Pan and zoom in videos using Morph transitions

Iron Contributor

I've been experimenting with a new technique for adding pan & zoom effects to my PowerPoint screen recordings using the new(-ish) Morph transition. By and large, it's worked far better than my previous attempts, so I wanted to discuss it here and see if anyone else has any tips to share.

So here's the scenario: let's say I have a 30-second screen recording on a slide, and I need to (1) zoom in and highlight a button click, (2) pan over to highlight a text field and another button click, and then (3) zoom back out.

Here's the output video for reference:

Here's the technique I use to achieve it:

Note: I've attached the original PPTX to this post to make it easier to see what I'm talking about.

  1. Record the screen to capture the entire sequence on slide 1.
  2. Find the point where you want the first zoom transition to occur and trim the video to end at that spot.
  3. Duplicate slide 1, including the video.
  4. Trim the video on slide 2 to start exactly at the end of slide 1's video and end at the next transition.
  5. Resize and reposition slide 2's video as needed.
  6. Add a morph transition to slide 2 and adjust the timing to 1 second.
  7. Add a bookmark to slide 2's video where you want the highlight to appear.
  8. Insert and format a rectangle shape to use as the highlight box.
  9. Add an entrance animation to the rectangle and trigger it using the bookmark.
  10. Duplicate slide 2, including the video.
  11. Remove all bookmarks and highlight shapes from slide 3.
  12. Repeat for each additional transition.

Aside: I also experimented with adding VTT captions to each slide, which is a ridiculously meticulous process that desperately needs to be improved.

Anyway, here's what I noticed and liked about this approach:

  • Each stage in the overall animation is a separate slide in PowerPoint, so editing is very focused and changes to one slide don't screw up anything down stream. 
  • The morph transition identifies the videos across multiple slides as related objects and pans/zooms smoothly between them.
  • The static slides in PowerPoint look nice and clean for non-video printing or sharing. Because each slide is a distinct "keyframe" in the animation, you don't end up with a bunch of motion path lines and overlapping highlight shapes.
  • The animation timeline for each slide is pretty manageable.
  • Since everything originates from the same original screen recording video, PowerPoint only stores the screen recording video once, which keeps the file size relatively small.
  • When you output the video, the morph transitions generate a pretty smooth effect.

My only gripes are:

  • There's a noticeable "duck" in the audio during the morph transitions.
  • It's a fairly labor-intensive and kludgey editing process, with lots of manual timings that have to line up to make it look good.
  • PowerPoint doesn't seem to export the video captions to the final output video, and I'm unclear whether the VTT timings line up with the original or the trimmed video's timings.

If anyone has any suggestions on improving this process, please let me know. Thanks!

1 Reply

@Greg Edwards, I just stumbled across your post. Although posted almost five years ago (2017), the technique you describe still works!


PowerPoint (even in its current version) is not and likely will never be as easy or good for editing screen recordings as Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, or TechSmith Camtasia. HOWEVER, if you don't need complicated effects or can't use third-party software (like on a managed computer), then PowerPoint can be a good alternative…with a little patience.


You can achieve the same pan and zoom effects on a single slide using the Grow/Shrink and Lines animations, but it requires many more manual calculations and "helper" lines to use as off-slide  guides. It gets rid of the transition silences you experienced, but it really isn't worth the extra effort.


You can also address transition silences using post-production editing in third-party software, using a higher-quality mic, or turning down the mic gain (Input Volume in Windows 11) to reduce background noise.


I found more success using a combination of screenshots and audio recordings (narration) with the Morph transition. Because audio can be played across slides, you avoid the silences during the transitions. Really, you only need to record the screen when live action happens, such as typing into a search term field and viewing the results. That live video can be integrated almost seamlessly with screenshots.


While you still have to working with transition and animation timing, it produces acceptable results with a smaller file size. You can even simulate mouse pointers and clicks if you have the time for the animation.