Tutorial for Rectangular Flows 001 and 002 – Thin Frame
Using Rectangular Flows 001 and 002
The frameworks in this series are used exactly like circular flows. The main reason for using the rectangle flows instead of the circular flows is that the center can actually contain a significant amount of information: data-driven charts or photograph/graphic and text combinations. Use these frameworks to depict virtuous and vicious cycles, where the last segment feeds into the first segment.
Once you have identified the best-suited PowerFramework, 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 Rectangular Flows
To resize this PowerFramework, you need to group it and scale it while resizing (hold the shift key down while you resize). This is important to do or it will become distorted.
Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the PowerFramework 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 lines.
PowerPoint 2007 options
The shadow and bevel options work well, but not all shadows and bevels. If the segments of the flow need to contain text, be careful about which bevels you apply. Try out a few. The bevel above right is very plain and tends to work the best.
3D effects are not recommended for these flows unless the depth is very, very small. If you do use 3D, be sure the order of the pieces is correct so that the 3D effect of the pieces do not block out the other pieces, which will disrupt the 3D effect. Also, when the pieces of a 3D framework are close together, the individual pieces become indistinct. You can you use variations of the same color to create more distinction between the segments.
Be aware that using 3D darkens the colors of the object. The example above on left is actually a light blue, but it is darkened by the 3D effect. The example on the right has a marble texture applied along with the 3D, which makes it look pretty substantial.
Shadows are tricky with this type of framework. Choose shadow effects that are close to the graphic, otherwise the shadow will disrupt the flow of the framework. Also, make any layering adjustments, depending on which way the shadow is cast, so that the shadow from one section does not overlap the primary part of another section.
Gradients, patterns, and pictures
Gradients, patterns, and pictures can be added as fills from the "Fill Effects" menu. Gradients, when carefully used, can also add motion to the circular flow part of this type of framework. Remember not to make the gradient too radical from light to dark because the text that will be placed in the segment needs to contrast with the segment in order to be readable.
Since some of the sections flow in one direction and then turn a corner and flow in another direction, use zooms, appears, or fade-ins.