PowerPoint’s morph feature allows you to transition between slides seamlessly, transforming on-slide elements into another form or shape, whether an image, graphic, or text. The morph transition is included in newer PowerPoint versions and was intended as a response to Keynote’s Magic Move slide transition.

Morph allows you to animate slide transitions easily as PowerPoint automatically calculates how to modify the objects you want to morph from slide to slide. You can create clean and precise animations quickly using this feature without any design or animation skills.

The morph feature is included with PowerPoint in the Office 365 subscriber version. PowerPoint 2019 users and PowerPoint Web users can also benefit from Morph.

You can create and play back morph transitions in PowerPoint Office 365 (Version 1511 and higher or Mac Version 15.19 and higher), PowerPoint for the Web, and PowerPoint 2019. If you’re using PowerPoint 2016, you’ll only be able to play morph transitions, while PowerPoint 2013 (2016 for Mac) or older will show fade transitions instead of morph.

Animation and transitions should only be used to help emphasise content or visually guide audiences. Too many animations or transitions could be distracting and trivialising, so be sure to use any animated effects sparingly to ensure consistency across tone and content. Any animation used should match the overall theme of the presentation and assist the audience in clarifying, emphasising, or highlighting pertinent information.

Animating in PowerPoint can often be challenging and time consuming. Manually animating usually means creating various animations, precise movements, and visual changes that must merge and sync correctly in order to look good. A lot of this process has been eliminated and streamlined through PowerPoint’s morph feature, reducing numerous steps into a single click while PowerPoint automates the calculations, movement, and subsequent animation for you.

Using morph requires two slides – the first will house all elements from which the animation will be created, while the second must contain an object that PowerPoint recognises from the previous slide to morph, such as transforming a square on slide one into a rectangle on slide two.

Creating a Morph Transition

Starting with a new slide, insert a shape through the Drawing tab. Since western audiences read from left to right, it’ll make more sense visually to position your shape somewhere on the left. Changing the colour of the background can also help create contrast and visually highlight your shape further, which you can easily do in the Quick Format Template area under Drawing tab.

Once you’ve finalised your initial slide, it’ll make things much easier to simply Duplicate it, which will ensure your share and background are the same across both slides. Simply right click your slide and select Duplicate Slide. Now you need to edit the second slide to how you want the morph to look at the end.

You have a significant amount of freedom in terms of editing your shape on the second slide. PowerPoint can seamlessly alter your shape’s size, position, shape, colour, and more across the two slides, so feel free to customise your second shape to you liking and don’t worry too much about the discrepancies between the two shapes.

Next step is applying the morph effect to your slides. With the shape on your second slide selected, go to the Transitions tab, the click Morph in the Transition to End Slide group. PowerPoint will show you a preview of the animation, but you can also see how the transition looks in Slide Show mode.

Complex Transitions

Morph can also animate photos and images easily. To do this, first insert an empty slide and add an image. Go to the Insert tab and, within the Images group, either select an image stored on your device or search for a suitable graphic by opening the Online Graphics icon, which will bring up a Bing search bar for you to hunt down an image.

Next, click your chosen image and hit Insert to add it to your slide. As before, finalise the look and position of your base image on the base slide. Once finalised, Duplicate the slide like before to create your destination slide.

On your second slide, you can customise to your heart’s content, such as recolouring, reshaping, or repositioning the image. You may even want to change the saturation of the background to create more visual contrast and impact for audiences. To do this, select the category Customise and the icon Format Background in the Design tab. An overview opens allowing you to change the saturation; selecting different levels for your slides will give the effect of fading or intensifying when you run your morph transition.

Finally, apply the morph as before by going to the Transitions tab and clicking Morph in the Transition to the End Slide group.

Remember, PowerPoint’s morph effect won’t work without at least one common element across both slides. Adding elements to either slide independent of the other means the morph effect won’t impact on those elements, although they’ll still be visible on slide – just unanimated.

It is also possible to morph several elements at the same time, provided that the elements are present on both the base and destination slides.

Morphing Text

Morph transition is a great way to easily animate kinetic typography. To do so, text must be in text fields or placeholders and, importantly, once you’ve selected Transition and then Morph, you need to go to the Effect Options box (to the right of all the options for Transitions) and select Characters from the drop-down list. The default setting here is Objects, which is great for all the shapes and images mentioned previously but doesn’t work with text.

The process is pretty much the same as above. Insert an empty slide and add a text field. Type in your starting text (for example, you could put in an acronym which then morphs into its long form). Choose your own colours and backgrounds.

Duplicate the slide and make the changes you want. Click Transitions then Morph, ensuring you select Characters from the Effect Options drop-down.  Morph makes it easy to animate shapes, text, and image. With a little practice, you can master other morph techniques and effects, like morphing individual characters and creating 3D animations.