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Tutorial for

Bullet Alternatives 002, 036, 065 – Circular Flows 065 – Ribbon Flow 027 - 029, 037 – Spiral Flow 005

Bullet Alternatives – Ribbons

Using a ribbon

These little ribbons are an interesting way to present a series of points. These points should not be long text strings, however. They work better with a sentence fragment or a label.

These frameworks can be applied to pages describing steps, text lists, choices, ideas, etc. Table of contents are also usually set up as a list of things to cover. Consider using a framework as your table of contents and then as a tracker within the document to help your audience stay oriented as to where you/they are in the presentation.

Sometimes all that is needed on a slide is a flow – no subordinate text or other information. A horizontal flow doesn't use the space on the slide efficiently. The ribbon flows in series RB027 and RB028 work better. The RB029 series contains frameworks that are best suited for small amounts of text. All these frameworks can be interestingly formatted and animated as well. These two series work exactly like BA002, but with a more pronounced flow message. RB029 is for use as an alternative to a horizontal flow. Horizontal flows do not utilize the slide real estate very well when there is no subordinate text. Therefore, a spread-out, diagonal flow is a much better layout.

RB037 is for use when there is subordinate text or other content on the slide. The subordinate text can be placed on the right of each stacked segment. This layout takes up much less space.

CF065 is an expansion of series TO032. The ribbon flow surrounding the shapes provides an interesting way to sequence the shapes. Each download contains two versions:

  • One solid center object
  • One segmented center object.

These frameworks can be used in place of segmented pies with a surrounding circular flow, which makes slides appear much more unique and interesting. Please see the tutorial for ways to use and format this series effectively.

Once you have identified the best-suited ribbon, download it to a specific location on your computer so you'll be able to find it (the desktop is always a good choice).

Customizing your ribbons

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of the PowerFramework, 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 ribbon will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. Select "No line" if you want to eliminate the outline of the object, or change the line point size if you want thinner or heaver lines.

3D variations

Apply 3D to the horizontal bars only. Because the horizontal bars will be reshaped by the 3D effect, you may want to resize them so that the background shaded polygon is more visible, which will also require that the background shaded polygon be adjusted slightly to accommodate the differently shaped bar. Be sure that the 3D depth is very small – maybe 3 to 6 points?


A shadow adds interest and dimension to a graphic, which can be accomplished within PowerPoint after the ribbon has been imported. Because of the background shape that attaches these bars, some shadow treatments do not work well. The drop shadows in PowerPoint 2007 work really well here. They add volume and dimension to the ribbon and lifts if of the page.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients, patterns, and pictures can be added as fills from the "Fill Effects" menu. Pictures can also be imported and sized.


Animations of this bullet alternatives should be wipes: the horizontal bars/chevrons/arrows should wipe from the left and the background polygons should wipe from the right. The order should be from top to bottom: top bar wipe left, attaching polygon wipe right, the next bar below should be wipe left, etc.

Animate the top bar/chevron/arrow to appear with a click. Animate all polygons to appear with a click. Animate all subsequent bars/chevrons to appear after the polygon above it. Download the animation examples for BA002, RB027, RB028, and RB029 to see how this animation scheme works.

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