I've got a slide in PowerPoint 2007 containing a table with several rows.

I'd like to build this slide one row at a time (so that the audience doesn't see each row until I'm ready to talk about it).

I haven't been able to figure out how to do this... whenever I try to create any kind of animation, the animation applies to the whole table. I'd like it to apply one row at a time.


I would start with the final slide and work my way backward.

Create your finished table on a slide and then copy that slide and paste it before your finished table slide.

Delete a row from the table, and then copy that slide and paste it before the current one, etc.

As you go forward it looks somewhat animated (no flashy effects though) as you add one row at a time

  • 1
    I agree with creating your final slide and working backward. I re-created the table in another slide as a vertical series of 1-row tables (each 1-row table slightly below the next). It took a little time to get each row even, but I could then add the animation to each row because they are actually separate tables. – user88348 Jun 30 '11 at 19:04

This article (old article here) over at office.microsoft.com looks like it should achieve what you want, albeit via a slightly hacky method! (Copy and Paste special the table, in order to ungroup the table cells and animate them individually).

  • The link is now dead :-( – Duncan Jones Dec 2 '16 at 15:22
  • @Duncan Link fixed by linking to the copy at Internet Archive instead. – user Feb 23 '17 at 12:23

I used an approach where I created a table without grid lines but where the rows are alternating colors. Then I blocked off each row with a rectangle of that row's color. Then used the animation pane to make the rectangles disappear one by one, showing the text behind it. This is not super fancy but close enough for what I needed without a lot of hustle.

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    This is probably the best way. It avoids tedious maintenance of copy/paste – Guillaume Polet Jan 15 '18 at 19:38

So I think the Office answer is incredibly weak. My solution was a bit more simple (and in my view, more elegant). I copied my table, and in the copy deleted all the content except the column headers. In the other copy, I removed the header row, removed all cell formatting, and set transparency to 100%.

I then made a copy of this transparent table, deleted rows 2 through n where n is the total number of rows of data), moved that row into the proper position, and then deleted row 1 from the source table. I then copied the source table again, and repeated this until I had my entire table constructed, with each row it's on single, transparent table sitting on top of the formatted shell table.

Now I can build the empty table and then pop in each row of content via animation--and my table isn't broken into a bunch of tiny (un-editable) image fragments like it is in the Microsoft solution.


I agree with the sentiment that the official Microsoft strategy is horrible. (It not only breaks the table, but breaks the text in each cell into multiple disconnected textboxes, making it impossible to do any subsequent text editing on the content.)

My approach was to cut all the text from each column and paste it into a separate textbox as a list, placing the list over the top of the table. (I had to fiddle with the spacing of the list elements, to match the table cells they were supposed to be in. I also had to manually resize the row-height in the table, because it collapsed once I had removed all the text.) Lists are animatable by default.

Do this once for each column. The other tricky part was to rearrange the "order of appearance" in the Animation Pane so the elements of each "row" (across multiple columns) appeared simultaneously.

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