How to Flip a Shape in Microsoft PowerPoint

The concept of hiding information until you’re ready to expose it is easy to represent using two animations in a PowerPoint presentation.

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Image: PixieMe/Adobe Stock

Flipping is a unique way to display related data during a Microsoft PowerPoint presentation. You are exposing information that remains hidden until you are ready to expose it. You can flip it into the shape of a box to display a bit of good news or even a black wizard hat to display a rabbit. A flipping move we are all familiar with is flipping a card. It could be a business card, a game card, or even a student flash card.

In this tutorial I’ll show you how to apply two animations to make two different images look like a single card. The animations will work together to flip the card.

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I’m using Microsoft 365 on a Windows 10 64 system. PowerPoint for the web supports this technique.

How to Create the Card in PowerPoint

Flipping a card is something that most of us recognize, so we will create a simple flash card to learn the letter c in the English alphabet. You can insert the back of the card, which is shown in Figure A as follows:

  1. Click the Insert tab.
  2. In the Images group, click Images, and then select Online Images from the dropdown menu.
  3. In the resulting panel, enter flash cards as search string.
  4. Scroll down a bit until you see the card, click on it, and then click Insert. This image has no copyright issues and is free to distribute.
  5. Hold down the Ctrl key and pull out one of the corner handles until the card is the size you want. We will refer to this as the design side.
  6. Use the Shape Outline option in the Drawing group to display a black border.

Figure A

Insert an image to represent the design side of the card.

To create the face of the card, add a blank slide and insert a rectangle shape the same size as the side of the design you just inserted. To be exact, you can copy the width and length of the side of the design. To find those measurements, click the image on the side of the layout and click the Format Contextual Image tab. You’ll find them in the Size group on the far right.

Once the face of the card is the correct size, add the text box with the text cat and a photo of a cat, using the Images option on the Insert tab. I found the one shown in Figure B in stock images.

Figure B

Create the face of the card.

We have the design and front sides of the flash card. Now it’s time to add the animation that makes them look like a card you flip over.

How to Add Animations in PowerPoint

There’s an animation called Flip in PowerPoint, but it’s applied to the entire slide, so we won’t use it. Instead, we will use an input and output card. First, we’ll apply an entry animation to the side of the layout, showing the card upside down.

To add this animation, click the layout image on the first slide and do the following:

  1. Click on the Animations tab.
  2. Click the More button in the gallery and select Collapse in the Exit section. If you don’t see it, click More Exit Effects at the bottom.
  3. Check the settings in the Timing group. If necessary, choose On Click for the Start setting and 0.50 for the Duration setting.

You are done with the design. During the presentation, when you click on this slide, PowerPoint will rotate the card and then it will disappear. Now let’s add an entrance animation to the face card:

  1. Select the grouped rectangle on the second slide.
  2. Click on the Animations tab.
  3. Click the More button in the gallery and choose Stretch under Entrance Effects. Click More Entrance Effects if you don’t see Expand.
  4. Change the settings in the Timing group. Choose After Previous as the Start setting and 0.50 as the Duration setting.

There is still one more step. Copy the image of the face on the first slide. Align it with the design image, and then send it to the back by clicking Send to Back in the Arrange group on the Format tab Contextually. At this point, you will only see the image of the design.

Everything is ready now, so click Start from scratch or press F5. The first thing you see is the design side. Click to activate the output animation for that image, which will shrink the card a bit. Because the face has a Start of After Previous setting, you don’t have to do anything to see it. After the exit animation ends, the face card entry animation begins.

If you want to create a flash card for each letter, copy the first two and change the letter on the design and the content on the face. This way you won’t have to add the animation to each set.

For two more fun flip animations, read How to Flip Content for Fun Transitions in Microsoft PowerPoint.

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