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Tutorial for

Tools 032


Using the Polygons

Note: the series example to the right is not a full representation of the chart – download the animated example (or view the animated flash) to see the full concept

Here is a toolkit of polygons. In addition to the obvious use of showing multisided objects, there are interesting ways to work them into concepts. For example, the series example is a animated high-level concept of narrowing down ideas (after a brainstorming session?) from many to few, tailoring to reflect company product/strategy, and scheduling the accomplishment of goals. Be sure to download the animated example to see this in action or click on the video link above.

The sectioned polygons also add another dimension of use. They're similar to equally sliced pies. They can be used to illustrate pieces of a whole, facets of a whole, etc.

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 Polygons


The solid polygons are one field, so you can just click on and resize (hold shift key down to rescale) the polygons. The segmented polygons need to be grouped first and then resized/rescaled.


Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the broadcast lines will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. Change the line point size if you want thinner or heaver lines. The solid polygons can be used to add a solid color to the polygon-shaped lines in series RE076.

3D variations

3D can be a nice feature; but it sometimes obscures the shape, making it less crisp and distinct. A good application for 3D might be for creating "blocks" – an expanded square peg/round hole set of blocks.


A shadow effect adds interest and dimension to a graphic, which can be accomplished within PowerPoint after the framework has been imported. Shadows in pre-PowerPoint 2007 aren't as effective as the shadows that can be applied in PowerPoint 2007.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients, patterns, and pictures can all be applied to the solid polygons. The segmented polygons can be formatted like a puzzle, with pieces of a photograph imported into the segments so they make a whole photograph when the pieces are all together. Click here to go to the FAQ that explains cutting photographs into puzzle pieces.


Animations should be selected that will enhance the meaning of the message, not merely to add interest to the slide. The animated example for this series shows pieces exiting the slide to reveal the next polygon, a motion path, and then sequential reveals. View the animation scheme menu to see how it is done.

"Morphing" from one shape to another can be accomplished by fading one shape out while fading another shape in. You can also spin/fade in/out as a reveal. Since the shapes are simple, the animation can be a little more interesting.

Click on a name for more information.
Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image