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Chart of the Month – April 2012 – Callouts on Charts

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These callouts are more interesting than simple text boxes and they can be sectioned off to show segments or proportions.  Download the example and see how it's constructed (a .pptx document only).  We used the arc shape to make the callout, but you can also use the trapezoid (turned on its side) or the triangle (turned on its side).   Use whatever feels most comfortable to you.  It is a good use of space as well.  A table with the callout information would take up far more space.

We used the circles in a circle design from the CF057 series to make the circles around the arc.  Just bring in the circle design and size it to the arc.  Then ungroup the circles and remove those that do not fit within the arc segment. 

The photograph is recolored to a transparent gray and then brightened by 5%.  Then soft edges were applied at 50 points. 

This chart is surprising easily to create, displays a lot of information, and is distinctive enough to be eye catching.  You don't need to use this idea with data-driven charts only.  You can use this technique in many other instances that have callouts.  Experiment with this technique and use periodically in your presentation as another style/design element.

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