Spins and Gadgets

This post is about the Spin animation and some simple gadget animations that use Spin.

Centering Spins

If you apply the Spin animation effect (grouped under Emphasis), an object will rotate around its center.  You can tell where the center is by looking at the object handles:


Here’s the result of applying the Spin animation:

This may not be the way you want the object to spin.  Suppose you want to make this object rotate around the center of the circular element. Draw a circle larger than the object and center it at the desired center of rotation.  Group the circle and the original object.  The center of the new object is the desired center of rotation.



  • Tip: Hold down the Shift key while using the Oval tool to create a circle.
  • Tip: Use Drawing Guides to align the circle.
  • Special Bonus Tip: you can make as many drawing guides as you need by Control/Dragging an existing guide.

Remove the outline from the circle (No Outline) – now the object rotates around the desired point:

A Clock

To demonstrate your company’s response time to a support request, use a 15 minute clock (maybe you need a calendar).  Group the clock hand with a circle and spin 90°:

A Meter

To demonstrate that your product will increase the customer’s productivity (revenue, profit, etc. ) or decrease costs, use a meter.  Here the pointer is grouped with a circle (in red) that is totally outside the pointer.

I use “gadgets” (visual metaphors) like this often.  A meter (or slider, or thermometer) is a good way to visually demonstrate  increases (or decreases) in quantity or quality.  Maybe I’ll post some other gadgets later.

Added 10/14/2015: I have added a couple more detailed posts; one on meters and gauges, and one on clocks.

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