PowerPoint timelines

Advanced timeline view in MS PowerPoint 2003 with the names slide

A student taking the English Speaking Board qualification at level 3 wants to cover the ‘reading’ requirement by reading out a statement regarding road deaths caused by speeding. She wants a PowerPoint slide in the background that is displaying the names and dates of children killed by cars.

Download the MS PowerPoint time line demo . I’m using a similar slide to advertise Moodle on a plasma screen that is being installed in the College reception.

We found a way of doing this as follows

  • Create text boxes with names spread around the slide, choose the largest font size that will fit in a nice proportion and use that size for all the boxes
  • For each box, add a Custom Animation for Entrance and one for Exit
  • I like the ‘fade’ effect
  • Right click over the entry for each entrance/exit in the Custom Animation pane and select the ‘on previous’ and the timer button
  • Right click and select the Timer button
  • Set times to 1 sec
  • For each Exit event, add a delay of 1 second

View the slide and make sure that each name fades in for 1 second, remains bright for 1 second and then fades out for 1 second. Then…

  • Select all the text boxes
  • Click on Drawing and Align and Distribute from the Drawing menu
  • Select Align Middle
  • Again select Drawing and Align and Distribute
  • Select Align Center

The text boxes will now overlap each other – while still selected you might want to centre the boxes in the slide.

Test the slide, the result should be each name appearing and disappearing over a three second cycle.

The screen grab above shows the ‘advanced timeline’ view of a sample.

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