On Simulating Keynote’s Magic Move with Microsoft Office PowerPoint

4 minutes read

Keynote's Magic Move can be difficult to emulate using Microsoft PowerPoint, but it's still possible.

Apple’s Keynote, part of the iWork collection, is undoubtedly the best presentation software out there. There are no limits on the amount of animating, coloring, and layering that one can do. It does, however, suffer from one serious drawback - it only works on Macs. This can be severely limiting when working with a group or using (ugh) conference room computers for the actual presentation.

I’ve been able to manage making presentations in Keynote first then converting them to PowerPoint’s native format for animation, and most animations in Keynote have an equivalent animation or combination of animations in PowerPoint. However, one animation which I find to be highly effective, Magic Move, doesn’t seem to be possible in PowerPoint.

For those who don’t know, Magic Move is a transition in Keynote where you simply copy and paste an object on two slides and it moves the object from the position on the first slide to the new position on the next. It can be used to make subtle signposting animation or even explain a complicated diagram on a piecemeal basis. Here are some examples from my thesis final defense presentation:

Magic Move allows you to create coherence between your slides, improving the flow of thought.

“But you can do that using Motion Paths,” you say. But using multiple motion paths that overlap each other can be really tricky to join up and edit in the future. You’d want to separate it out into different slides for easier manageability. Also, PowerPoint’s motion paths don’t show clearly where the object’s end position will be. Here’s where this tutorial comes in.

<h4>Here are the tools that you’ll need to do this:

  1. Download the PowerPoint MotionPathTools add-in.
  2. Make sure that you have enabled Visual Basic for Applications
  3. Install the add-in by simply double-clicking the .ppa or .ppam file and restarting PowerPoint.

All done? Let’s get to it!

  1. Create a Motion Path for the desired effect. If you don’t know how to use motion paths, see this Microsoft help file.

    Step 1. Create a Motion Path
  2. Go to Tools > Motion Path Tools > Motion Path End Position

    Step 2: Go to Tools > MotionPathTools > Motion Path End Position...
  3. Select the object with the motion path for which you need the end position.

    Step 3: Select the object for which to generate the final position.
  4. Another copy of the object will be made at the exact end position of the motion path!

    Step 4: The final position should appear at the end of the motion path.
  5. You can then very easily cut and paste this into a new slide. It should paste into exactly the same position as it was in the previous slide. The transition should be either no transition or fade. This way, the viewer won’t even know that you have changed slides and you can start animating anew on this fresh object.

    Step 5: Cut and paste the final position into a new slide.

With this, you can create very complex but still easily understandable and editable animations that are spread out across multiple slides, rather than bunched up and overlapping all in one slide. I hope this tutorial was helpful for you, and if anything is unclear, feel free to contact me at the contact form or leave a comment.

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