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Tutorial for

Bullet Alternatives 035


This series illustrates "spilling" from a main object or source. The swoosh of colors across the slide provide opportunities to add text, images, graphics, etc. – a very unique departure from bulleted lists. There are lots of formatting possibilities that will make this series even more distinctive: gradients are excellent, a bevel (as in the series example) looks nice, semitransparencies, imported photographs (also as in the series example), and so on.

Customizing the swoosh graphic

Adjust size

Group the fields and then resize/rescale (hold shift key down as you resize). Ungroup and resume formatting.

Color variations

Choose colors from your template's color palette.

PowerPoint 2007 options

Use the bevel if you wish (see series example). If you do use the bevel, you'll want to enlarge the graphic (group first) so that the edges hang over the sides of the slide boundaries. By doing this the swooshes look like they continue on past the slide instead of stop at the boundary of the slide. This is important if you want to create the illusion of "spilling" out of the main thought.

3D variations

No. 3D.


Use shadows only on the main thought part of the graphic. Not on the swooshes.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients work especially well in the swooshes. The main-thought part of the graphic works well with imported photographs (see series example).


If you're trying to convey spilling, don't animate. There aren't any suitable animation schemes to convey this properly. Don't reveal the swooshes one by one either since it will destroy the spilling concept.

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