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Tutorial for

Bullet Alternatives 029


Using the arcs

This is a nice, simple way to present a list. The arc is designed to snug up against the edge of the slide. The downloads are set up to work with the right side of the slide because the left side very likely has a template's design elements. Just group the arc and flip it horizontally if you wish to use it on the left side of the slide (like the series example.

There are three different variations: circles, stars and squares. If you wish to place your own icons in the positions of these objects, just use them as a placement guide and then delete them.

Customizing the Arcs

Adjust size and placement on slide

If you want to change the size/shape of the arc, be sure to group it and hold the shift key down while sizing so the arc stays uniform and scales correctly. If you are using more than one framework in these series, import them all and then size them all at once. This way they are consistently sized within the document.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when placing your text next to the circle/star/square (objects). The objects are evenly space around the arc; but, because of the objects go around the arc, the text will not be evenly vertically spaced. We tried it both ways: evenly spacing the text vertically or evenly spacing the objects around the arc. It looks much better to have the objects evenly space around the arc instead of the text evenly vertically spaced. So you will notice a little spacing issue, but you can nudge your text to make it appear less obvious. Also, be sure to anchor your text field to the middle, so that when you add text to the field it will build from the middle and stay aligned on the object on the arc.

Color variations

Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the arc will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. No line colors have been applied to the downloads, but you can add them if you wish. The objects should be the prominent color and the arc color should be subdued.

PowerPoint 2007 options

The bevels work really well, but move the bevel off of the slide so that the arc ends don't show – the arc will look more like part of a continuous circle. The glows look nice too.

3D variations

3D can be used if you apply it with a very shallow depth: 6 points or so.


Unless you're using PowerPoint 2007, shadows don't add much to the visual appeal for these frameworks. But if you want to use them, be conservative and apply shadows that are cast closely to the objects. A note: the shadows in PowerPoint 2007 make your slides look very dated. Better shadows are routinely seen in presentations, so avoid shadows in PowerPoint 2003.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

The series example shows a photograph within the arc. This is very easy to accomplish. If you using PowerPoint 2003, refer to this FAQ for instructions on how to create a round photograph from a rectangle photograph. If you're using PowerPoint 2007, just format the photograph with one of the round presets (one without a shadow is best).

Once you have your round photographs, place it behind the arc (part of the photograph will hang over the edge of the slide. You can crop the overhanging part of the photograph if you want, but it's not necessary. It will not show when viewed on screen, printed, or PDFed.

Gradients can add interest and emphasis to these arcs. If you use gradients, it is best to eliminate the line (select "no line").


Animations can be fun with this type of slide. We used a wipe in the downloadable animated example (which you should download and view). We didn't like the fly in with the text: the text looked funny and the slide looked kind of frantic. Try a few to see what appeals to you, but don't get too crazy with the animation.

Click on a name for more information.
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