-Consecutive Slides
09:56 Sample of Transitions
11:25 Future Advanced Class on Transitions
11:43 Wrap-UP


Subject Microsoft PowerPoint

Software Compatibility All versions from Office 2013 to Office 365. For both Windows and Apple OS

Level Foundation

Course Completed Complete

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



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Welcome to All About Slide Transitions in PowerPoint.

I’m Les McCarter from Power Up Training, where my decades of experience become your expertise for free.

PowerPoint slide transition is usually the last finishing touch you add to your presentation before giving in front of a group or online.

The concept is to add some subtle hints of the upcoming slide, such as this FADE transition <SLIDE>

It is borrowed from the world of cinema, where the goal is to avoid jolting changes from one shot to the next, like this abruptness of FLASH.  <SLIDE>

You want your audience to be aware that the slide contents are changing, but typically in a subtle fashion like this WIPE transitions <SLIDE>

Although there are times that you do want your audience to know that something big is coming up and there you can use a HUGE change like FRACTURE <SLIDE>

Or maybe a little less jarring, such as when changing slide presenters with a more dramatic but not too startling change as in HONEYCOMB <SLIDE>

Once done with this tutorial you will know all the ins and outs of PowerPoint slide transitions.  <SLIDE>

This special effect of transitions is applied at the individual Slide level and it introduces the slide.  So if you apply a transition, then it will impact the entrance. 

See here <click> where we are displaying four slides. If a slide transition is applied to the second <click> slide, then it will impact it when it shows up in the slide, see if <click> Fade and will FADE <click> when the slide appears.


So let’s get into PowerPoint and do it! <click>

We’re working on the latest version of office 365s on windows and all the commands work the same going back to powerpoint 2013 for windows and on the mac there’s just one keyboard difference that i will highlight when the time comes i have a sample slide deck to work from so let’s add a transition go to the transition ribbon menu and select the slide you want to add the entrance effect and choose i’m selecting cover as it’s an obvious change for us to see once the cover transition effect is clicked you will see a preview on the working canvas remember this effect is applied as the slide is introduced during our slideshow let’s run through the slideshow by clicking the quick launch icon at the top of our screen here’s our first line there’s no transition coming in here nor is there a transition for the second slide but watch the third slide as it slides in as we go to the fourth slide we have no transition so the exit does not show anything other than just the slide popping up so we just completed our quick tour i do need to point out that powerpoint transitions are designed for live presentations and have an elegance about them that will be lost in youtube tutorials like this and more relevantly on presentations done online through zoom or microsoft meetings or other tools the effects lose some of their punch while given online now let’s look at a useful tool called preview one click and it previews the effect of the slide on the screen without the need of going through the slideshow watch as i click let me replay that and note that on our canvas it quickly displays the previous slide to demonstrate the full effect of the preview even without clicking preview powerpoint will do an initial auto preview when choosing a new transition such as this crazier curtains this is not a choice i would make for a professional boardroom presentation but it is obvious even here on youtube let’s go ahead and see this in a full-blown presentation i’ll do the slideshow icon there’s our first live with no transition here comes our first transition with the curtains and you see it pop up it pauses for a second and then continues on and the next one is just to jump off the screen there’s no transition we’re getting the hang of this so let’s jump to a slide deeper into our slide deck and explore our transition effect choices by clicking the upside down arrow to expand out the options powerpoint has organized the special effects into three groups subtle which is mostly safe for professional presentations but in my opinion not all of them and then the exciting which more often not can become cheesy and then the dynamic content which surprisingly is useful in almost all types of presentations note that we here at power-up training do have a follow-up tutorial on selecting the best of transitions to help you identify what works in a variety of scenarios let’s demo the subtle push note if you hover your mouse over the effect powerpoint will give you a clue of what the effect will do once clicked it provides the instant auto preview and if we wish we can click the preview tool to see it again but if we want to see it in the slideshow we’d have to fast forward through 18 slides to get to the specific slide number 19. so here’s a pro trick on the bottom right corner is a small screen icon that will launch the slideshow at the currently selected slide but when i do note that it’s transitioning from an empty blank screen so the extra trick is to go to the slide before and then do the quick show launch icon trick then we’re able to see the slideshow from the previous slide and when we click we see the preview of the push effect let’s look at some other pro tips visual indicators of what does and does not have a transition applied look to the far left of the thumbnail and you’ll see slide 19 does have an effect as indicated by the flying star and when 19 is selected you see the transition of push is shown up above when i click on slide 18 you see no indicator and the highlight transition is none which means if i select 19 i can actually erase this transition by going up there and clicking none up to this point we’re working on adding effects one by one but we’ve got a big presentation to format so let’s change from our normal standard view to the slides order by going to the bottom right hand corner and clicking the slide sorter view icon this will show all of our slides as thumbnails on one canvas and we can still see the little flying stars to indicate which ones have transitions and which ones do not so at this high level view let’s see about adding transitions to multiple slides we can go in there and we can select any slide that we wish we could choose a very specific effect and now if we so desire we can apply them to all the slides with a single click by looking on the top right hand corner so with slide 19 selected and it doesn’t matter which slide this particular one has the push effect i then go up there and i choose apply to all and bingo all the slides now have the exact same transition effect and there’s advantage of that because it brings a consistency to our whole presentation show and once i launch the slideshow from slide one we see that we now have a consistent push of the slide one after another so they tie in as a single story i like consistency for my professional presentations and yes i did say consistency three times you do not want your transitions to be the star of the show it should be the slides so transition effects should fade into the background unless you want specific slides to jump out so let’s see how we can select a subset of slides using powerpoint mouse and keyboard techniques and yes we do have a dedicated tutorial that you can view as listed above so let’s add some special transition effects to our dessert slides we click on the first one and you’ll see that it’s selected because there’s a red border now if we want to select a group that are in consecutive order you go to the very last slide hold down your shift key and then click here or click on the macaroons and we’ll see that all three slides were selected and we can then apply a consistent new transition in addition to the red border you’ll see that all three numbers 17 18 19 are also red when i click on the reveal effect you’ll also see a preview impact all three slides the last choice has to do when you want to select a collection of slides that are not side by side and the way you do this is you click on the very first slide and then you hold down the control key on your keyboard to click each of the other slides if you’re working on a mac this is the difference because you’re going to hold down your command key instead to wrap up let’s sample a few with the transitions remember we have a full tutorial about the best of transitions in our youtube channel so do subscribe i did warn you about using the exciting category of transitions because some of them are just wacky for example when i click on curtains it’s like oh my no that’s going to get tiring really really quick on the other hand the peel off might be okay for a half a dozen slides but i wouldn’t apply it to a very long presentation because the effects would get dull checkerboard might work for a medium large presentation but once again it’s a little too busy for my tastes but if you want crazy then there’s origami that’s too over the top for my tastes curiously the last row of dynamic content might seem like it would be over the top but i do find these have some classy choices that are not just moving slides in and out but transforming the slides with a dynamic look the choice of pan makes it appear as it is one continuous roll of paper the ferris wheel is a little too dizzying for me but it might be okay and conveyor brings the slides in from side to side like a conveyor belt this brings us to the end of our tutorial on transitions there is a follow-up advanced tutorial on transitions where we focus on modifying the effects plus changing the timing adding sound and automation plus some advanced tips not found on the menu

Wrap up

There you go, you are now ready to turn your presentation into a cinematic theme slide show with the right transition at the right time.


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