Your presentation-development partner … demonstrate and inspire!

Tutorial for Text Tables 002 – Table with Underlying Flow

Using Text Tables

These text tables are pretty and blend well with the style in tt001. The arrow backing creates flow direction so you don't have to resort to the overused elongated triangles or arrows to indicate flow. Important: this format works best when the text strings in each cell are short.

Be sure to check with the tutorial for formatting tips. You'll want to change the dividing lines, both vertically and horizontally, to match your template. You'll also want to change the backing arrow gradient color(s).

This example was produced in PowerPoint 2007. All effects are achievable in pre-PowerPoint 2007 except for the shadows behind the photos, but you can add the round shadows in de001 or 002 if you want shadows behind your round photos.

This text table is a great way to display a small amount of information, containing many different units. The text strings should be limited to short descriptive side headings and quantities for this text table to work its best. The table design is stylish, and the information contained in the table is cleanly presented and clearly understood.

Customizing your text table

Importing preformatted text tables into your template

Whenever outside content that includes text (these preformatted tables, for example) is brought into your template, skewing is likely to occur. This happens because the two templates have different default text attributes. There is one step that you can take to position yourself so that this skewing is minimized - not only with PowerFrameworks tables, but with all text content brought in from an outside source.

This step is setting the text hierarchy in your slide master so that it works for you and not against you. If your slide master is formatted that the top level of text has a bullet, then all text you bring in from an outside source will have bullets. You don't want this, as it creates the need for a lot of unnecessary reformatting. Not only do you need to get rid of the bullet on imported text, but you need to get rid of the associated indent. You need to rethink the text hierarchy on your slide master. Your PowerFrameworks team strongly recommends that the first level of text hierarchy in a slide master should be nonbulleted, left-aligned text (no indent). The highest level of text on a slide is not bulleted text, it is the heading over/sentence leading into the bulleted text. Please review the best practice entitled, "Establishing the Text Hierarchy in Your PowerPoint Slide Master."

Now that you don't have to deal with bullets on everything you import into your template, you can breeze through the rest of the reformatting caused by the other differences in text defaults, which centers around font size and color and font choice. Imported text will default to your settings either in the slide master or the text size you've set for that page. That means, for example, that a table containing 10-point text, once imported, becomes a table containing 22-point text, which seems to distort and scares you near to death.

  • The first step in regaining control is to highlight the whole table and apply a reasonable font size. The table should pop back into its original dimensions.
  • The next step is to apply the correct font and font color. PowerFrameworks text tables are formatted with the Ariel font and the color is black. Choose whatever works best in your presentation.

At this point you can start loading the template with your own content.

Adjust size

When you get the table content set, rebalance the table to eliminate any large gaps between columns, etc. This is a great tip, incidentally. Don't fine tune or balance your table until you get all of your content in. Then you only have to do it once. The tables in this series should not need any rebalancing, unless you want to reduce the width of the first column.

The text tables in this series are set up so that you should not have to do any sizing. But if you find that you want to enlarge/reduce the table, just do so as you would with any other table in PowerPoint. You can stretch the whole table from any handle on the outside of the table, or you can adjust column height or width by selecting the handles within the table.

The chevron that backs the bulleted text on the left-hand side of the table is a separate field. Once the table has been balanced, the chevron can be adjusted so that it aligns correctly with the fields in the table. Be sure to extend the rows or columns so that they extend beyond the end of the backing chevron. You don't want the lines to stop before they get to the end of the chevron.

Color variations

The templates are preformatted with line colors and no fill colors. Important: the white lines that are formatted between the rows in v01 and v02 and between columns in v03-v06 are ready to use in templates that have white backgrounds. For colored backgrounds, format the separator lines in the table to match the background. If a background with a gradient is used, these tables are not as effective because the lines become too distinct. These templates work better when these separator lines blend with the background.

You can also color the text, the vertical separator lines (the yellow lines above), and the chevron that backs the table to give it motion. The chevron has a gradient applied.

2007 options

There aren't additional options for formatting tables in PowerPoint 2007.

3D variations

No 3D on these please.


No shadows on these please.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

You probably want to consider keeping the gradient to the backing chevron and just adding your color. Other than that, you should stay away from these formatting options.


Animate as reveals as you would in any text table.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

TT002 – Text Table 002 – Table with Underlying Flow

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
Top Share