PowerPoint Animation Schemes Grayed Out

If you find that the entries under "Animation Schemes" in Microsoft PowerPoint 2003 are grayed out, you may need to change a PowerPoint option setting. For instance, if you click on "Slide Show" and select "Animation Schemes", but see something like the following situation where the Animation Schemes entries are unavailable, i.e. they are grayed out, then the "New animation effects" option may be set to "disabled".

Animation Schemes grayed out

To re-enable the Animation Schemes effects, within PowerPoint, click on "Tools", then "Options" and then make sure that "New animation effects", under "Disable new features", is not checked.

New animation effects setting

If it is checked, once you uncheck it and click on "OK", then the animation effects should no longer be grayed out.

Animation effects setting
no longer grayed out

At Animation Schemes not selectable , I found a suggestion by someone from Microsoft that an aborted security patch installation might cause the problem. A poster to the newsgroup had stated he could no longer access any of the advanced schemes after he cancelled the installation of a security patch half way through the installation. Later completion of the installation of the security patch did not resolve the problem. However, on the system on which I found the problem, there had not been any aborted patch installations since the time that the animation schemes were available nor any Office updates since then and the time the problem occurred on January 31, 2006.


  1. Animation Schemes not selectable
    November 3, 2003
  2. Jan's PowerPoint Advanced: Animate
  3. Jan's PowerPoint Formatting: Animations
  4. PowerPoint 2002: Using the Outline Tab and Clip Art