How to Create a Moving Arrow in Microsoft PowerPoint

Arrows are an effective way to guide your audience’s attention in a PowerPoint presentation. A moving or animated arrow adds emphasis and dynamism to your content.

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn several methods to create animated arrows in PowerPoint, from simple entrance/exit effects to complex motion paths.

Getting Started with Arrow Animations

To add a basic animation to an arrow:

  1. Insert an arrow from the Shapes menu on the Insert tab
  2. Select the arrow and go to the Animations tab
  3. Click Add Animation and choose an entrance, emphasis, exit, or motion path effect

Some examples of arrow animations:

  • Fade, wipe, float in/out
  • Grow/shrink
  • Spin
  • Bounce
  • Path animations – slide, arc, loop etc.

You can combine multiple effects like spin + shrink for more impact.

Customizing Arrow Animations

To further customize the animation:

  1. Click the animation in the Animation Pane
  2. Select Effect Options
  3. Adjust direction, duration, start/stop triggers etc.

Some key options:

  • Duration
  • Start – on click, with previous, after previous etc.
  • Direction – down, left, clockwise etc.
  • Auto-reverse motion
  • Number of iterations
  • Delay between iterations

Using these you can fine-tune when and how the arrow animates.

Moving Arrows along a Path

The most flexible way to animate an arrow is to move it along a motion path:

  1. Draw a path shape
  2. Add the arrow shape over it
  3. Right click the arrow and Send to Back
  4. Select the arrow, add a Motion Path animation
  5. Adjust start/end points if needed

Now when you play the animation, the arrow will move along the path shape.

You can make the path invisible too. Just right click it, select Format Shape and reduce transparency to 0%.

Advanced Tricks

Here are some pro tips for arrow animations:

Animate Size

Make the arrow grow in size as it moves:

  1. Add a Motion Path
  2. Click Add Animation > Grow/Shrink
  3. Set it to grow from 0% to match arrow size

Animate Color

Change the arrow color dynamically:

  1. Add a Motion Path
  2. Click Add Animation > Change Color
  3. Set start and end colors

Trigger with Clicks

Animate arrows sequentially:

  1. Add Motion Path to arrow 1
  2. In Animation Pane set it to start On Click
  3. Add Motion Path to arrow 2
  4. Set this to start After Previous

Now clicking will animate the arrows in sequence.

Animate Sections

Move arrow in pieces:

  1. Split arrow into head and body sections
  2. Animate head along a path
  3. Animate body to match length


Transform arrow shape during motion:

  1. Duplicate the arrow slide
  2. Change arrow shape/size on second slide
  3. Select both slides > Transitions > Morph

Layer Objects

Overlay arrow over images/text during motion for more context.


Animating arrows in PowerPoint is easy yet impactful. You can create simple or complex motion effects to make your arrows stand out.

Use these tips to add polish, clarity and dynamism to your next presentation!