There are advanced PowerPoint tactics, and then there is the Morph transition. One of the newer additions to the PowerPoint toolbox, the Morph transition lives in its own space between animations and transitions. And while it may take you a few tries to really get the feel for how best to use it, Morph can add a sophisticated level of polish to your deck in almost no time at all.
More than any other feature of PowerPoint we can think of, Morph requires practice and a little trial and error to understand how the mechanics of it work.
But before we learn how to use it, let’s go over what it is.
What is the PowerPoint Morph transition?
Morph allows you to link objects on different slides to create transition between them. We’ll explain this in more detail, but first, a quick note on the difference between Slide Transitions and Animations.
In PowerPoint, Slide Transitions refer to a set of premade transitions you can pick from to provide a visual transition between two slides, the same way two scenes in a movie might wipe or dissolve between each other. Simple and straightforward.
Animations, on the other hand, refer to actions (mainly motion) applied to specific objects on a particular slide. This could include text boxes, images, or graphics.
A morph bridges the two by creating a transition that is linked to objects on different slides. Technically, morph is a slide transition, but since it affects certain attributes of specific objects as you click between any two slides, effectively creating an effect that looks more like animation.
How do you Morph in PowerPoint?
To apply a Morph, simply choose an object and select Morph on the transitions tab. Then, choose Transitions > Effect Options, adjust the settings, and move your object.
Let’s try it out with an example. Say you wanted an object to move from one end of the slide to another. To make it happen, all you have to do is place an object, duplicate the slide, then move the object and set the transition to Morph.
You can also tailor the speed of the transitions. All morph transitions ease in and out to add a level of polish to your movement.
Other basic object attributes you can try morphing:
Position and rotation
Once you’ve mastered the basics of Morphing, there are lots of other ways you can incorporate it into your PowerPoint presentations slides, including:
Text (words and characters)
PowerPoint SmartArt graphics
One thing to note is that you cannot morph PowerPoint charts.
Finally, if you want to Morph complex objects like Shapes and Pictures, PowerPoint will require you to label the objects using the selection pane (which we will discuss in a future article).
Pros and cons of the Morph transition
Morph is a powerful tool, but it’s only as useful as you make it. And like anything else, it has strengths and weaknesses based on the situation.
Strengths of the Morph transition
Lightning fast and easy to use for creating simple transitions
Offers unique effects that can’t be replicated using any of the legacy PowerPoint animation capabilities
Offers some animation and motion polish for beginners who do not want to learn or fuss with motion paths
Limitations of the Morph transition
Can only move objects in a linear path (compared to a motion path animation)
Only allows for objects move at the same time, speed, and duration
Mainly recommended for simple animations with a limited number of elements
The Morph transition might sound advanced, but it’s actually more approachable than it seems. And once you’ve mastered the basic techniques, you’ll not only unlock a huge range of new ways to use this under-appreciated tool, you’ll add a level of “wow” to your PowerPoint slides that truly stands out.