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Tutorial for Horizontal Flows 047 and 048 – Top Split

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Using the Horizontal Flows 047 and 048

The top slices in these series are different than those in hf035 and hf036. They can span more than one segment. This capability provides a way to group segments without the use of color or other highlighting techniques.

The flow series are set up differently within this series. The flows with 2 to 5 segments have all of the variations as downloads. The flows with 6 to 10 segments have only two downloads: one (v01) with a top slice that spans all of the segments and one (v02) with all of the top slice lengths on one slide. There are too many top-slice configuration variations for 6-segment to 10-segment flows to effectively provide them all as downloads. Therefore, the many v02 top slices for the 6- through 10-segment flows can be selected and aligned above the flow segments as you choose – there are many, many possibilities.

These series have a top slice that can hold a small amount of identifying text, e.g., phase number and name, a time period. The bottom portion of the flow segment can contain a longer description.

Customizing the Horizontal Flows

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of the flow, be sure to group it and resize the entire group. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations. If you are using segments from other series (horizontal flow sizing is consistent, so mixing and matching between series is easy), bring them all onto your page and size them together so that they will fit together perfectly. You can also adjust the space between the segments by ungrouping and nudging them.

Assemble top slices for v06 through v10

These downloads are not "plug and play." There are simply too many variations to effectively provide them all as downloads. Therefore, there is a simple selection and alignment exercise that you need to perform. The flash tutorial below shows you the selection and alignment steps for creating an 8-segment horizontal flow with 3-segment top slice/2-segment top slice/3-segment top slice configuration. Notice that the top-slice segments that appear on the far left are always pulled from the top set and all subsequent top-slice segments are pulled from the bottom set. After the flow is assembled, the unneeded variations in the top and bottom sets are deleted. The alignments are performed by keyboard commands, so you won't see any alignment menus.

Click here to view an animated flash example of how you select and align the top slices.
798kb Flash


Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the flow 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 or heaver lines. Notice that each segment can be colored individually so that highlighting can add another layer of information to the slide.

3D variations

3D isn't recommended for this framework because there are too many closely aligned pieces. Applying 3D inhibits the pieces from appearing distinct.


Shadows can be used if the shadow cast is very close to the element. Pay attention to layering: top slice should be in the back.

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 a flow such this. When using gradients like this, you can eliminate the line, because the pieces become distinct from each other.


You can introduce the content below the framework in animated reveals, or you can reveal the segments of the framework and the column of content below on clicks.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

HF047 – Horizontal Flow 047 – Top Split

Possible use example

HF048 – Horizontal Flow 048 – Top Split

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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