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Creating Spirographs with Microsoft Acrylic

Learn to create spirographs in Microsoft Acrylic, which was later renamed to Microsoft Expression.


Product/Version: PowerPoint

Here's how you can make a spirograph in Microsoft Acrylic:

  1. Create a new document in Acrylic and draw any shape. For this tutorial, we selected the Ellipse tool (keyboard shortcut R) and drew a longish oval as you can see in Figure 1, below. Remember that the R shortcut key toggles between the ellipse and rectangle tools.
  2. Draw an ellipse in Expression
    Figure 1
  3. Make sure that the oval has no fill attributes. This can be checked in the Paint Style palette as shown in Figure 2, below.
  4. Paint Style palette
    Figure 2
  5. Make sure your oval is selected, and then click on the Rotate tool (or activate it with the keyboard shortcut Shift + R) from the toolbar. Now, click outside the oval area to set an anchor point as you can see in Figure 3.
  6. Set the rotation anchor point
    Figure 3
  7. Once this anchor point has been determined, go to the Transformation palette (see Figure 4) and set the rotation angle. We set the rotation angle to 5 degrees and clicked on the Duplicate button to create the graphic that you can see in Figure 5, below.
  8. Transformation palette
    Figure 4
  9. Duplicated oval shape
    Figure 5
  10. Keep clicking the Duplicate button on the Transformation palette to add more overlapping copies to complete your spirograph. Figure 6 shows the completed spirograph.
  11. Finished spirograph style graphic
    Figure 6
  12. Save your spirograph to a file.

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