Animated Graphs In Powerpoint

No matter whether you are working with Powerpoint for Windows, Mac, or even Google Slides...inserting an animated graph is easy once you have the right format down. Learn more below...

Have  a chart or graph that needs some animation? Get a mockup of your data visualization. 

1. Choosing The Right Graph Type

If you’re wondering how to get an animated graph in powerpoint, you’re in the right place. The first step however is to determine what type of graph you’d like to see. Typically people will use animated charts inside of powerpoint for data visualization. Some common ideas are listed below:

Excel Data
67%
Sales Tracking
37%
Business Reports
50%
Infographic Visualization
74%

The next consideration is what type of graph or chart do you prefer? Just like static (non-moving) graphs, you have your choice of bar graphs, pie charts, line charts, bubble charts, and so much more. A consideration here is how will you lay out your content and slides within the presentation? You will want to determine the right dimensions for your chart from the start. 

For example, if you have a horizontal landscape for your presentation then your graph might need to be a bit more rectangular vs. square. The examples below are all in 500 width x 500 height pixel dimensions but are also able to scale due to the final format for this page (more on this in the following section).

Bar Graph

Pie Chart

Bubble Chart

Line Graph

2. Determining The Right Format

Once you have the type of graph/chart decided, you will need to determine how the graph will be inserted into your Powerpoint presentation. Some of the most popular options here are  video or GIF format. For a complete list of formats that are supported by powerpoint, click here. 

The four graphs above are in a format similar to GIFs (supported by Powerpoint). These brief animations were created using After Effects (the starting point for most animations) and a JSON plugin for the web. 

When determining the right format for your presentation it is important to consider what will be the most engaging for your audience. Animated infographics in a video format will typically be the most engaging. 

One of the main reasons why animated video infographics are preferred over other formats is because of the styling. If you look at the four animated example graphs above, you will see a small amount of shadowing behind them (most apparent in the animated bar graph example). 

GIFs, while just as easy to insert into a powerpoint as videos, do not do a great job at supporting transparency and “shading” of the different elements. Video on the other hand, excels here and can be timed to match the narration of the presentation.

3. How To Create an Animated Graph - Two Variations

Version #1 Powerpoint

For the amount of time required, Adobe After Effects is most likely the fastest way to animated a chart or graph and insert it into your presentation. Of course you can certainly use the Powerpoint software to create a chart as well, I’ve included a good tutorial from Youtube here to help you build within powerpoint. 

Version #2 Adobe After Effects

However, if you are looking to create much faster, want to adjust the speed of each element, and not use stock components, I highly recommend the Adobe Creative Suite, specifically After Effects. After Effects can export videos directly and supports advanced graphics, shading, colors, and so much more. 

export quicktime video with after effects for animation

With After Effects, you don’t necessarily need to go the route of video. 2D animations can be created to a looping GIF that is still powerful when inserted within your presentation. Let’s take this bubble chart as an example…

When I mention “looping GIF,” I simply mean that there are no skips or areas in the animation where one might tell there is a clear beginning and end. Can you tell where this bubble graph starts and stops? It very subtly grows larger and smaller but if you didn’t know how the graph was created you wouldn’t know if each bubble began as a large or small version.  

This is not necessarily a tutorial in After Effects but if you are familiar with the software you will know how to easily duplicate shapes and add textures to them. From here it is a simple matter of exporting the final 2D animation to video or GIF format. The last great feature about After Effects that I will mention is, you can easily match brand colors. Powerpoint will run into limitations, depending on the version you have to match colors and shading exactly as your website, presentation, or company may include. 

4. Inserting Your Animated Graph (or Icons) Into Powerpoint

I’ll include two links here to the most recent updates on how to embed GIFs and videos.

1. Inserting GIFS – Link Here

2. Inserting Videos – Link Here

Because Microsoft will occasionally add new features and change the location of others, it’s best to follow the exact steps from Microsoft so I do not misguide you here. If you have a presentation however, I am more than glad to assist in inserting your finalized animation.

5. Where To Get a Graph For Powerpoint

Hopefully the steps above will help those of you who wish to DIY but if you wish to get a graph faster than it might take you to create yourself I am happy to assist. Get in touch below using the “Get In Touch” button at the bottom of this page and I’d be glad to answer any questions or start creating a graph you may need!

Animate Your Graph

Get a free mockup animation of your graph or chart. Start here.

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