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Tutorial for Relationships 044 – Radar Screen

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Using the Radar Screen

Here's a very unique and interesting way to show what's on your "radar screen" (Chart of the Month for March 2008), but it can also be used to highlight a shift (the example for this series).

This series actually combines elements from a couple of PowerFrameworks series and adds a spinnable segment that can be animated very easily. Overlaying the highlighting element on a radar chart can classify and highlight concentrations.

Each download contains four variations. The segment options include pieces of the "pie", rings on a target or both, which provide a few ways to layout and value the information on the slide.

The scope is from series CN074 and the spinning radar scope isfrom RE044, which premiered this month. It just takes a moment to combine them to create this concept.

This is not necessarily a novelty chart. Several can be used as a theme within the presentation to support a several topics for discussion. Beyond that it might be perceived as gimmicky.

Customizing the Radar Screen


If you want to change the size/shape of the framework, be sure to group it and resize the entire group. Hold the shift key down while you size if you want to scale the group. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations.


Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the radar screen 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 heavier lines.

Since the target and segments of this chart help create measurements, you may need to keep the lines. Just mute them (make them a slightly different color than the fill color) so that they don't overly compete with the dots and/or text placed on the radar screen.

If you are using PowerPoint 2007, apply a gray fill and bevel to the rim of the radar screen. It will look metallic and realistic.

Adding text

Add text sparingly. This type of chart does not utilize text well. For example, the dots should not be individually labeled. This type of chart is best used when it provides general, rather than specific, information – it's basically a trend chart


Other than applying a bevel for the rim of the radar screen, don't use 3D with this chart.


Do not apply shadows to individual parts of this chart. If you want to add a shadow to the whole radar screen to "lift it off the page," that would be okay.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Be careful applying gradients and patterns. Colors create sectors and target rings, so a gradient may obscure the separations between the segments/rings. You can place an icon or photograph in the center to signify the target's meaning if you want.


Radar chart

There are lots of moving parts in this chart: the spinning radar wave and the dots that are making their way to the center.

It appears more difficult than it really is to get them all working together. Basically, start out by creating and animating one dot.

  1. Draw a perfect circle and apply a fill and line color
  2. Position the dot on the radar screen and layered on top the radar wave
  3. Apply a motion path to the dot that moves it to the center of the radar screen.

Then duplicate that first dot and position the new dot on the radar screen. Adjust the end animation so that the the dot moves to the center of the radar screen. Do this as many times as you need dots. Do one dot at a time just like described – with all of the steps – so you don't get lost in all of the animation arrows. It only takes a few minutes to set get all the dots duplicated, placed, and path adjusted.

Note in the example to the right that the animation numbers are all "1." They all react to one click. Notice also that all of the animation paths lead to the center. This is what you should see when you format your radar screen.

The radar wave simply spins slowly clockwise around the radar screen. Click on the highlight segment and apply a spin:click on Add Effect and select Emphasis and then select Spin.

Since all moving parts are set to activate on one click, this chart should be used to run passively in the background as the presenter speaks. You can have more dots enter the the screen by placing them under the rim of the radar screen and setting a time delay of a few seconds. This will ensure that more dots enter the radar screen as the existing dots travel toward the center of the screen. Some of the dots are formatted with a 1- to 5-second delay, and some are formatted to repeat. These dots were chosen randomly so that a random visual effect is achieved.

Subscribers can download a PowerPoint 2003 version of the Chart of the Month (See link at top of page -200kb). Take a look at the animation formatting. Remove the outer rim from the animation example to get at the layers so you can get a really good look at the layering and animation.

Highlighting chart

The dots don't necessarily have to move in this type of chart. To use animated highlighting segment, follow these steps.

  1. Count the number of segments in the "pie."
  2. Divide 360 by the number of segments. For the example above, there are 6 segments so the answer is 60.
  3. Decide where you'd like the highlighter to spin. For this example, we'll animate the highlighter to the fourth position. Multiply 60 by 3, which is 180. The highlighter is already in the first position, so you only need to multiply 60 by 3 to move it to the fourth position.
  4. Click on the spinnable segment and bring up the animation menu.
  5. This animation moves from the first position to the fourth position. Add the next animation. You can move the highlighter counterclockwise. Say you want to move the the highlighter to the third position, you'd repeat the steps only select "counterclockwise" and put 60 in as the amount of spin. You only want it to move 60 degrees counterclockwise into the third position. To apply more animation, continue calculating your spins and a applying you spin amounts and directions.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

RE044 – Relationship 044 – Radar Screen

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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