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Tutorial for Bullet Alternative 016 – Bars and Compartments

Using Bars and Compartments

In addition to bullet alternatives, the frameworks in this series can be used to lay information out in a stylish way on almost any slide (see the series example to the right). There are so many variations – some compartments to hold text and others to hold graphics or pictures – that they can be used as a recurring style theme throughout the presentation.

What makes these frameworks work so well together is that all of the corners have been created with the same arc. Consistency is an important feature of professionally produced presentations.

Customizing Bars and Compartments

Adjust size

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. Be sure to adjust the corner arcs so that they are consistent with the other frameworks from this series that appear in your presentation.

Color variations

The downloads have also been formatted in a really nice way – gradients, semitransparencies, line colors – so all you need to do is change the colors in the Fill Effects menu.

2007 options

The drop shadows work nicely, and the bevel is a nice effect. Stay away from the soft edges feature because it diffuses the concept too much. If you want to use the reflection feature, make sure that the reflections do not obscure other parts of the graphic/chart.

3D variations

3D effects work well, but the shorter 3D depths tend to look better. Make sure you reduce the depth to about 6 or 12 points.


Shadows in PowerPoint 2003 tend to look rather heavy – more like a design element than a shadow. If you use them, make sure that they drop close to the element/field and check the layering, particularly if applied to the smaller compartment elements of the layout. Make sure the the shadows from one element/field does not overlay a compartment beside it.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

The downloads already have gradients, semitransparencies, and line contrasting line colors. These three types of formatting look particularly nice with these layouts.


Simple reveals work well. Download the animated example for the series to see a possible animation scheme.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

BA016 – Bullet Alternatives 016 – Bars and Compartments

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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