Morph works across two slides, recognising any common objects on both and seamlessly transitioning between them. If you have a box on one slide and then duplicate the slide and alter the box – such as move, resize, or resize it – applying morph will automatically transition between those states seamlessly in slide show mode without the need to animate it manually.

morph, Understanding PowerPoint Morph Animation

Keep in mind where objects are located off slide – their off-slide position will determine where they enter the slide – moving in a straight-line during morph transitions, so aligning objects helps keep your morph animation look more seamless. Also bear in mind distance as morph transition time is the same for all objects, so the distance it travels will determine the speed of animation movement.

Morph can create some fun and interesting effects to photographs, particularly if tessellated or tiled and then moved and re-cropped on the following slide.

Picture the crop tool as creating a window through which you can see the image underneath, which means that when you’re using the black grab handles, you’re altering window’s size. You can also use the white grab handles to change the size of the image or moving it around. Your viewing window remains the same size, but the level of detail or area of the underlying picture seen changes.

Morph Mask and Zoom

How you crop images can create various pan or zoom effects. Moving or resizing an image significantly inside your crop window will make the image appear to move or zoom more rapidly. Small changes in position or size creates a gentler movement animation effect. Moving your crop window without the moving underlying image creates the effect of a tracking shot across the image.

Within our example, we’ll use Morph to mask an image across two slides.

morph, Understanding PowerPoint Morph Animation

  1. First ensure you have the same image or background on both slides, easiest to achieve by simply inserting your chosen image onto one slide and then duplicating (Ctrl + D) the slide to ensure complete alignment.

morph, Understanding PowerPoint Morph Animation

  1. Next mask your first slide by clicking Insert > Rectangle, cover the complete slide.
  2. Now we need to crop out a window, so Insert > Circle (hold shift when inserting the shape to keep it symmetrical) and centre it. Then click both shapes covering your image and Merge Shapes > Subtract, which should leave a circle window to your original image.

morph, Understanding PowerPoint Morph Animation


  1. Copy this image (Ctrl + C) and paste it on the next slide (Ctrl + V) then stretch out the size of your combined shapes to increase the circle window’s size so it big enough to fit the complete original image without any overlap.

morph, Understanding PowerPoint Morph Animation

  1. Click the Transitions tab and hit Now you’ve got a circular reveal animation. Like any other animation, you can customise your Effect Options and Timing. 



Morph and GIFs

At the end of 2019, Microsoft added a new feature for Office 365 subscribers that allows users to export their slideshow as an animated GIF from PowerPoint. This has made it significantly easier to create GIFs that can easily be shared across social media as compared to other design programs.

Before you begin designing, ensure your PowerPoint slide proportions are right for your specifications. To do this, hit the Design tab, click Slide Size menu, and either choose a pre-set option from the drop-down menu or pick the Custom Slide Size option.

Please note that PowerPoint only creates animated GIFs in four heights (240, 480, 720, and 1080 pixels) and then use widths proportionate to those options.

Now create your slides, adding animations and transitions as needed. You can also add video clips, but the exported animated GIFs will only show the video element – any audio is irrelevant since animated GIFs are just looping video without audio. 

Once you have everything in place, click the File tab, then Export. You’ll see the following options: Create PDF/XPS Document, Create Video, Create an Animated GIF, Package Presentation for CD, Create Handouts, and Change File Type. Pick Create an Animated GIF and you’ll see more options on the right side.

If you click Export Size, PowerPoint will show you the four export sizes available. Each of the sizes are set to the height of the exported GIF (240, 480, 720, and 1080 pixels) with proportionate width calculated automatically. If don’t want to adjust the export options, it’s faster to use Save As and select Animated GIF Format (*.gif) from the dropdown menu.

You’ll also see options for setting seconds spent on each slide, which is only for slides without transition timings set. Default here is one second, but you can change to whatever suits your presentation. After you’ve made your choices, hit Create GIF and it will be exported directly from PowerPoint.

Morph and Kinetic Typography

One of the easiest ways to incorporate Morph into text is by changing font size, colour, or position. While animations are better suited for hiding and revealing words and letter, using Morph makes it simple for changing font size (thereby giving the illusion of zooming in) or moving your text (or shape) around the slide.

morph, Understanding PowerPoint Morph AnimationWhile Morph does make animation a lot easier, it still has some limitations. Firstly, because it’s a transition, morph only works between slides, which means you can’t use it in the same way as other animations.

Unlike regular animations, Morph cannot move independently of each other or within a specified timeline – they all move at the same time. You can work around this by spreading out the transitions over several slides, but at a some point it’s simply easier to use traditional animations depending on the number of transitions needed.

Furthermore, if you plan on including narration, please note you cannot record during slide transitions and will have to wait until the morphing animations are complete before narration can begin.

Be mindful that Morph is only available for those with an Office 365 subscription and PowerPoint 2016 (or newer). Since this always be the case with your audiences’ devices a different animation to achieve the same effect you would with Morph.

One simple workaround for compatibility issues is to convert any Morph transitions into video. Otherwise, you can always upload your slideshow to a cloud-based service like One Drive or Dropbox – this way, audiences can simply open it with their web-browsing app since morph is web-enabled for viewing.

We’ll continue exploring PowerPoint animation as we compile a complete guide to animating – coming soon. In the meantime, take a quick shortcut with our pre-made animation templates, free and ready to download here.

Keep informed and get inspired

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