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Tutorial for Bullet Alternative 012, 019, and 024 – Circles and Call-Out Boxes/Rows

Using Bullet Alternatives

These series are stylish and perfect for introducing a main item and subordinate items. Can be used effectively for a table of contents, and it can be reduced and used as a tracker within the presentation to keep your audience oriented.

The PowerPoint download has been colored with grays to show you how you might apply your own colors: the circle is dark and behind the horizontal callouts, which are lighter and semitransparent.

There are two versions of the BA012 frameworks in the PowerPoint download: one without a gradient on the horizontal callout and one with a gradient. Just delete the one you don't need. Generally, the version without the gradient is used to contain small amounts of text that does not go outside the horizontal callout boundary. The version with the gradient can accommodate more text because there is no right-hand boundary for the horizontal callout.

There is one version of the BA024 frameworks in the PowerPoint download.

Once you have identified the best-suited bullet alternative variation, 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 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. Use a complementary lighter color for the horizontal callouts. You may need to try a few different colors from your palette because the semitransparent overlay of the horizontal callout "blends" with the circle – some blends typically do not produce a great blended color. If you use gradients, eliminate the lines. Also, make sure the circle is layered behind the horizontal callouts.

3D variations

Don't use 3D with these frameworks. Because of the overlay and semitransparency, the 3D doesn't really look very good.


Don't use shadows with these frameworks unless you are using PowerPoint 2007 and apply a shadow to the grouped framework. Otherwise, it's the same issue as 3D: because of the overlay and semitransparency, the shadows don't really work very well.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients work really well with this type of framework (see series example). The gradient that fades away on the right (no right-hand boundary) actually extends the text field so more text can be used. Pictures or icons added to the inside of the circle work particularly well.

The frameworks in BA024 work extremely well with photographs imported into the circles.

There are techniques in both PowerPoint 2003 and -PowerPoint 20072010 versions to import a photograph into graphics.

Click here to go to the FAQ that explains cutting photographs into puzzle pieces, which is the same technique as importing photographs into other shaped graphics.


Animate as wipes or another effects that support the flow of the framework. Download the animation example for a possible animation scheme.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

BA012 – Bullet Alternatives 012 – Circle and Call-Out Boxes

Possible use example

BA019 – Bullet Alternatives 019 – Circle with Side Bars

Possible use example

BA024 – Bullet Alternatives 024 – Circle and Rows

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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