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How to create animated charts in Power Point [VBA]



This is a guest post by Chirayua member of Chandoo.org forum.


I mainly write VBA code in Excel. I am in no means a PowerPoint VBA coder. It’s just that once you understand one type of VBA code it’s simple enough to do a bit of research & figure out the rest through trial and error.

This guide was created because of the question posted here which intrigued me & I drafted up a sample file for the same.

Animating charts in Power Point

Animating Charts in PowerPoint cannot be done without the help of 3rd party software’s that create a flash file of the chart & embed it into the presentation.

However there is a workaround for this. Save your chart as multiple images & insert them (overlapping on top of each other). Use VBA on Developer tab Controls such as Combo Box, Option Button, Check Box etc. to “Bring To Front”” the corresponding image. Thus giving the illusion of an Animated Chart in PowerPoint.

This guide will teach you how to animate the charts, using the three Developer tab Controls that were mentioned before. The code & functionality only works in Slide Show Mode. File must be saved as PowerPoint Macro-Enabled Presentation (*.pptm)

First a quick demo of the chart:

We are going to build this.


How to Add Developer tab?

  1. Click on the office button / file menu at the top left in PowerPoint
  2. Go to Power Point options
  3. Tick the Show developer tab in the ribbon option in the popup menu
    1. If you are using PP 2010 or above, go to “Customize ribbon” tab and check the “Developer” ribbon to enable it.
  4. Close the Power Point options window.

How to add selection pane?

In order to name the chart pictures, we need to use selection pane. You can enable this by

In Office 2013 or above:

  • Go to Home > Select and click on Selection Pane.

In Office 2010 or 2007:

  • Go to Power Point Options
  • Click on Customize
  • From left hand side, choose “All commands”
  • Scroll down and select “Selection Pane”
  • Add this to the quick access toolbar
  • Now selection pane will be available on Quick Access Toolbar of PP.

How to Insert & Rename the Developer tab Controls?

  1. Go to the Developer tab
  2. To insert a control, simply click on the one you want & then a + cursor should appear
  3. Use this to drag & create the Control you chose
  4. As an example for renaming the Control let’s add an Option Button. Which will look like this:option-button-power-point
  5. To rename this to Q1, right click it & select properties
  6. Then change name & caption as you want.


How to Insert & Rename Images?

The reason you need to rename the images is:

  • Easier for identifying chart images when they need to be updated in future
  • Uniform VBA code that does not need alteration as all images having same naming convention as that listed in the VBA code

To insert an image:

  1. Click on the Insert tab and click on Picture
  2. Then browse to the image you want & click on it & then click OK. Repeat this step if you are creating an animated graph.
  3. To rename these pictures we just click on the Selection Pane button we added earlier. This will show us all the images & their names in the PowerPoint slide you are on. We can then rename these images to whatever we want. I chose Pic1, Pic2, Pic3, Pic4 as the Chart has a Quarterly data.
  4. Note that when you are creating dynamic charts, the images will need to be of the same size & must overlap each other. Otherwise it won’t look like a dynamic chart, as it will still do all the work but look out of sync. Example below of Quarterly chart overlap, where Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 have been placed on top of each other.


VBA code to animate the chart

This VBA code will mainly be used when we have the overlapping image scenario as all we are doing is bringing the image to the front.

The VBA code will also go in the same slide as where the Option Buttons were added.

Since Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4 buttons are in Sheet1. VBA code will be pasted in Sheet1.

  • To open the VBA screen Click on the Developer tab & & then on the left hand side menu of the popup
  • Write the below code in the white area that shows up

Private Sub OptionButton1_Click()
ActivePresentation.Slides(1).Shapes("Pic1").ZOrder msoBringToFront
End Sub

Private Sub OptionButton2_Click()
ActivePresentation.Slides(1).Shapes("Pic2").ZOrder msoBringToFront
End Sub

Private Sub OptionButton3_Click()
ActivePresentation.Slides(1).Shapes("Pic3").ZOrder msoBringToFront
End Sub

Private Sub OptionButton4_Click()
ActivePresentation.Slides(1).Shapes("Pic4").ZOrder msoBringToFront
End Sub

How this code works?

  • OptionButton1_Click: Means run the macro when the button is clicked
  • ActivePresentation: Means the current PowerPoint file you are using
  • .Slides(1): Means the first slide of that file
  • .Shapes("Pic1"): Means the shape you are referring to. Images are also considered as shapes and as you remember Pic1 is actually the name given to the image of Q1 for the Dynamic graph
  • .ZOrder msoBringToFront: Means bring the shape to the front


Download the Example Presentation

Click here to download the animated charts power point presentation. Play with the animations in slides 2 & 3 to learn more. Examine the VBA code by using Developer ribbon > VBA.


As you can see, it’s not that difficult to animate charts in PowerPoint. It just requires a workaround in order to do so. I have included few more examples in the downloadable presentation. Check them out and learn more. I hope that this guide is useful to you in animating your PowerPoint files.

Thank you Chirayu

Thank you Chirayu for sharing this awesome technique with us. I really enjoyed playing with the animated charts file.

If you enjoyed this post, Please say thanks to Chirayu.

Want more animated & interactive charts?

If you want to build interactive & animated charts using Excel, check out below examples & case studies:



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16 Responses to “How to create animated charts in Power Point [VBA]”

  1. Luke M says:

    Very cool trick! I had previously thought this wasn't possible within PowerPoint...happy to see I was proven wrong. 🙂

  2. Chirayu says:

    Many thanks Chandoo for posting my thread on the main Website. When I first joined the Chandoo Forums I had a Goal to reach the Main website - Goal achieved 😀 [also I know this may be totally unsporting but this is gonna make so many colleagues jealous lol]

  3. Andy Pope says:

    You can use animation and triggers to make the stack of images, or even real charts, show. No need for vba. This also means it will work in the browser and potentially on alternative platforms if using office 365.

  4. Khalid NGO says:

    Hi Chirayu,

    I enjoyed playing with this.

    Thanks for sharing and congrats on achieving your goal, indeed a big one.



  5. savithri says:

    Hello Chandoo/Chirayu

    Awesome concept. Thanks for helping me to create something which I was looking for.


  6. Cap D says:

    .Kudos! God Bless You CHandoo!

  7. Awesome...

    I am regular read your post via my inbox.....
    Thanks for sharing.

  8. Harshal says:

    Thanks Chirayu. when i asked this question i thought it is not possible , but thanx lot

  9. corey says:

    You could also use a slicer or filter with two column charts. The one on top would be driven by the slicer/filter and the one below shows all quarters in the lighter color.

  10. Czarina says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! I dont spend more time in social media now. Instead Im here in your website and learning! 🙂

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