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By Geetesh Bajaj
While it is possible to create spirographs in any ver=
PowerPoint, it is much easier and quicker to do so in PowerPoint 2007, tha=
to the new Selection and Visibili=
task pane and the non-modal dialog boxes.
These slides show spirographs created entirely within
In this tutorial, I’ll show you how you can cre=
basic round spirograph -- you can download the finished spirographs here.
PowerPoint – by default it may open with a new slide. Otherwise, ins=
new slide in any new or existing presentation (shortcut key to insert a new
the Blank slide layout to the=
slide. Select the Home tab on=
Ribbon, and click the Layout option to summon the Layout gallery that you =
see in Figure 1. Then choose the Blank
layout option. The Blank slide
layout has no text or content placeholders, and works best if you want to
create a drawing of a spirograph!
Figure 1: Slide layout gallery
the Home tab of the Ribbon, s=
the Oval option within the Shapes gallery, and drag a somew=
long and narrow shape, as you can see in Figure 2.
elements normally have no fill, just an outline – so that’s wh=
will replicate here. To do that, select the oval and then select the Drawing Tools Format tab of the =
Click the Shape Fill option t=
up the small gallery that you can see in Figure 3. Choose the No Fill option.
Figure 3: Fill
Ctrl+D eight times to end up with nine ovals (one original and eight
duplicates), as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Duplicated ovals
Ctrl+A to select all the ovals. Then activate the Drawing Tools Format tab on the Ribbon, click the Align option to summon the Align gallery, and choose both t=
he Align Left and Align Top options (see Figure 5).
Figure 5: Align left and top
end up with what looks like an unimpressive, single oval as shown in Fi=
6! Don’t worry – the shapes are all there even if they are
overlapping each other. For now, just click on an empty area of the slide =
that nothing is selected.
Figure 6: Overlapping ovals
we’ll use a new PowerPoint 2007 feature: the Selection and Visibility task pane. On the Home tab of the Ribbon, choose Select,
Selection Pane as shown in Figure
Figure 7: Select
brings up the Selection and Visib=
task pane, shown in Figure 8.
Figure 8: The Selection and Visibility tas=
can be docked, or moved around as a floating window.
working on the stack from the bottom up. Leave the bottommost oval untouch=
and select the oval right above the last one. This will select the
corresponding oval on the slide. Now select the Drawing Tools Format tab on the Ribbon, and click the dialog
launcher in the Size Group (l=
option to the right) to bring up the Size
and Position dialog box.
the Size tab in this dialog b=
type in 10 in the Rotation bo=
Don’t press the Close b=
to send away this dialog box – just press the Tab key on your keyboard and move the dialog box a little so t=
it does not overlap the stacked ovals. You’ll also be able to previe=
rotated oval as shown in Figure 9. Also, since the Size and Position dialog box is non-modal, you can still leave=
open and continue other tasks like selecting other shapes on the slide.
Figure 9: Size and position
select the third-last oval from the bottom of the stack, and enter 20 in t=
he Rotation box within the Size and Position dialog box.
the same thing with subsequent ovals as you work bottom to upwards using t=
he Selection and Visibility task pa=
a Rotation value that increas=
10 each time so that the Rotation=
value of the topmost oval is 80. You’ll end up with something akin to
what you can see in Figure 10.
Figure 10: Rotated ovals
Ctrl+A to select all the ovals on the slide. Right-click carefully so that=
don’t accidentally move any shape, and choose Group | Group as =
in Figure 11.
Figure 11: Grouped ovals
the group still selected, press Ctrl+D to duplicate the entire group of ov=
Press Ctrl+A again to select both the groups, and align them both left and=
as explained previously in Step 6 (refer to Figure 5).
the groups by clicking in an empty area of the slide, then select the top =
in the Selection and Visibility=
pane, access the Size and Positio=
dialog box again and enter a Rota=
value of 90 to end up with a complete spirograph as shown in Figure 12<=
Figure 12: Completed spirograph
you need to animate individual oval shapes within the spirograph, or change
their outline colors, it is a good idea to ungroup the spirograph now. To =
that, press Ctrl+A to select all shapes, and then carefully right-click so=
you don’t move anything accidentally. Choose Group | Ungroup t=
up with what you can see in Figure 13.
Figure 13: Ungrouped spirograph
You can use 5 degree rot=
increments for a spirograph with more curves.=
You can replace the ovals in the spirograph wit=
shapes! To do that, make sure you ungrouped the shapes as explained in st=
17. Then press Ctrl+A to select all shapes, select the Drawing Tools Format tab on the Ribbon, and in the Insert Shapes group, choose Edit Shape | Change Shape to bring up the Shapes gallery. Choose any shape=
looks the same at the top and bottom – experiment and you’ll
achieve spirograph designs so amazing that people will have a difficult t=
believing this was created within PowerPoint!=
Figures 14 and 15 show you some of these
Figure 14: Spirograph with a changed shape=
Figure 15: Another spirograph variation
is a registered trademark of Hasbro, Inc., for a geometric drawing=
but unlike many other trademarks, it has entered the common speech as a
Related Link: Wo=
why you cannot paste one object exactly over the original in PowerPoint?
Here's something you should read.
Comments or suggestions for this article? Please =