The scene: opening night of Presentation Summit 2012, a large crowd at an open bar drinks reception (hosted by Microsoft – it’s how they get you!) and as you would expect, when you cram that many PowerPoint professionals into one room, talk turns to those little things that really bug you about using PowerPoint.
One of my PowerPoint pet peeves is that the “wheel in” animation only works clockwise; there isn’t an option to reverse the direction. I’ve always thought this would handy for all of those “doing X saves you this much time” type arguments by showing a clock and then removing the time it takes. Sadly this isn’t something you can easily manage in PowerPoint – there’s a bodge way of doing it by using a spin combined with the wheel in effect, but that only works if you don’t have a patterned background – and hence the bet was born.
I asserted that PowerPoint couldn’t do this, what seems like a fairly simple option, especially puzzling since other spinning type animations do go both ways. My conversational partner claimed I was wrong, this option was hidden in the settings and I just hadn’t looked hard enough! Quick – to the nearest PowerPoint equipped PC, a mere matter of metres away. PowerPoint 2013 was already ready so we had a quick play with that, and no “anti-clockwise” option presented itself, so onto PowerPoint 2010 and once again no sign of the anti-clockwise option. Victory in my first PowerPoint bet!
Turning round however we discovered we had attracted an audience of the PowerPoint team, who asked what we were checking out. They agreed that it was fairly ridiculous that the wheel effect couldn’t go anti-clockwise, when the spin could (after checking they couldn’t do it either). Apparently this sort of feedback is fantastic for them, because they can actually go back to the design team and say “look, this is a really problem our users have, we need to fix this”. However they did want to take my photo “for their records” or something like that, so now they know who I am and if you don’t hear from me again you know why…
It was pretty great to have a chat directly to the guys responsible for PowerPoint and be able to point these things out. They were genuinely interested and actually excited about the discussion, which sounds funny until I realised I was too.
Hopefully there’s still time before 2013 is finalised for the anti-clockwise wheel to sneak in.
Oh and whilst we are at it, can we have an option to set where on the 360o the wheel starts from…?
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If you stick to these guidelines whilst recording, you should be able to achieve professional results from your home or office environment. Remember, preparation before the recording session is paramount to getting the highest quality results. To get the perfect shot, it will take a fair amount of trial and error and normally a few takes! Lights, camera, ACTION!
Better still, we should be able to specify where the wheel starts. I am trying to build a speedometer with this effect . . . can’t seem to make it work.
Daniel – Chris agrees with you. He asked for the very same thing in his last line!
…and, here we are three years later, and still no CCW option. (Much less, a “start at x deg” option!)
Hi Jim! One of our PowerPoint wizards, Taavi Drell, shared your frustration about the wheel animation and worked on a hack to make it start from any point around a circle – you can read full step-by-step instructions here: https://www.brightcarbon.com/blog/getting-more-out-of-animations-in-powerpoint/
Still no counter-clockwise, but we’re working on it 🙂