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Tutorial for Concepts 042 – Chalkboard

Using the Chalkboard

The chalkboard is a perfect metaphor for bringing an audience back to the basics. Whenever you want to establish a foundational understanding from which to build higher-level thinking, the chalkboard is a good choice.

We used a font that we purchased specifically for use with the blackboard. It is called "chalk" and it works reasonably well with the chalkboard. If you choose not to purchase a special font, use either a handwriting font or a font that looks like someone's printing. There should be a few choices already in your font library. Don't use your regular production font (Ariel, Tahoma, etc.) for text on the blackboard.

Customizing your PowerFrameworks Concept

Adjust size

Versions 01 through 07 are one field, so you can rescale by holding the shift key down and sizing from one of the corner handles.

Color variations

There are only PowerPoint downloads for this series. The first 7 versions are PNGs and not eligible for line and fill color changes. In PowerPoint 2007 it is possible to change the tints for PNGs, but we don't recommend this kind of color change. The reason the blackboard is effective as a metaphor is that it is easily recognized as a classroom tool. Changing the color reduces the recognition and makes the blackboard metaphor less effective – stay with the realistic colors/textures provided in the download. If you believe you need to recolor the chalkboard, use v08, which is fully editable.

2007 options

Don't apply any embellishment formatting to the chalkboards.

3D variations

Don't apply 3D to the chalkboards


Two of the versions already have a built-in shadow. Generally, stay away from applying shadows.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

v08 can accept gradients if you wish. Try to stay away from patterns or pictures on the chalkboard. Chalkboards are low tech and work best with simple text in a font that looks like someones printing.


Animate the lines of words with a left-hand wipe. Use whatever resembles someone printing on a chalkboard and stay away from zooms and other flashier animations. If you wish to make an onscreen correction, however, consider the animation scheme in the downloadable animation example for this series. It has a series of motion paths and reveals to complete the effect.

You may want to get a little fancy with the animation, however. Check out the Chart of the Month for August 2009. You can use the chalkboard eraser for the same type of animation scheme illustrated in the Chart of the Month.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

CN042 – Concept 042 – Chalkboard

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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