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Motion Paths

When you apply an animation that involves motion, a green motion path line appears when you click the object with the Selection tool. This line controls the position and direction of the object’s motion. A circle indicates the starting position of the animation; an arrow indicates the direction and the ending position. You can edit this motion preset line to customize the move. For instance, you can lengthen the line to have the object move along a longer path.

Most of the preset motion paths are straight lines. To create a more natural effect, we like to add curves to these paths so they move slightly up or down into position.

Editing the motion path

Select the animated object. The motion preset line appears as a green line. An arrow indicates the direction of the animation.


The green line indicates the direction and length of the object’s path.

Click the motion preset line. The line changes from a motion path to a regular InDesign path. Use the Direct Selection tool to modify the points on the path. Use the Pen tool, the Pencil tool, or the Smooth tool to add, delete, or modify the points on the path. Deselect the object to apply the changes.

Creating a custom motion path

Instead of modifying the built-in motion paths, you can draw your own motion paths for an animated object. Start by using the Pen tool or the Line tool to draw the open path that you want to use as a motion path. Select both the path and the object you want to animate. Click the Convert to Motion Path icon in the Animation panel. This converts the path into a motion path and opens the animation controls for the object.

You can also swap a custom-drawn motion path for one already applied to an animation object. Select both the drawn path and the animation object. Click the Convert to Motion Path icon. The new path is applied as the motion path to the animation. The original motion path is deleted.


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The Convert to Motion Path icon allows you to use your own paths as the motion paths for animations.

Removing animations

If you no longer want an object to be animated, you can convert it back into an ordinary object. Select the animated object, and in the Animation panel click the Remove Animation icon.


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The Remove Animation icon converts an animated object into an ordinary object.

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