How Add Timer into PowerPoint

Adding a timer into your PowerPoint presentations can be useful in many situations. For example, you may want to add a countdown timer for a quiz or activity, track how long you present each slide, or limit the time for a presentation section.

Fortunately, there are a few straightforward ways to insert timers into PowerPoint. This comprehensive guide will teach you different methods to add timers and use them effectively.

Why Add a Timer to PowerPoint

Here are some of the main reasons you may want to add a timer to your PowerPoint slides:

  • Keep presentations on schedule. Adding timers allows you to pace your presentation appropriately so you don’t run out of time or have extra unused time.
  • Quiz or activity countdowns. Having a visible countdown creates excitement and urgency for quizzes and activities.
  • Limit speech or discussion times. When facilitating group discussions or speeches, a timer keeps things moving fairly by enforcing time limits.
  • Track time spent per slide. Using a timer, you can rehearse and find out how long you present each slide. This allows you to adjust slide content to fit within time limits.

Methods to Add a Timer in PowerPoint

There are a few different options to insert a timer into PowerPoint, including:

Use the Rehearse Timings Feature

PowerPoint has a built-in “Rehearse Timings” feature that lets you practice a presentation while timing yourself on each slide. To use it:

  • Click the Slide Show tab > Set Up group > Rehearse Timings
  • Present each slide while the timer tracks your time
  • When finished, PowerPoint will prompt you to save the timings
  • The timer will then display during the actual presentation

Pros: Simple, built-in method.
Cons: Timer shows only while presenting and can’t be formatted.

Download a Countdown Timer Add-in

You can add a dynamic, customizable countdown timer by using a PowerPoint add-in, such as:

  • ClassPoint – offers multiple timers and stopwatches.
  • EasyTimer – creates an animated countdown with sound effects.
  • PowerPoint Timer – basic, no-frills countdown timer.

To install a timer add-in:

  • Click Insert > Get Add-ins
  • Search for timer add-ins and click Add to install
  • Add the timer object to your slide

Pros: Fully customizable animated timers.
Cons: Requires installing add-in; features vary by add-in.

Create a Countdown Animation

You can manually create an animated countdown timer right in PowerPoint using shapes and animations:

  • Insert text box shapes with numbers (5, 4, 3, 2, 1)
  • Animate them to disappear one by one
  • Adjust animation timing to match countdown duration

Pros: Doesn’t require an add-in.
Cons: More complex to set up.

Insert a Timer Video

Another option is to insert a timer video from Youtube or as an animated GIF. Simply:

  • Search Google/Youtube for a countdown timer video
  • Download or copy embed code
  • Paste it onto a PowerPoint slide

Pros: Very quick to add.
Cons: Limited control and customization.

Best Practices for Using Timers

When adding timers to your PowerPoint slides, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Place timer in an obvious spot so the audience can clearly see it.
  • Test that it is working and sized appropriately before presenting.
  • If using multiple timers, use a consistent design and format for uniformity.
  • Rehearse with the timer to ensure your presentation fits within the allotted time.
  • Only use a timer when it actually provides value for your presentation and audience.

Creative Ways to Use Timers in Presentations

Beyond basic countdowns and tracking presentation length, some creative ways to utilize timers in PowerPoint include:

  • Show a countdown clock for breaks during lengthy presentations.
  • Add a stopwatch to time audience activities and games.
  • Use a beeping alarm when time expires to grab attention.
  • Have text or images appear when the timer finishes for emphasis.
  • Make the timer the focal point during on-stage presentations.


Adding timers boosts engagement, interactivity, and organization within PowerPoint. Using the built-in rehearse timings tool, downloading a timer add-in, building your own animation, or embedding a video are all easy ways to insert timers.

Just be sure to follow best practices like positioning it visibly, testing it in advance, and maintaining a consistent design. Get creative with alarms, animations, and making timers the center of attention.

With this guide, you have all the knowledge to effectively incorporate timers to take your PowerPoint slides to the next level.