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Tutorial for Tools 030 – Radiating Arcs

Using the Radiating Arcs

These arcs can be used with qualitative charts (as in the series example) or quantitative charts (data-driven charts). A variation from this series can easily be placed behind the main chart to help qualify or quantify the data or information.

There are two versions of the arcs: v1 are variations that do not sync with axis tick marks; v2 are variations that include the axes in series TO006. One of the two variations are usable to help classify the information or data plotted on two axes. Please note that v1s are drawn for a square and v2s are drawn for a rectangle.

These arcs are particularly useful when coupled with scatter charts.

Once you have identified the best-suited set of broadcast lines, 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 Radiating Arcs


You'll always want to group these arcs before sizing. You may also want to hold the shift key down as you size, which will scale the group and keep it a perfect square.


Select colors from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the arcs will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. You can also choose one color from your documents color theme and then create different hues of the same color to imply a strengthening or weakening as the arcs radiate from where the two axes meet. Use lines or not, or the lines can be colored to match the slide's background.

3D variations

Don't use 3D on the arcs. They are not meant to be objects, but to help qualify/quantify information on a chart with axes.


Don't use shadows with the arcs. They are only a device to be used to help read the data, so they should receive minimum formatting other than color.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

If you wish to make a statement with the arcs, you can "slice" a picture into arcs and tint them in slightly different hues of the same color. The same technique was used in the Chart of the Month for July 2008. This technique would help make a very splashy chart.


Animate the arcs so that they fade in sequentially from where the axes meet.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

TO030 – Tool 030 – Arcs – Radiating Arcs

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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