How to Combine Motion Paths in Microsoft PowerPoint

Animations can make your PowerPoint presentations more dynamic and engaging. One useful animation technique is combining multiple motion paths on a single object to create complex yet smooth movement.

In this article, I will explain what motion paths are and walk you through the steps to combine them seamlessly in PowerPoint.

What Are Motion Paths in PowerPoint?

Motion paths allow you to animate objects so they move along a preset or custom trajectory on the slide. For example, you can make an object:

  • Move in a straight line (left, right, up or down)
  • Follow a curved path (arc, loop, etc.)
  • Bounce or turn
  • Trace custom shapes

Without combining motion paths, an object will complete one path, reset to its original position, then move along the next path. So you get an abrupt “jump” back that interrupts the flow.

By connecting motion paths, you can achieve smooth and continuous movement for more polished animations.

Why Combine Motion Paths in PowerPoint?

Combining motion paths creates seamless object movement, enabling effects like:

  • Flying an object in a non-linear route
  • Incrementally revealing bulleted text
  • Guiding the viewer’s gaze across key elements
  • Simulating real-world physics and trajectories

This makes your animations more natural, directing attention where you want and visualizing processes clearly.

Step-by-Step Guide to Combine Motion Paths

Follow these simple steps to combine motion paths for smooth animations in PowerPoint:

1. Add the First Motion Path

Select the object you want to animate and go to Animations > Add Animation > Motion Paths. Choose a path like Right, Down, Turn, Arc, etc.

2. Add a Second Motion Path

Click the object again. Go to Add Animation > Motion Paths to add another path like Up, Loop, Bounce, etc.

3. Overlap the Start and End Points

In the animation pane timeline, drag the green start anchor of the second animation over the red end anchor of the first.

4. Align the End Point as Needed

Adjust the endpoint of the second path so the object moves to the desired final position.

5. Preview the Animations

Click Preview and test that the combined paths work smoothly without any jumps.

Gif showing a smooth curved motion path animation in PowerPoint

And you’re done! The object will now move continuously along the combined motion paths.

Bonus Tips for Seamless Motion Paths

Here are some additional tips for smooth motion path animations in PowerPoint:

  • Use similar path types – Combining drastically different paths like zig-zag and arc can look messy.
  • Mind the sequence – Order paths logically to flow in a natural sequence.
  • Set precise positions – Place start/end anchors accurately to lineup paths perfectly.
  • Customize paths – Edit direction, speed, anchors etc. until animations are seamless.
  • Add effects – Use emphasis effects like Spin or Color to make certain paths stand out more.

Animate Your Next Presentation Using Motion Paths

As you can see, combining motion paths in PowerPoint is easy yet extremely versatile for making professional animations.

So explore all the cool effects you can create using Lines, Curves, Turns, Loops and more. Then apply this technique to animate key objects in your next presentation!

I hope this tutorial gave you a good overview of how to seamlessly combine motion paths for smooth animations in PowerPoint. Let me know if you have any other questions!