Skip to Content

Slide Transitions in PowerPoint [A Beginner’s Guide!]

PowerPoint presentations can sometimes be boring looking especially if you simply have a lot of text on your slides. You may need to add some pizzazz to it! And, the best way to jazz it up without being obtrusive is to use slide transitions in PowerPoint!

Slide transition in PowerPoint is the visual effect applied to an individual slide. The effect is visible when one slide changes or transitions into another. PowerPoint allows you to customize and control speed, sound, and other effects for certain transitions using the “Transitions” ribbon.

In this article, we will understand more about transitions and their types. Then, we shall also learn more about how to apply transitions in PowerPoint.

Plus, I’ll also show you some advanced techniques such as applying delay or changing the duration of slide transition. That, and much more! So, let’s get started!

1. What are Slide Transitions in PowerPoint? 

Let’s start with the basics – what are slide transitions in PowerPoint?

As described before, transitions are basically animation-type visual effects that are applied to slides (instead of the elements on the slides) in PowerPoint. Using slide transition can make a subtle but huge impact in making your presentation feel engaging.

There are different types of slide transitions (we shall learn more about them in the next section). Additionally, you can further control certain aspects of the slide transition.

You can also add sound during the transition of slides although I highly advise against doing so. But, I’m sharing this just to show the level of customization of transitions offered by PowerPoint!

In the subsequent sections, we will learn more about the types of transitions and how to apply and customize them in PowerPoint!

2. Different Types of Transitions in PowerPoint?

In PowerPoint, slide transitions are divided into 3 categories. These categories are divided according to the type of transitions that are contained in each section.

The effects in each category are divided in a way that they are similar to each other in terms of visual intensity. The difference between the three categories is how much the transitions affect the overall tone of the presentation on a visual level while changing the slides.

The three categories of the slide transitions are –

1. Subtle: The effects in this category are, as the name suggests, very subtle. The transitions are minimal in effect and require very little time to transition from one slide to the next. These transitions are best used for simple effects. There are a total of 12 effects in this category.

2. Exciting: This category contains effects that are a bit more flashy than the effects in the “Subtle” category. The effects in this category are more visually prominent and are fairly noticeable.

This category has the highest number of effects with a total of 29 different options.

3. Dynamic Content: This category contains strong transitions. These effects are even more vibrant than the effects in the “Exciting” category.

This category has the least number of effects with a total of 7 different options.

2b. List of Transition Effects in PowerPoint 

A list of the 48 different effects that are divided into 3 categories, provided in PowerPoint, is given below.

  1. Morph
  2. Fade
  3. Push
  4. Wipe
  5. Split
  6. Reveal
  7. Cut
  8. Random Bars
  9. Shape
  10. Uncover
  11. Cover
  12. Flash
  13. Fall Over
  14. Drape
  15. Curtains
  16. Wind
  17. Prestige
  18. Fracture
  19. Crush
  20. Peel Off
  21. Page Curl
  22. Airplane
  23. Origami
  24. Dissolve
  25. Checkerboard
  26. Blinds
  27. Clock
  28. Ripple
  29.  Honeycomb
  30. Glitter
  31. Vortex
  32. Shred
  33. Switch
  34. Flip
  35. Gallery
  36. Cube
  37. Doors
  38. Box
  39. Comb
  40. Zoom
  41. Random
  42. Pan
  43. Ferris Wheel
  44. Conveyor
  45. Rotate
  46. Window
  47. Orbit
  48. Fly Through

3. How to Apply Slide Transitions in PowerPoint? 

Here’s how to add a slide transition in PowerPoint –

  1. Select the slide from the slide thumbnail view on the left.
  2. Click on the “Transitions” tab.
  3. Choose a transition as per your preference.
  4. Use the “Transition Effects” option to customize (if necessary)
  5. Preview the transition.

I’ve described the complete process in a step-by-step manner with visual aids below –

Step-1: Select the slide and go to the “Transitions” tab

The first step of the process is to select the slide that you want to add the transition to. You can do so by clicking on the slide in the slide thumbnail view on the left part of the screen.

Then, go to the “Transitions” tab in the ribbon of your PowerPoint presentation. It is the 5th tab in the ribbon section.

Step-2: Click on the “More” button

After you click on the “Transitions” tab, click on the tiny arrow button pointing downwards. It is the “More” button of the “Transition to this slide” section (as shown in the image in step 1).

This will open a drawer with multiple transition effect options.

Step-3: Select your preferred transition effect

After you have clicked on the “More” button, a drop-down menu will appear on the screen where different slide transitions effects are displayed.

Simply click on your preferred transition effect and the slide transition will be applied to that slide immediately.

4. How to Preview a Slide Transition? 

To preview a slide transition in your PowerPoint presentation, you have to click on the “Preview” button.

In the “Transitions” tab, after you select a slide transition effect, simply click on the “Preview” button at the left-most part of the options present on the “Transitions” ribbon.

The transition effect will be played on the slide to give you a preview when you click on the button.

Another alternative is to enter into the “slide show mode” using the current slide. Don’t forget to use the “Esc” key to exit the slide show mode in PowerPoint.

5. How to Modify Slide Transitions? 

In Microsoft PowerPoint, there are different options that you can use to modify and edit a slide transition effect to better fit the style of your presentation.

You can modify the slide transition using the “Effect Options” button, or edit the duration, or add sounds to the slide transition.

In the following section, I will discuss the three mentioned options available for you to modify your slide transitions, and how to use them.

5a. Modify Transitions using Effect Options in PowerPoint 

The “Effect Options” in Microsoft PowerPoint allows you to modify the direction and intensity of the transition effects.

Follow the steps given below to modify the slide transitions in your PowerPoint presentation using the “Effect Options

Step-1: Click on the “Effect Option” button

The first step of the process is to select the “Effect Options” button which is located at the right-most part of the “Transitions in this Slide” section. This will open a drop-down menu.

Step-2: Select your preferred modifications

After you have clicked on the “Effect Options” button, a drop-down menu will appear on your screen (as shown in the image in step 1).

The drop-down menu will provide you with all the possible modifications that you can make to the slide transition in your PowerPoint presentation.

All you have to do now is to select your preferred modification from the drop-down menu and it will be added to the slide in your PowerPoint presentation immediately.

It is important to note that these effect options vary from one type of transition to the other. Furthermore, some transitions may not even have an effect option available.

5b. How to Add Sound to Slide Transition in PowerPoint? 

If you want to add a sound to the slide transition in your PowerPoint presentation, at first you have to select the slide.

Then click on your preferred sound effect from the “Sound” option in the “Timing” section of the “Transitions” tab. The sound effect will be added immediately after you select the sound.

5c. How to Control the Duration of the Slide Transition in PowerPoint?

In PowerPoint, you can also control how long you want the transition to be visible. You can speed up or slow down the transition effect itself!

Here’s how to control the duration of the slide transition –

Step-1: Go to the “Transitions” tab

The first step is to select the slide that has a transition added and head over to the “transitions” tab.

Step-2: Change the “Duration” of the slide transition

After you have entered the “Transition” tab, simply type in the time duration you want the transition to take in the “Duration” box.

The “Duration” box is located under the “Timing” section of the “Transitions” tab (as shown in the image in step 1). Once the duration has been added, the transition effect will either be slow or faster based on the time added.

6. How to Apply Transitions to All Slides in PowerPoint?

If you have several slides in a presentation and you want to apply a particular type of transition on all slides, it would be quite a cumbersome process to select each slide and repeat the process over and over again.

Fortunately, PowerPoint allows you to apply the same transition to all slides with a click of a button! Here’s how to do it –

Step-1: Apply a Slide Transition for a Slide

The first step is to apply a slide transition to any one of the slides in your presentation. Follow the detailed process described earlier in the presentation to apply the slide transition.

Step-2: Click on the “Apply To All” option

The next step is to simply click on the “Apply to All” option under the transitions tab.

This will apply the transition present on the selected slide to all the slides in your presentation! Just make sure that you haven’t used a different transition for a particular slide as using this button will override any pre-existing slide transitions applied to other slides!

7. How to Remove Transition from a Slide in PowerPoint? 

To understand the process of removing a slide transition effect from your PowerPoint presentation, follow the 2 easy steps described below.

Step-1: Select the Slide with an Existing Transition

The first step of the process is to select the slide with a transition that you want to remove. After that, head over to the “Transitions” tab.

Step-2: Select the “None” option from the “Transitions” tab

Simply click on the “None” option from the “Transitions to this slide” section. If this option is not visible, click on the “More” button of the “Transition in the Slide” section as described earlier, to open a drop-down menu

After you open the drop-down menu by clicking on the “More” button, select the “None” option located in the top left corner of the drop-down menu. It is the first option in the “Subtle” category of slide transitions.

After you click on the “None” option, all the slide transition effects on that slide will be removed from your PowerPoint presentation.

8. How to Set Automatic Slide Transition in PowerPoint?

To set your slide transitions to automatically change to the next slide, you have to set a timer on the slide transition using the “Advance slide” option in the “Timing” section of the “Transitions” tab.

Here’s how to automatically advance slides in PowerPoint –

Step-1: Select the slide to add the effect

The first step is to select the slide that you want to modify or add the effect to.

Step-2: Locate the “Advance slide” option

Next, click on the “Transitions” tab and locate the “Advance Slide” options. You should be able to spot it on the top-right part of the ribbon under the “Timing” section.

Step-3: Remove Checkmark from the “On Mouse Click” option

Next, make sure that you uncheck the “On Mouse Click” option.

This option is usually used to enable the mouse click as a trigger for the slide to transition. However, since in this case, we want the slide to transition automatically, we shall disable this option.

Step-4: Select the “After” check box

Now, enable the “After” option by making a checkmark before the option. This will allow you to set a timer for the slide to change.

Step-5: Adjust the interval

After you add the checkmark for the “After” option, set the interval after which you want the slide to change automatically (as shown in the image in step 4)

Simply type in the duration in the box to the right of the “After” option and the slide will change automatically after that interval while in presentation mode.

Step-6: Choose the “Apply to All” option

The last step is to choose the “Apply to All” option as described in the article before. This will create a seamless transition effect on all slides and make them transition automatically.

9. Can You Add Multiple Transitions to the Same Slide? 

You can’t add multiple transitions to the same slide in your PowerPoint presentation.

However, you can use the Animations feature of PowerPoint and add effects to the objects, texts, shapes, and images in your slide.

You can add multiple animations on the same slide while also adding a transition to it. We have an entire article dedicated to this, which explains the use of animations in more detail. Click here to read the article.

10. How to Fix “Slide Won’t Transition” Error?

Usually, when users face the issue of a slide not transitioning, there are two main issues that you need to check.

You either have a “Custom Slide Show” selected or the “On mouse click” option is not turned on for your presentation.

Both of these issues and their easy fixes are explained below.

Issue-1: Check your custom slide show feature

Sometimes, users set up their custom slide show feature but only add the first slide and close the process before selecting the rest of the slides.

This may cause your presentation to only display the selected slide and not the rest of the presentation while in presentation mode. Follow the steps described below to get around this issue.

Step-1: Select the Custom Shows option

After you have entered the “Slide Show” tab from the ribbon of your PowerPoint presentation, click on the “Custom Shows” option.

The “Custom Shows” option is located in the drop-down menu of the “Start Slide Show” button in the “Slide Show” tab of your PowerPoint presentation.

Step-2: Make sure the right slides are in the pop-up window

After you click on the “Custom Show” button a pop-up window will appear on your screen. If you don’t want to use the “Custom Slide Show” feature, then make sure to remove all the slides in the pop-up window.

However, to use this feature, you have to add all the slides that you want to include in the presentation and not just one slide. After that, your slides will transition accordingly.

Issue-2: The “On Mouse Click” feature is turned off

Sometimes, the reason why users are unable to transition from one slide to another is that the feature which allows users to change slides using the mouse is turned off.

The whole process of fixing this issue is given below.

Step-1: Go to the “Transitions” tab

To get started on fixing the issue, at first you have to select any slide from your PowerPoint presentation and go to the “Transitions” tab from the ribbon section as described earlier in this article.

Step-2: Checkmark the “On Mouse Click” option

The first step of fixing this issue is to go to the “Transitions” tab from the ribbon and then clicking on the check box located right before the “On Mouse Click” option in the “Advance Slide” feature of the “Timing” section.

Step-3: Click on the “Apply to all” button

After you have turned on the “On Mouse Click” option, simply click on the “Apply to all” button, which is located at the bottom left corner of the “Timing” section in the “Transitions” tab.

This will turn on the “On Mouse Click” feature for all the slides in your PowerPoint presentation. After that, you will be able to transition from one slide to another normally.

credit to cookie_studio (on Freepik) for the featured image of this article (further edited)