Animation Steps and States in Presentation

A PowerPoint slide may have on-click and automatic animations. Also, it may have some triggered animations, where you need to click on some object to make another object appear. There is an animation step for every animation (or group, if set to run With previous).

All slides with their animations lie in a sequence and represent the overall presentation timeline:

Presentation timeline consists of slides and animation steps.

In this example, Slides 1 and 3 don’t have animations. Slide 2 has a Fade animation applied to three bullets.

PowerPoint view of the slide that has 3 bullets with Fade In animations.

If you have a closer look from the Animation Pane, you can see that there are three on-click animations.

Three steps of bullet appearance animations are set on mouse clicks.

There is an initial state where you don’t see the bullets, and the state where you left off. You can leave the slide naturally by clicking through all the animations, or use the player sidebar or a hyperlink to jump to any available slide at any point.

PowerPoint will save the animation step number (or slide animation state) when you leave. If you go back to this slide within the same slideshow, you will continue the animation progress from where you left off.

Important note

Before version 8.7, iSpring presentations didn’t save the animation steps. If you have a presentation that you need to fix, upgrade your iSpring tool to the most recent version and publish this presentation again.

Saving slide animation state

When applying this option before publishing, animated objects will appear in the same state when visiting this slide again as they were when you left it. It works for bullets that appear on mouse clicks, triggered animations, etc.

Go Publish -> Playback and Navigation tab -> Save slide animation state:

iSpring Publish Presentation window -> Playback and Navigation -> Save slide animation state.

Note: This option will work for HTML5 output only, not Flash.

Save slide animation state is turned on

If you go back from Slide 3 to to Slide 2, you will see all the bullets that had appeared before you left. This is the default behavior in PowerPoint.

On the image below, the presentation viewing progress is highlighted on the timeline. The dashed arrow displays the transition to a previous slide (e.g., by clicking a hyperlink).

Presentation timeline with 3 slides. A viewer goes from 3rd to 2nd slide to the point where he or she left.

When going back to the slide 2, all animations will remain.

Even if you jumped to another slide before all the animations had completed (e.g., using a presentation player’s or hyperlink), you can see the rest of the animations when you go back.

Save slide animation state is turned off

If you uncheck the option to save the animation steps prior to publishing and go back from Slide 3 to Slide 2, you will always see the initial state of the slide, no matter how many animation steps had advanced before.

Presentation timeline with 3 slides. A viewer goes from 3rd to 2nd slide to the initial state.

When going back to the slide 2, on animations will remain if the option to save animation steps is turned off.

Use this option if you have a lot of animations and you want to get rid of clutter when going back. Again, this is not a standard PowerPoint behavior, but you can use this option in some cases.

Triggered animation steps

Adding triggered animations is an advanced PowerPoint use case. Triggered animations also have steps. The only difference is that the viewer is able to choose which step goes first and what will be the next.

For example, this presentation features three triggered animations. One of three shapes appears when you click on the respective button. Let’s see how it’s done.

How to add triggered animations in PowerPoint

  1. Add shapes on the slide as you see in the picture below.

  2. Apply the Fade animation to the blue shapes.

  3. Open the animation properties of the triangle shape by double clicking on it in the Animation Pane.
    This slide features 3 blue shapes. Each of them appear on click of the respective yellow button.

  4. The animation Timing properties window will appear. Where it says Triggers, you can see that this shape appears on a click of the respective rectangle (button).
    Select a shape that will trigger this animation in the Timing tab of the animation properties.

  5. Apply the respective triggers to the other shapes.

When you start viewing the presentation, the slide only features buttons, but not shapes. If you click the button for the triangle, the blue triangle will appear.

Click on the yellow button for triangle and the blue triangle appears.

The same goes for the other shapes. The animation state will be saved when you leave and go back to this slide again.

If you uncheck the Save animation state option and go back, you will see the initial state.

Navigation player settings

If you use the Universal presentation player, it will have buttons to control presentation playback. You can choose whether to advance by slides or by animations with the PREV and NEXT buttons. We suggest that you set Advance by animations, so learners won’t miss anything by jumping through the beginning of the slides.


Here are some cool examples of presentations featuring triggered animations:

The option to save animation states on visited slides makes more sense for presentations with interactions, like menus made with triggered animations where viewers need to revisit a certain slide.

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