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Tutorial for Tools 016 – Number Bars

These number bars are useful as a unique way to set up a sequence or introduce topics in order of importance. The bar part is a separate object and can be used by itself, although the numbers 5 and 6 aren't represented tremendously well. Use the number objects if you want to make the numbers more distinct.

There are three downloads, representing three variations. The numbers go from 1 to 10, but you can add to that by placing one of the individual numbers in to the left of the original number and bar (place the number 2 in front of the 3 and bar to make it 23).

Customizing the number bars

Adjust size

The numbers are graphics, not fonts; so it's very easy to group the number and the bar and resize/rescale without having to change the font size. Big plus. Since there are three variations – short bar, midsize bar, long bar, it's best to choose the variation that suits your purposes best before you make any sizing adjustments. Rescaling is usually best, otherwise the numbers look too long/short or too wide/thin and don't look professional. Rescale by holding the shift key down as you resize.

Color variations

The bars and the numbers can receive both line and fill colors.

PowerPoint 2007/2010/2013 options

You can play around with the options if you wish. For example, the numbers can receive a bevel, pattern, a carefully chosen photograph, etc. Don't overformat, however, or the effects will overpower your message.

3D variations

Probably not a good idea for these.


Shadows can be applied, except if you are using PowerPoint 2003. We're recommending that you don't shadow things in PowerPoint 2003 because it looks too dated.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients are used in the downloads. The bars are slightly lighter on the left so that the numbers are distinct. Gradients are a good choice. Just make sure that you use the best practices for text over gradients. The color variation should be slight so that your text "pops." Too much variation in a gradient can sometimes make portions of the overlaying text fade out.


Simple reveals are usually best.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

TO016 – Tool 016 – Number Bars

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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