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Tutorial for

Circular Flows 055, 058, 060

Teardrops and Swirls

These circular flows convey motion without arrowheads. Use these as an alternative to the standard circular flows with arrowheads or chevron points. They can receive a small amount of text or, as in the series example, numbering to establish sequence. They can be coupled with pies so associated text can be added to the center (see series example to right). Associated text can also be added outside the teardrop flow and look just as nice. General guideline: less text can go inside the flow; more text should go outside the flow.

They also have a nice design aspect. So it would be appropriate to use them for quite a few concepts: for example, pieces of a whole, virtuous and vicious cycles, flow movement, the opening or closing of a camera shutter. Very versatile.

In addition to the swirl segments of CF058, the center piece can receive cropped photographs or images.

Customizing the vertically sliced circles

Adjust size

Group all fields comprising the flow and resize as group. To rescale, hold shift key down as resizing.

Color variations

These flows can receive fill and line colors. Choose a color in your template's color palette or a complementary color and apply to the teardrops or swirls.

3D variations

If you add 3D formatting, just make sure that the depth is very shallow. 3D isn't advised for the CF058 Swirl series, however.


Don't us shadows if you're using PowerPoint 2003. This type of shadowing reduces the quality of the slide. If you're using PowerPoint 2007 or 2010, then use the drop shadows to lift the teardrops off of the page slightly. Don't use shadows with the CF058 Swirl frameworks. There is an unavoidable layering issue that causes one of the swirls to appear as if it is not shaded

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients are a little difficult. To make them consistent, each teardrop needs to have a gradient format that is different. Unless you have a lot of time to spend on this, forgo gradients. Otherwise, the gradients will detract from the overall look of the graphic. Add pictures as round icons in the round section of the teardrop. Just create the round picture and place it over the teardrop. You don't need to import the pictures. These graphics are not well suited for imported pictures.

The center section of the CF058 Swirl frameworks can be colored, contain images, etc. Crop and/or size the photograph/image so that it is the exact size of the center section and then cut it so that it is in your clipboard, then select the center section of the framework and import the image from the clipboard. Click here to go to the FAQ that explains importing images into puzzle pieces, which is the same method for the center section of these frameworks.


Animate these in simple reveals, either by themselves or with their associated text. Don't have them fly or spin in or anything that confused the flow concept.

Click on a name for more information.
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