A New Way to Morph from One Shape to Another in PowerPoint

New Improvements for Office 365 Subscribers

Microsoft has just announced and released some excited new improvements to how the Morph transition works in PowerPoint, and if you are an Office Insider (like me) you can test drive this feature and provide early feedback.

Office Insiders

If you are an Office Insider on build 16.0.11331.1000 or higher for Windows; build 16.23.203.0 for Mac (don’t know what build you are using? See this article), you now have access to a brand new feature in PowerPoint that allows you to rename objects using the Selection Pane following a special naming scheme so that the morph transition will know that these shapes are to be paired or morphed together.

How to Use the New Morph Naming Convention or Scheme

Step 1: Open the Selection Pane

  1. From your Home tab on your Ribbon, inside your Drawing group, click the Arrange button
  2. From the menu that appears, click on the Selection Pane button to open the Selection Pane.
    Your Selection Pane should now appear on the right-hand side of your screen.

Step 2: Apply the Naming Scheme to the Objects You Want Morphed

Just begin an object with two exclamation points “!!”, and then make sure that the second object on your next slide is also named the same exact custom name, also beginning with two exclamation points.

Selection Pane shown with text !!Morph applied to the selected shape on the slide

In the above example, on Slide 1, I have a circle named “!!Morph”, and on Slide 2, if I want that circle to morph into a square, I will need to name that square “!!Morph.” But I could have named the objects anything. I could have named them both “!!PowerPointRocks” or “!!IHateWinter”; just as long as the two objects are named the same and begin with two exclamation points, they should morph together.

With the object renamed to match the previous slide, and beginning the name with two exclamation points, you are now ready to position and format the object however you’d like.

Step 3: Apply the Morph Transition to Slide

Now that you have named, positioned, and formatted the objects, you can apply the Morph Transition (if you haven’t done so already) and preview the transition.

Animation of the new morph sequence, morphing a circle into a square

To read more about what is possible with these new Morph improvements, visit the Office Insider blog.

My Initial Impressions

For those of you who have always wanted a fast and easy way to morph from one shape to another in PowerPoint—well, you’ll just have to keep waiting because  I wouldn’t call this new feature the “fastest” or the “simplest”  method possible, but it IS DEFINITELY EASIER THAN WHAT WE HAD TO DO, which was to edit the points of all our shapes so they’d “play nice”.  So, with that in mind, this new feature is promising in that I find it a step in the right direction.

After playing around with this feature a bit more, I am finding that more complex shapes won’t morph very “pretty” and I do find myself having to go in and edit points to simplify the shape, once again, so they will look a little nicer.

Take this fire, as an example…

Flame morphs into another flame but not perfectly

Technically, it does morph into the other flame shape, but not quite as I would hope it would. But going into the shape and removing some of the points to simplify the shape does make it easier for PowerPoint to morph using this method.

But here is the end result of a looped morph sequence:

new powerpoint morph sequence looped in a presentation

Another problem is this feature is not discoverable. No end-user will be able to see or figure out this method of morphing all on their own, without reading about it or without proper training–so training your staff will be essential.

All in all, this feature will make more complex morph sequences possible. We now do have more control over how and what gets morphed together on the slide compared to before.

Want to learn more about PowerPoint animation?

If you want to learn more about PowerPoint animation, I created a great in-depth course with Lynda.com and LinkedIn Learning that will walk you through all the intricacies of animating in PowerPoint for Office 365 on the PC.

PPT Animations for Office 365 at Lynda.com