Simple Animation in PowerPoint by Gary Fisk This basic cartoon of a neuron was drawn by hand. It was scanned into the computer. It was "inserted" into OpenOffice Impress (a PowerPoint clone; see http://www.openoffice.org/) using the "insert" > "picture" > "from file" command. The position of the neuron was locked by right-clicking on the image, then selecting "position and size" > "protect position". This will keep the neuron image in the same position if we copy and paste it into a new slide. It may also be possible to create a master slide with the image locked into place. This example explains how an action potential moves along an axon. A simple drawing was made with the drawing tools to represent an increase in voltage that occurs during an action potential. Labels and narration can be added by using the text and arrow tools. action potential axon axon hillock axon terminals Simple Animation We can make this object move by making a sequence of slides with automatic transitions (1 second). The objects can be moved slightly in each slide to create a perception of continuous movement. The resulting animation is a bit crude because the minimum slide transition is 1 second. It gets the job done though. The arrows were added to draw attention to the movement of the action potential. Key Point: Simple animations can be made by using multiple slides with automatic, one second transitions between the slides. With this basic technique, you can create very simple animations for PowerPoint. It might not be pretty, but maybe it will be all that you need to communicate your ideas. Good luck with your creations!