Selective morph transitions in PowerPoint

There’s a better, more selective way to choose which shapes, images or other objects to

‘Morph’ between slides in PowerPoint 365, 2021 and 2019.

Morph in PowerPoint is a way to transition between two slides with a nice smooth effect like this.

Standard Morph Transition in PowerPoint

The Morph transition normally applies to either all the objects, words or characters in a slide but there’s a tricky way to make PowerPoint only morph selected objects in each slide

In short: give each object (shape, image etc) the same name on each slide, starting with two exclamation marks e.g.  !!MorphThis . PowerPoint uses the matching object names with !! prefix as an order to morph only that object.

Morphing selected slide objects – step-by-step

On the first slide (the one you’re morphing from) …

Open the Selection Pane

Windows: Home | Editing | Select | Selection Pane.

Mac: Home |  Arrange group | Selection Pane.

Look at the names of object in the Selection Pane, select the name of the object to morph from.  Double-click to rename it.

Rename using a label that starts with !!   e.g.  !!MorphThis !!ChangeMe or !!Tommy etc.

Make a careful note of the name or, better, copy the name to the clipboard.

Switch to the second slide, the one you’re transitioning to.

Find the matching object in the selection pane and give it exactly the same name as the other object.

On the second slide, go to Transitions and choose Morph.

Do that for more slides. Just make sure that the object name is the same in each slide and Morph is the selected Transition. Now only the Face shape morphs, the text doesn’t have any transition effect.

Notes and details

  • Other slide objects can have any name you wish. As long as they don’t have !! at the start, Morph will ignore them.
  • The !! name should be unique on each slide. Don’t confuse PowerPoint by having two !! objects with the same name.
  • Any two objects of the same type can morph (image/image, table/table, SmartArt/SmartArt)
    • Except Charts which can’t morph, they cross-fade. 
  • The same shape with different text can morph.
  • Morphing shape is only possible with shapes
    • Same orientation (clockwise or anti-clockwise)
    • One hole (e.g. donut) or none (circle/face).
    • Approximately the same number of edit points which roughly match up on each shape.

Who gets it?

Selective Morphing is available in the latest releases of PowerPoint for Windows/Mac and mobile. Specifically, these with the minimum version required.

  • PowerPoint 365 for Windows, current channel, v1903
  • PowerPoint 365 for Windows, Semi-annual Enterprise channel, v1908
  • PowerPoint 2021 for Windows (not mentioned by Microsoft???)
  • PowerPoint 2019 for Windows, v 1908
  • PowerPoint 365 for Mac, v16.23
  • PowerPoint 2021 for Mac (not mentioned by Microsoft??)
  • PowerPoint 2019 for Mac, v16,28

It’s also available for these PowerPoint but only in Slide Show mode, not Normal mode:

  • PowerPoint 2016 for Windows, v 16.0.4888
  • PowerPoint for iOS (iPhone/iPad), v2.24
  • PowerPoint Mobile, v1903

Helpful video

And there’s one of those rare useful Microsoft videos that has straight-forward help for customers.

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