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Segmented Arcs

Using the Segmented Arc

This is a nice way to show a "spectrum" or "arc" of related thoughts/ideas/objects. These frameworks can even be used as a bullet alternatives and trackers. They are also a nice alternative to a segmented circle, which are frequently used to show pieces of a non-data-driven whole. The built-in halos can provide additional information, overarching labels, or effects that radiate from the arc.

The series example uses circles on the inside of the arc to add another level of information, but they are not built into the templates. See also the imported photo segments that create a whole picture? See the tutorial for the easy steps to create this formatting.

Customizing the Segmented Arc

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of the arc, be sure to group it and resize the entire group. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations. Hold the shift key down while resizing to keep the same dimensions – this is actually rescaling instead of resizing.

Text arcs

Series RE019 has lots of half ovals with associated arc text. There is a FAQ that explains how to work with WordArt to get perfectly round text. You don't want perfectly round text. You want to choose a half circle that arcs above or below, depending on how you want the text to arc. To make the arc text match the arcs in the frameworks, you just need to adjust the width and height of the WordArt so that the text lays on top of the half oval and has the same arc appearance. Keeping this in mind, the FAQ should help you set up your arc text.

Color variations

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. You can use lines or not – your choice.

PowerPoint 2007 options

Anytime segments are very close or right next to each other, the formatting options decrease. The bevels look okay, but they take space away from holding text. The series example uses bevels to help differentiate between the segments. Use a very short height and depth for the bevel: 3 or 4 points.

3D variations

3D can work if you use a very short depth.


Shadows don't work with these frameworks because the layering gets tricky. If you're using PowerPoint 2007, you can apply a drop shadow to the whole framework if it is grouped. It looks great done this way and the segment layering is not an issue.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients can be used to create a distinction between the pieces. The lines can then be eliminated.


Animations should be selected that will enhance the meaning of the message, not merely to add interest to the slide. Simple reveals are best with this type of framework.

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