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Tutorial for Bullet Alternative 008 – Compartments

Using the Compartments

This series allows you to compartmentalize a small number of bullets and subordinate information, either bullets or a supporting paragraph. Each set comes with one through four bar/picture layouts. This bullet alternative is for use when you only have a few bullets, as slides will not accommodate more than four without the layouts becoming very small. If you're using these series for printouts only, you can add a fifth or sixth without impacting readability.

The layout also provides a field for a picture or graphic to help convey your message or establish an icon. Notice that the edges are rounded except for where the picture field and horizontal bar meet? This is difficult to accomplish in pre-PowerPoint 2007 so you won't see this layout often if at all. They are a little easier to develop in PowerPoint 2007, but consistency is difficult to maintain. The frameworks in this series will save you time and provide layouts with consistently shaped rounded corners as long as they are scaled when resized.

The frameworks provided in this series were developed in two major formats.

  1. The V01 and V02: The V01 horizontal bar height is smaller than the height of the V02 horizontal bar. Decide which version you wish to use based on this difference<./li>
  2. The a version and the b version: The version a horizontal bar stretches the full width of the slide and the version b is for use in half-page layouts.

The corner curves and angles are all consistent. They have been scaled so that different frameworks within this series can be used in your presentation and remain visually identical. When rounded-corner fields are pulled or stretched without scaling, they distort and lose their cohesive look. Therefore, make sure you think carefully about what you download; and if you must resize, hold the shift key down as you do so. This is the method we used to develop the three- and four-layout stacked slides.

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 the Compartments

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.

Be sure to scale as you resize (hold shift key down). Scaling will keep the angles and curves consistent looking.

Color variations

Color the horizontal bar with a color from your template's color palette or a complementary color. You can also add color to the drop-down box if you choose not to import a photograph. A slightly different hue than the horizontal box looks better than using the same color for both.

PowerPoint 2007 options

A nice, simple bevel might be a good embellishment, even if you import a photograph in the drop-down box.

3D variations

These frameworks work well with 3D. Just be sure that the layering is correct. A shorter depth (maybe 12 points) also looks better than a very thick 3D effect.


Shadows are fine to use. The drop shadows look especially good in PowerPoint 2007.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Use these effects sparingly: Gentle gradients, imported pictures that can accommodate overlaying text, subtle patterns (patterns available in pre-PowerPoint 2007 only).

Review this FAQ to learn how to bring a photograph into the drop-down box. How do I create photographs in different shapes from rectangular photographs?


Animate as a simple reveal (fade in) or animate the horizontal box with a wipe from the left and the drop-down box with a wipe from the top.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

BA008 – Bullet Alternatives 008 – Compartments

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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