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Tutorial for Emphasis 001 – Stars, and Design Elements 028 – Bursts

Using the Stars/Bursts in Emphasis 001 and Design Elements 028

Emphasizing an element on a slide is a surprisingly delicate matter. If the emphasis is too "loud" it startles the audience and it seems as if your are yelling at them. If it is too subtle, the message is not really an emphasized. Be very thoughtful about the tone of your overall message and elevate the points of emphasis just enough to attract attention. Stars/bursts can be used as vividly colored objects or as watermarks behind text/graphics to call attention to a point being made.

These stars/bursts can also be used as connectors. See the example slide above for this type of application. See the star behind the globe that is set up like a "ghost" or watermark? This is another way to use these frameworks.

The second series of bursts are in the Design Elements Category instead of the Emphasis Category (like the bursts in EM001, EM007, and EM013 ) for a very good reason: they are much more than a "shock" burst to help make a statement more impactful. These 45 bursts can be used as a sun, saw, paint splatter, emblem, design ornament, cog, scallops, etc. In the series example, see how the paint splatter is used to bring in the first half of the message? The series example for DE028 is designed as an animated slide, so the example for DE028 to the right shows some of the burst variations. Be sure to download the animated example for DE028, however, for a possible use and animation scheme.

There is only one download for the DE028 series; all of the bursts are contained within the download. Each can receive a full array of formatting, just like the bursts in em001.

Once you have identified the best-suited PowerFramework burst/star, 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 the Stars/Bursts in Emphasis 001

Sizing the stars/bursts

These frameworks are only one field so you can size them just by grabbing a corner handle and pulling/pushing. If you want them to maintain their shape, hold the shift key down while you do this.


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 of the object, or change the line point size if you want thinner or heaver lines. Ghosting (very light shading on a white background or very dark shading on a dark background) can be used to "point" to peripheral items/fields, as in the example.

3D variations

These bursts can be used in 3D , but the depth should kept small. The first 3D example is a 24-point depth and the others are set with a depth of 12 points. The angle of the first example limits the amount of space you have for adding text. Also the angle of the text and the angle of the star/burst need to complement each other. If you are unable to get the text to look like it is actually part of the star/burst by using the WordArt feature in PowerPoint or other software programs, the effect will be that the text is floating on top of the star/burst and not actually part of it.


A shadow effect adds interest and dimension to a graphic, which can be accomplished within PowerPoint after the PowerFramework has been imported. These stars can be shadowed in any number of ways, your choice. Just be sure to keep your special effects somewhat consistent to underscore the cohesiveness of your message. The green example shows a shadow that is cast well below the star. If you use this type of application, be sure that you select a color for the shadow that doesn't interfere with text or other fields that are close to the star.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients, patterns, and pictures can be added as fills from the "Fill Effects" menu. The example in the center gives the impression that it radiates from the center, with the color less consolidated on the fringes.


Animations should be selected that will enhance the meaning of the message, not merely to add interest to the slide. However, with an element that is designed to add emphasis, you can go a little wild. You can always animate to "expand," "zoom," or simply "appear," but you can also bounce it in or use another more lively animation choices. In this case the animation still enhances the message, which is to "emphasize."

Series that relate to this tutorial:

DE028 – Design Element 028 – Burst Variations

Possible use example

EM001 – Emphasis 001 – Stars

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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