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Tutorial for Circular Flows 019 and 020 – Bidirectional

Using Circular Flows 019 and 020

These circular flows show a dual process originating from and terminating at common points. Use these frameworks to show alternative approaches, joint efforts, complementary processes, decision steps, etc. They are versatile in illustrating concepts.

Series CF019 has no wings and CF020 has wings. Other than that, there is no difference between the two series. The wings/no wings (wings are the arrow points that stick out beyond the shaft of the arrow) preference is dictated by the style that is being used throughout the rest of the document/presentation. Be sure to build a consistent looking message.

The center can be populated with the name of the cycle or a photograph or whatever you need. Associated text can be placed outside the cycle framework next to each segment. Instead of using horizontal text for the segment descriptors, you can also use arc formats of WordArt.

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 your PowerFrameworks Circular Flow

Adjust size

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.

Color variations

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. Since the segments in these circular flows are small in some cases, it might be a good strategy to select color based on your background. If the background is dark, choose a bold color for the flow so that light text will pop when placed over the segment and extends over onto the background. The same applies for light backgrounds: choose a lighter color so that dark text pops when overlaid on the segment and extends over the light background. Notice that a bold color was selected for the example above, but none of the text extended beyond the segment and onto the background.

Also, since you are showing two processes with these frameworks, you can use color as a tool to distinguish and code the two processes.

2007 options

Most of the formatting effects work with the circular flows. The bevels take up quite a bit of the space where you'd usually want to place text, so use bevels only when you have just a small amount of text, a number, or an icon. The reflection effects don't work well with the circular flows.

3D variations

3D effects are not recommended for circular flows unless the depth is very, very small. Otherwise, the circles turn into pipes. 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 (check the FAQ on this topic). 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, which may disrupt your color scheme.


Shadows are tricky with this type of framework. You should be very careful, because most of the shadow effects in the menu disrupt the look of the framework, which will detract from the message you are trying to send. Also, make any layering adjustments 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 will need to contrast with the segment in order to be readable.


Animations of circular flows can be wipes or fades to show progression, basically anything that does not fly in from an unconnected origin. Simultaneous animations for the two different processes (the upper circular/arc flow and the lower circular/arc flow) are not possible unless there are the same number of segments.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

CF019 – Circular Flow 019 – Bidirectional

Possible use example

CF020 – Circular Flow 020 – Bidirectional

Possible use example

Links to instructions for getting the framework into your presentation

  1. Determine the best file type for your needs
  2. Download the file
  3. Import the framework into your presentation
    1. Importing a PPT file
    2. Importing a EMF or PNG
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