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Tutorial for Relationships 079 – In the Loop

Using the loops

This series is worth considering for introducing a group of people, "binding" a group of objects or functions, or simply to illustrate the concept of transparency within an organization (as in the series example). The series example is animated and goes into motion on one click. It runs in the background presenter speaks, demonstrating the inclusion of employees who are "in the know" at OurCo.

There are loop sets from 1 loop to 24 loops. There's also a loop set that has been especially formatted to be animated. The tutorial provides a guide for animating and filling the "teardrops" within the loops with photographs. Download the animated example to see how the animation is formatted. There's also a video to see the animation in action.

See series Forces 007 (FR007) and Forces 044 (FR044) for other loop concepts.

Once you have identified the best-suited PowerFramework, 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 Intertwined Segments


Group the framework(s) and rescale (hold shift key down as you resize).You can change the line point size to make the looped line more pronounced. Do not remove the line color, as the concept depends on the line.


Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the framework will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. Apply a different color to the looped line so that it pops. It is important that the looped line be visible, so select a contrasting line color for the looped line.

3D variations

3D doesn't work that well unless the depths are very small. Place the looped line on top. The bevels look fine (feature in PowerPoint 2007).


A shadow effect adds interest and dimension to a graphic, which can be accomplished within PowerPoint after the framework has been imported. If you have text associated with each object, you may want to keep the shadow scheme conservative and close to the object

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients, patterns, and pictures can be added as fills from the "Fill Effects" menu.This particular gradient turns a circle into a sphere (visually only). To add photographs to the teardrop field (field inside the loops), follow the instructions in this FAQ: How do I create photographs in different shapes from rectangular photographs?


Animations should be selected that will enhance the meaning of the message, not merely to add interest to the slide. Although there are instances when you want an animation scheme to run in the background when speaking to the audience. The animated example for this series is one such instance.

There is a download in this series that was developed especially for animating the loops. In this download, the loop line has been cut and animated so that it appears to draw itself onscreen. This is the the full animated loop graphic.

Notice how the loops go off the slide? This was done for a reason we'll explain a little later. For now, just figure out how many loops you will need and delete the rest. Select all of the remaining loops and place them where you want on your slide. Don't group them to move them or the animation will be lost.

Now just insert photos, graphics, or text into the teardrop fields as described above. They are layered and will animate correctly.

Explanation of use for full set of loops (that hang off the screen). If you decide you need lots of little animated loops, then you'll need to approach the formatting a little differently. You'll need to group the full set of loops and resize. By grouping the loops, however, the preset animation will be lost. You'll need to reset the animation, which is pretty easy, but just takes concentration and time.

  1. Position the grouped set of animateable loops on your slide
  2. Ungroup the set
  3. Reanimate. Below is a graphic that explains the cut lines and teardrop fields. See how the lines have been cut so that they can be animated with wipes (either from bottom or from top) so that the line will appear to draw itself? The different line colors are for clarification only - you'll want your lines to be the same color on your slide.

If you select the lines and teardrops in the numbered sequence above, then animation will be very easy and there will be very little guesswork. The first line to animate is the blue line (1) (wipe from bottom to start on click). The next line to animate is the red line (2) (wipe from top after the blue line). The first teardrop on top (3) fades in with the red line (the red line closes the loop).

For the first loop on the bottom (5), fade it in with the blue line (4) (the line that closes the bottom loop. Repeat formatting the animation in this manner until the end of your loop sequence. The speed for all of these animations should be the same or the animation will appear to stall in places.

Download the animation example and check out the animation panel. You'll see this animation scheme as it should appear in PowerPoint. Don't be alarmed if the numbers of the fields aren't in sequence. That does not determine the animation sequence. Their position within the scheme you set is what determines the sequence of reveals.

Another added note. Notice how the red line sections have been drawn – the top end of the red line sections extends to the left-most side of the loop, which means that if the loops become misaligned, you can realign by selecting the lower blue line segment and aligning to top and to right. The loop lines will again be perfectly aligned.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

RE079 – Relationship 079 – In the Loop

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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