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Tutorial for Relationships 027 – Matrix

Using the Matrices

This layout for a matrix is stylish and the horizontal axis (middle arrow) and vertical axis (center arrow) can be easily color coded. The text within the arrows needs to be brief, and the vertical arrow necessitates text that is sideways. The character spacing on the stacked text option in PowerPoint 2007 cannot be calibrated to look exactly like that of the text for the horizontal arrow. In the series example, we opted for sideways text.

We typically don't advocate for sideways text; but if the arrow text is very brief, it will not be too much of a hardship for the audience to read.

Use this framework to plot quantitative and/or qualitative values across the two axes. You can combine this framework with a bubble chart, which will add an extra layer of interpretation to the bubble chart: place the matrix over the data-driven bubble chart and the matrix will identify your target areas.

These frameworks are designed to work as a two-step presentation: 1) the basic matrix and 2) the breakout section that contains more descriptive content.

Customizing the Matrices

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of the PowerFramework, be sure to hold the shift key down while sizing so that the framework remains uniform and scales correctly. If you are using more than one framework in these series, import them all and then size them all at once. This way they stay consistently sized within your presentation.

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. The basic matrix and the breakout piece should be solid colors. The projection piece (the field that connects the basic matrix and the breakout piece) should be partially transparent.

PowerPoint 2007 options

These matrices do not benefit from most of the added formatting options in PowerPoint 2007. Keep them simple.

3D variations

These frameworks don't work really well as 3D.


You can use shadows with this framework, but be sure that the shadow is very conservative so the shadow does not get in the way of text you will be placing in the framework.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

The gradient applied to the example above just adds a little interest but does little to really enhance the message. Make sure that the gradient is subtle so that the overlaying text is easily read. The center arrow (vertical) and the middle arrow (horizontal) might benefit from using a gradient.


Animations should be selected that will enhance the meaning of the message, not merely to add interest to the slide. Simple reveals applied to the matrix quadrants or just the quadrant text is a good choice.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

RE027 – Relationship 027 – Matrix

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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