Looping PowerPoint animation sequences within a slide

Jamie Garroch (MVP)PowerPoint Technical Consultant
Eating, sleeping, breathing PowerPoint and VBA at BrightCarbon

Setting the Scene

Animations in PowerPoint are a great tool to convey messages when used carefuly with the content of your slides.

There are plenty of animation effects and options, including a Repeat feature for individual animation effects.

But what if you want to repeat (or loop) a sequence of animations? This can be useful when running unattended kiosk presentations and you want the animations of the slide or a subset of them to repeat automatically.

You may think that this isn't possible, but it is, and strangely, by utilising the bookmark feature of audio.

In this tutorial, we're going to show you how to continuously repeat the animation sequence below which has three shapes fading in after one another and then after a delay of 1 second, fades out:


Building a Looping Slide

1. The first thing to do is to create a silent audio file. You can do this using Windows recorder or any number of third party sound apps. Simply disconnect or mute your mic before recording the required sound length. In this example, we recorded 10 seconds of silence. You can also download the one we used in this tutorial.

Sound-Recorder.png Silent-10-seconds--MP3-.txt (change the extension to .mp3 as EE don't support MP3 uploads)

2. Next, insert your silent sound file into PowerPoint on the slide that you're animating and set it to Loop until Stopped and Hide During Show:

PowerPoint-looping-animation-sequence-2.3. Now add Bookmarks to the audio file at intervals as per your desired sequence timing. So, if we want to do things at 1 second intervals, we add bookmarks at each 1 second. To add a bookmark, click on the playback time line and then in the PowerPoint ribbon, click the PLAYBACK tab and then click Add Bookmark. Repeat at the interval times on the audio timeline.

PowerPoint-looping-animation-sequence-3.4. With the bookmarks in place we can now move the animations from the main automatic timeline to the interactive trigger-based timeline. Select all of the animations in the animation pane (to make this pane visible, hold down the Alt key and then press A followed by C). In the ANIMATION tab, click Trigger followed by On Bookmark and select the desired bookmark. We're using Bookmark 1:

PowerPoint-looping-animation-sequence-4.5. You can now run the slide show and the animation sequence will repeat indefinitely until you leave the slide.

6. You can optionally move animations to other bookmarks for greater control:

PowerPoint-looping-animation-sequence-5.The resulting video (which we have converted below to an animated GIF as EE don't support embedded videos) shows a couple of loops of the above setup in step 6.

Jamie Garroch (MVP)PowerPoint Technical Consultant
Eating, sleeping, breathing PowerPoint and VBA at BrightCarbon

Comments (9)

Great solution ! Thank you !...
There is no Trigger function on the Mac version of Powerpoint so sadly this doesn't help me...
Jamie Garroch (MVP)PowerPoint Technical Consultant


It's true that PowerPoint:mac 2016 is lagging behind the PC version. Whilst it's not currently possible to set Bookmark Triggered animations in the Mac version, if you have a 365 account an a VM such as Parallels, you can still create such an animation on the PC side which will run as intended when played back on the Mac side.
This is a seriously genius workaround.  Thanks for the really useful tip!
Thanks for this excellent idea.  When I implemented it, I realized that I only needed one bookmark and could control the speed of the looping with the trim function on the audio element.

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