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Tutorial for Emphasis 013 – Formattable Burst Variations

Using the the formattable bursts

These bursts can be used to add interest to a page or emphasize a point.

There are five different variations for each shape. Look at them carefully before selecting a burst. Some have a larger center and smaller "rays." Some of the rays are uniform and some are ragged. Pick one variation and use it consistently throughout your presentation, e.g., if you use a v03 with one shape, the v03s for the other shapes will match.

Customizing the formattable bursts

Sizing the bursts

These bursts 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 burst 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. Because the rays coming off the center of the bursts are so thin, you should probably not apply a line color.

This series of bursts can receive fill and line color. Photographs can also be imported into the burst, which was done in the series example. The series example has two of the same burst frameworks: one with the imported photograph and one with a semitransparent color). In fact, they can receive any type of formatting you wish to impose.

PowerPoint 2007

The shadow effect works well, but the other effects don't offer much. Since the rays are so thin, the other effects are not very apparent when applied.

3D variations

3D doesn't work really well with these bursts because of the very small "rays" coming off the main body of the burst. The example above is typical of the result you'll get with 3D. It has an "impressionist" type of feel to it.


A shadow effect can add interest and dimension to a graphic, which can be accomplished within PowerPoint after the burst has been imported. These bursts 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 examples above are shadows developed in pre-PowerPoint 2007.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Importing a photograph can be accomplished within the Format AutoShape menu for pre-PowerPoint 2007 versions and within the Format Shape menu for PowerPoint 2007. Just be sure to select a photograph that is roughly the same dimensions so it won't skew when imported. You may need to crop the photograph in another application before importing to get a good "fit." If you are using PowerPoint 2007, you can crop within the application.

To "tint" your photograph in pre-PowerPoint 2007: duplicate the burst that has your photograph inserted and apply a color that complements your template's color scheme. Then make that color semitransparent and overlay it onto the burst with the photograph. That is the technique we used to color the burst in the series example. In PowerPoint 2007, it is much easier to achieve this effect through the photograph formatting menus.


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:

EM013 – Emphasis 013 – Formattable Burst Variations

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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