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I am trying to create an animation (in PowerPoint 2010) where I show one chart with some data, and I do some annotations on the chart itself (to highlight several parts of it). If I want to put many annotations the whole thing becomes messy while editing, because all of them are shown at the same time. So, it is even difficult to select individual annotations.

As an example, I include a picture showing the problem:


As you can see, there are two annotations. On the bottom, both text boxes are perfectly aligned so, it is difficult to individually select them. If, instead of two annotations, there are more than 5 or so, it becomes really difficult to work.

So, I was wondering whether there is any option that hides (while editing) all the objects belonging to the previous and following animation steps. I tried looking for such an option on the animation pane (on the right), but I could not find it.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You may find the Selection Pane to be useful. Go to Home –> Editing –> Select –> Selection Pane…  It opens as a panel on the right side of the screen,

enter image description here

so you may need to toggle back and forth between it and the Animation Pane –– AFAIK, you can’t have them both open at once.


  • You can select an object by clicking on its name.  (Objects are given default names when they are created; you can change them.  For example, you might want to give objects names like “Step 5.Rectangle 12”, to make it easier to manage your animation steps.)  Ctrl+Click works as you would expect.

enter image description here

  • You can hide an object by clicking on the eye checkbox to the right of its name.  There are “Show All” and “Hide All” buttons at the bottom.

enter image description here

  • You can easily see and change the stacking order (as in “Bring Forward”) of the objects with arrow buttons at the bottom of the pane.  Even if you do nothing else, bringing the objects that you want to work on to the front will make them easier to select.
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This solution actually works quite well. By grouping all the objects in an animation step, I can now easily hide them all at the same time. Thanks! – betabandido Feb 21 '13 at 10:24
At least in Powerpoint 16.0.6001.1078 on Windows, part of Office 365 ProPlus, animation and selection panes can remain open at the same time. – bers May 18 at 16:43

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