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Tutorial for

Forces 019


Using the vice

This vice has been drawn so that the vice arm on the left can be moved, so the vice can animated and contain different sized objects. The concepts the vice can illustrate are pressure, force, tightening, squeeze, or the reverse of these if the vice is loosened.

The animated example shows how you might tighten the vice and squeeze an object. The objects within the vice can be populated with a photograph, as in the series example. Simply refer to the FAQ entitled How do I create photographs in different shapes from rectangular photographs? See the tutorial for more information about animations and other formatting you may wish to use.

Customizing the vices

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of the vice, be sure to group it and resize the entire group. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations.

Color variations

Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the vice will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. Most of the fields are formatted with no line borders. You don't need them if you use color to differentiate the sections of the vice.

The two arms of the vice can receive different colors. For example, one side of the vice could be red, white, and blue to represent governmental controls. The two sides could be colored to match two companies' logos, indicating that the object in the middle is being pressured by the interests of companies. It's easy to use color as identifiers with the vice.

3D variations

Do not use 3D effects on this framework. It is already drawn as a 3D object.


Do not use shadows with this framework. If you're not going to animate the vice, you can apply a drop shadow in PowerPoint 2007. Before you place the object in the middle, group the vice and apply the drop shadow. Then the shadow will be applied to the whole vice instead of the individual pieces of the vice. This is important.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

The series example does not use any gradients, but they work well with the vice. Shadows applied carefully can make the vice look more realistic. Just be consistent when you apply the gradients: make sure that they are all formatted exactly the same (diagonally with the darkest color at the bottom right, for example).

It is simple to use pictures as the object being squeezed, even if you want to change the shape of the photograph. Refer to this FAQ entitle, How do I create photographs in different shapes from rectangular photographs? It will explain how to import a photograph into a shape other than a square or rectangle. This is a good technique to learn – it opens up a door for many formatting and display possibilities.


The animations are tricky here. We've provided an animated example that you are welcome to use as a starting point for your own vice chart. There is no formula for getting the "crunching" object to sync with the closing right arm of the vice. It was a trial-and-error on our part and it will be for you as well. We opted for a fast crunch because anything out of sync will not be noticed. If you do a slow crunch, the animations will need to be perfectly timed right down to 0.01-second delays and speeds. You'll need to be pretty familiar with animation techniques to attempt this formatting.

For this reason, we're not providing "the formula" for this animation. Study the animation example's animation window to see the exit timing and speeds.

If you want to create a different shape being crunched, you'll need to do that outside of PowerPoint to get any type of incremental reduction precision. You can also contact us and we'll be happy to help. Click here to get help Illustrating change by growing or shrinking an object.

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