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Tutorial for Bullet Alternative 003 – Box Out

Using Bullet Alternatives

Bulleted text is the most overused device currently used in presentations. Thankfully, there are other ways to show list items. The examples below illustrate how a bulleted list might be restructured into a more interesting layout.

Bullet alternatives can be applied to pages describing steps, text lists, choices, ideas, etc. Table of contents are also usually set up as a list of things to cover. Consider using a framework as your table of contents and then as a tracker within the document to help your audience stay oriented as to where you/they are in the presentation.

This format is particularly effective in a table of contents or agenda application, as you can see from the above example.

Once you have identified the best-suited PowerFramework bullet alternative, download it to a specific location on your computer so you'll be able to find it (the desktop is always a good choice).

Customizing your PowerFrameworks bullet alternative

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of the PowerFramework, be sure to group it and resize the entire group. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations.

Color variations

Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the PowerFramework will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. Select "No line" if you want to eliminate the outline on the rectangle that contains the highlighted text, but of course leave the lines that separate the the other topics. Apply a line color to those separator lines that corresponds with your palette colors.

3D variations

3D effects are not recommended for this type of framework. The 3D effect interferes with the alignment of the elements of this chart.


A shadow effects adds interest and dimension to a graphic, which can be accomplished within PowerPoint after the PowerFramework has been imported. Be conservative when choosing shadow treatments for this framework. Use shadows that fall to the left so that the shadow does not interfere with the right-hand elements of the framework.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients, patterns, and pictures can be added as fills from the "Fill Effects" menu. Be conservative when applying gradients or patterns. This framework is best when it is simple.


Animating this framework really adds interest. You can do it several different ways. One possible way is to create the list text in different fields and apply a motion path from right to left to each field as it is being highlighted within the presentation. If the text is moving from a light background to a light background box, the text color can stay the same. If, however, you are moving the text from a light background to a dark background box (as in the example), you will need to apply animation for changing the color of the text as it moves into the new position. After that is sorted out, animate the entrance of the background box as a wipe left or a fade in, and add the separator lines as a wipe right or a fade in – timed simultaneously.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

BA003 – Bullet Alternatives 003 – Box Out

Possible use example

Links to instructions for getting the framework into your presentation

  1. Determine the best file type for your needs
  2. Download the file
  3. Import the framework into your presentation
    1. Importing a PPT file
    2. Importing a EMF or PNG
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