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Chart of the Month – February 2008 – Annimated Flow of Information

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The chart of the month illustrates information/data flows and is a unique departure from the more commonly used (overused?) arrow or process flow. The layout is fluid and "nonstructured" looking, but the message is clear and uncompromised. It is not difficult to create these slides, but the steps are specific and sequential.

Formatting the photographs

The dots need to appear that they are departing from and entering objects in the photographs. It's not enough in many cases to simply place the photograph on the top layer and place the dots underneath, especially when there is a background surrounding the object. Here is a three-step technique to help you create the effect that the dots are going directly into the object in the photograph.

Creating and formatting the dots

Setting up the dot flow sequence is simple and hassle free, as long as the following steps are taken. Create and format the dots in the order you wish them to appear during your presentation. That way the dot flow sequences will appear in order within the "Custom Animation window. Because there will be lots of animated elements, it's important to have a strategy for creating and formatting the sets of dots. Here's a good strategy and step-by-step process.

You can choose to have the dot sequence repeat two times, three times, etc., if you don't wish the flow to run uninterrupted until next click. Here you can make choices about what you prefer in order to deliver your specific message.

Once you have created and formatted the first set of sequenced dots, test it by viewing it in slide show mode. Once the first dot flow set is complete and "final," begin sequencing the next set. There are four sets on this slide so the steps are repeated three more times. When you are satisfied with the animation formatting, select the cropped photographs and bring them to the front so they cover up the sets of dots.

Duplicating, cropping, and realigning the photographs takes no longer than a couple of minutes. The process of creating and formatting a set of dots takes less than 5 minutes. Multiply that by the number of sets. Then adding in the associated text for each flow and animating its reveal in the sequence is the last step and only takes a few minutes. This type of slide doesn't take a huge amount of time to create when you have a plan. The results are worth the effort.

We hope you enjoy using this information/data flow alternative.

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