Your presentation-development partner … demonstrate and inspire!
Tutorial for

Forces 026, 027

Swirl Out and Swirl In

Using the Swirl In and Swirl Out Frameworks

The swirl out and in series helps you visually communicate activity or objects flowing out of or into a central object. These variations can be used to convey a specific transference/migration (each individual arrow represents a specific activity) or general transference (the group of arrows represent a single transference/migration).

There are two variations for each of these series: small arrows ad large arrows. If you're unsure which variation will work best with your content, download them both and try them out. The larger arrows are bolder and work best with less text. The smaller arrows are more subtle and work best with more text.

Circular or arced WordArt is very effective with this series. See the FAQ entitled, "How do I easily create perfectly round WordArt circles?" for ideas about how to use WordArt.

Customizing the Swirl Out/In Frameworks

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of the graphic, group it and resize the entire group. Be sure to hold the shift key down as you resize so that the graphic scales and stays a perfect circle. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations.

If you want to add layers to the framework, take a look at the video. It will how you how to create layers in just a few steps.

You can create the layers by copying the starting graphic and sizing both versions or you can bring in a different graphic, e.g., mixing a swirl in with a swirl out graphic. There can be as many layers as you like, as well.

Color variations

Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color for the fill so that the arrows and center circle will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. These graphics work will with no line color.

3D variations

Don't use 3D with these graphics. The light, airy arrows will become thick and clunky, which will destroy the concept. Also the center works best when it appears as a sphere instead of a circle. Adding 3D only flattens the circle into a disk.


Don't apply shadows to these objects. The shadows get in the way of the effect of the concept. The arrows are best used to show a motion or a force, like an air flow. Therefore, a shadow will give the arrows too much substance.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Use a gradient to make the center circle a sphere. Use the Center gradient and make the outside of the circle darker than the center. This will make the circle appear as a 3 dimensional sphere.


You can group the arrows and make them spin very, very slowly around the center sphere if you want. A simple reveal might be better, however. Download and take a look at the animation example for an ideas.

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