Tutorial for Concepts 017 – Chains
Using the Links of Chain
This series contains links of chain and a variety of connectors that can help convey a multitude of concepts. There are the obvious: links that are labeled to show pieces of a whole, missing link, weak link, broken link. There are the not so obvious: a fix that is overkill or stronger than the original (the bolt), a fix that is temporary, inappropriate, ineffective (wire and string with knot), a fix that is aesthetically pleasing but unable to really do the job (ribbon). These frameworks are rich with possibilities.
The frameworks are provided in two formats: EMF (which are completely editable) and PNG (which are not editable). Both are offered as PowerPoint downloads. Be sure you download the correct format according to your need/intended use.
The links are designed so that they may be labeled. This adds an even greater dimension of use.
Customizing the Links of Chain
If you want to change the size/shape of the EMF format links of chain, be sure to group it and resize the entire group. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations. The PNGs are fine to just size.
If you choose to work with the EMFs, each link can be colored individually, both line and fill colors. The line widths and colors can be changed to match your template colors.
Don't use 3D with these frameworks. The 3D feature makes the interlocking aspect of the links distort and appear incorrectly.
Do not use shadows. They tend to "flatten" the links on the slide.
Gradients, patterns, and pictures
If you use gradients, make sure that the gradient is very slight/limited. Too much makes the links look less realistic. Put the darker hue on the bottom and the lighter on the top for more realism.
Animation can be used to fade an inappropriate fix in or out of a complete chain by overlaying the variations (group them first). Each download has a complete chain that can either be deleted or moved into position over or under the variation so that you can animate with fade ins and outs. Use simple animations like appear and fade. The others don't work because the links have cutouts to allow for "overlapping" parts of the links.