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I have a PowerPoint slide, half of which steps through several labelled pictures using animation (one exits as the other enters). (The other half stays unchanged.)

When I edit this slide, all the pictures (and labels) are stacked on top of each other which makes it very difficult to see what's on the slide, or to edit it. When it's played back, only one of the pictures is shown at a time.

Is it possible to show only one picture at a time during editing as well?

Update: I would like to do this in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, which does not have the Selection and Visibility Pane. Therefore I can't use the answer posted below. When I originally posted the question, I did not expect that there would be a difference in the solution between the Windows and Mac versions.

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This answer was previously posted in response to Showing only the objects belonging to a particular animation step (in PowerPoint) and How can I animate a PowerPoint diagram?.
You may find the Selection and Visibility Pane to be useful.  Go to “Home” → “Editing” → “Select” → “Selection Pane…”.  It opens as a panel on the right side of the screen,

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.

Features:

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

betabandido commented that grouping all the objects in each animation step is useful, making it easy to hide them all at the same time.


It has been reported that the Selection and Visibility Pane was not available in the Mac version of PowerPoint.  According to MS16-004: Description of the security update for Office 2016 for Mac: January 12, 2016 and Using the Selection Pane in PowerPoint for Mac, it is now available in Office 2016 PowerPoint for Mac (Office version 15.18.0).

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  • Thanks and +1 because this'll be very useful when I work on Windows (I didn't know about this feature). I neglected to mention that I am using the Mac version of PowerPoint, which turns out not to have the Selection and Visibility Pane. I updated the question mentioning that I need it for PPT Mac.
    – Szabolcs
    Jun 20, 2013 at 8:19

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