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Tutorial for

Relationships 050

Cut Venns

Using the Venn Frameworks

Venns are used to show relationships between entities where there is a blending of attributes or functions. The center point or area where all entities intersect can be used to illustrate an area of focus.

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 Venns


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.


Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the PowerFramework will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. The formatting you do at this point makes a huge difference in the usability of the venn. What works well is to eliminate lines and apply transparencies. Try different percentages of transparencies for the best effect. The factors affecting the percentage you choose are the background for the slide and if you are going to use text over the elements of the venn.

2007 options

Because of the way venns are used, they do not really lend themselves to some formatting. The shadows on the left above work fairly well, but the bevels on the right above make the venn look like a design element. You may want to use these frameworks as designs or as a framework other than a venn concept if you use the bevel formatting.

3D variations

Applying 3D effects to the venn produce a surprising result. When there is transparency applied to the circles, the venn pieces look like lenses. The depth used on the example above is 12 points. More than that produces cylinders. Be sure to adjust the layering (see FAQ on this topic). The layering is affected and needs to be adjusted depending on which way the 3D is angled.


Shadows are not recommended for this type of framework. It tends to "flatten" the look of the framework and make it less realistic.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

The gradients should be used conservatively. Gradients radiating from the center do not give these "circles" the appearance of spheres, as they did with the venns in RE002. Each of the overlaps is a separate field in these frameworks. Use gradients carefully – maybe a diagonal with a very slight gradient. You can place pictures behind a semitransparent field, but don't try to import pictures into the fields – the fields are too irregularly shaped. Patterns can be good if they are muted.


Animations should be selected that will enhance the meaning of the message, not merely to add interest to the slide. Animate venns as fades or some other conservative reveal. It won't make sense if they are flying in from off the page or other such animation. Animations should reinforce the structure of the object.

Also, animation can be used as a tool with these frameworks. You may wish to highlight a relationship between two "circles" in the venn. Animate the field that signifies that relationship to change color at the moment you are talking about it.

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