Triggers are very cool, very useful features in PPT 2002 and 2003. Basically, triggers are what you use if you need something to happen (text to appear, a picture to disappear, etc.) when you click on it or something else.

This will be just a simple example, but it should get you started.

We’ll start with a slide that has a few of objects on it. Our objective is to have the word “Square” appear when we click on the square shape, “Triangle” when we click the triangle shape, and “Oval” when we click the oval shape.

1. Set animations on the objects which will animate. In this case, the text will appear (entrance animation) when we click a shape, so we need to set animations on the three textboxes.

Right-click the word “Square,” and choose Custom Animation. The Custom Animation task pane will appear.

2. With the “Square” textbox selected, choose Add Effect–>Entrance–>Appear in the Custom Animation task pane.

3. Click the arrow beside the textbox in the Custom Animation task pane and select the Timing option. (The textbox is referred to as “Shape 4: Square” in the task pane. I know that can be confusing.)

4. In the Timing tab, click the Triggers button. Then click “Start effect on click of.”

5. When you click the arrow next to “rectangle 1,” you’ll see a list of objects which are on your slide. In this case, we want the word “Square” to appear when we click Rectangle 1. So choose Rectangle 1 on the list and click OK.

6. Now test your trigger. Start the PPT show, and you should see something like the image below.

The word “Square” doesn’t show on the slide, because it’s set to activate on a trigger. When you hover over the rectangle in the corner, your cursor becomes a hand; that lets you know it’s a clickable object. Click it, and the word “Square” should appear on the slide.

7. If you wanted the word “Square” to disappear when you click the rectangle shape, you would set an exit animation instead of an entrance animation.

8. Repeat steps 2-6 for the other textboxes.

These types of animations are especially handy when, for example, your audience will tell you what to click next so there’s no way of knowing in what order the animations need to happen.