How to Sync Animation with Video or Audio

By Ellen Finkelstein

Have you ever wanted to sync animation with a video or audio file so that the animation happens at a specified point?

Starting with PowerPoint 2010, you can add bookmarks to video or audio files. You can use a bookmark to quickly go to a specific location in the file but the real fun is when you use bookmarks to trigger animation.

In this short presentation, I added video of me speaking to the left side of the slide and on 2 slides, I synced animation so that it appeared at a specific point — a bookmark that I set — in the video.

Watch it here — it’s only 2 minutes long.  You’ll see animation on the 1st and 3rd slides. (Note: The event I’m talking about started in the beginning of April, so I’m not trying to sign you up!)


Add the Bookmarks

Here are the steps for adding the bookmarks:

  1. Record the video and insert it by choosing Insert tab/Video/Video on my PC/Video from File.
  2. Create the objects that you want to animate.
  3. Listen to the video again and figure out at which point you want to trigger the animation.
  4. Select the video on the slide and click the Video Tools Playback tab.
  5. Click the video’s Play button to play the video. At the point where you want the first animation to start, click the Pause button.
  6. Click the Add Bookmark button on the Playback tab.
  7. Continue to add bookmarks as the video plays until you’re done.

Add the Animation

The next step is to add the animation and you do that in the normal way.  That is:

  1. Select the object.
  2. Click the Animations tab.
  3. Click the Add Animation button and choose an animation.
  4. Add any other settings that you need, but you don’t need to change the Start setting. The trigger will take care of that.
  5. Continue to add the animation to all of the objects.

Set the Trigger

The final phase is to set the trigger, in this case, the video bookmarks. Here are the steps:


  1. If not already open, open the Animation pane by clicking Animation pane on the Animations tab.
  2. In the pane, select the animation that you want to trigger by the first bookmark. For example, if you want the first bookmark to trigger an animation that makes a shape appear, select the listing of that animation in the Animation pane.
  3. Click the Down arrow to the right of the animation and choose Timing. Tip: If you want more than one animation to be triggered at once, select multiple animations in the Animation pane.
  4. The dialog box for the settings of the animation you created opens. For example, if you create a Fade animation, you now see the Fade dialog box. The Timing tab is on top. Click Triggers.
  5. Choose the Start Effect on Play Of option. From the drop-down list,  choose the first bookmark and click OK.


  1. Continue with the rest of the animations and bookmarks.

Tip: Use the Selection pane (Home tab, Editing group, Select, Selection Pane) and rename the objects so that you can easily recognize them in the Animation pane. Also, if your video file’s name is long, you won’t be able to see the full name of the bookmarks, so you can shorten that in the Selection pane as well.

Always test your animation. Once you get it right, the look is quite magical!

About the Author:

Ellen Finkelstein can train you or the presenters in your organization to create high-impact, engaging, professional presentations for training, sales, business, or education. For more information, visit her website at

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