The Custom Animation task pane in PowerPoint lists the names of all of the objects to which animation effects have been added. In the case of AutoShapes, their names are rather cryptic: things like Oval 13. It would be useful to be able to change these to something more meaningful.

Unfortunately, you can’t! There’s no means of changing the object names via a properties dialogue in PowerPoint. You can change the Name property of the relevant Shape object using VBA, but this doesn’t have any effect on the Custom Animation task pane, which carries on using the original name! PowerPoint then complains if you try to change the Name property back to its original value!

The best you can do is to add invisible text to the shapes, which will appear after the shape names in the Custom Animation task pane.

It would be nice if Microsoft’s help mentioned some of this. Ah well, only another couple of hours wasted because Office doesn’t work the way I expected it to.