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Tutorial for Forces 049 – Interruption

Using Forces 049

Gaps, disruptions, disconnects, interruptions … all commonplace concepts, but difficult to display visually. This series provides graphics that can help visually communicate these concepts. There are two sizes of the graphics, three cut angles, and frameworks that include the center cut that should be used if animation is applied.

The contents for the flow segments can be photographs – as in the series example – or they can be a picture that you can create – as in the Chart of the Month for July 2009. The techniques discussed in this tutorial will help you illustrate these concepts in highly visual ways.

Customizing the interruption graphics

Adjust size

You will almost certainly need to resize these framework graphics. Sizing depends on the graphic elements of your company's template. To change the size/shape of the PowerFramework, be sure to group it and resize the entire group. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations.

When using the variations that have only two fields, separate the two fields so that you can place the "interrupter" between the two fields. Put the left-hand segment as close to the edge of the page/design elements on your template as possible. Do the same with the right-hand segment. By doing this, it gives the impression that you're providing a view of a section of a continuous pipeline.

Color variations

We recommend that you import photographs or created "pictures" into the flow segments, but you can also just use a color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color. Only apply a line color if you are using a single, nongradiated color.

3D variations

3D doesn't work well with this type of graphic. If you want a 3D effect, apply a horizontal gradient that has darker hues of the color on top and bottom of the graphic segments. The segments will look like pipes then.


Don't apply shadows to these segments.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients work well, as mentioned above; but pictures work best. There are two techniques for adding pictures to this series.

The first technique you can use to create these slides involves using the frameworks supplied in this series and importing the sections of photographs into the two- or three-field frameworks. This technique is a good method if you want the most flexibility with animation schemes. The technique for bringing the save-as-picture graphic or any photograph into the framework fields is described in this FAQ. The FAQ is entitled, How do I cut a photograph into puzzle pieces?" but the same technique applies to these frameworks. Instructions for both PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 are included.

The second technique is described in the Chart of the Month July 2009 and repeated below. Whether you are using PowerPoint 2003 or 2007, you'll be able to create these slides. Let's look at each step:

  1. Begin by creating a background, which in this case is a gray rectangle that extends beyond the slide's left and right borders (see below). The use WordArt to create your text (we've used "Day-to-day business"). Size the WordArt phrase and then duplicate the phrase field several times. Create an evenly spaced row of these phrases and place at the top of the background rectangle. Duplicate the row and offset it below the first row. Duplicate again and offset the third row. Continue to duplicate and offset the rows until you have a pattern that occupies the the full height of the background rectangle. You should, of course, apply colors to the background and WordArt from your template's color palette.

    Notice in the graphic below how the gray background and the rows of WordArt extend beyond the left and right borders of the slide (see FAQ entitled, "How do I create my own background as a picture?" for additional information about creating these save-as-picture graphics).

  2. Select the background and the rows of WordArt and save as picture. We chose to save the example background and rows of WordArt as a jpg. Remember to save it to a place you'll be able to find it on your computer.

  3. Bring the saved-as-picture graphic onto your slide. See below to see what the saved-as-picture graphic looks like when brought into your slide. The right side of the graphic has been cropped so that it fits perfectly on the slide. The left side hasn't been cropped yet, but should be before going to the next step.

  4. There are two options for interrupting the graphic.
    1. The first option uses a parallelogram (in "Basic Shapes" menu) over the cropped saved-as-picture graphic to create the interruption. This is the quickest and easiest way to create the interruption. The first picture below shows the active white parallelogram over the saved-as-picture graphic.

      Then you can simply insert a graphic or photograph over the parallelogram. This option works best when the photograph has a white background and/or the graphic you
      use to illustrate the interruption has no background.

    2. The second option is still easy, but has a few more steps. Import a photograph into the parallelogram using the steps in this FAQ. Instructions for both PowerPoint 2003 and 2007 are included. Then place the parallelogram containing the photograph over the save-as-picture photograph. You can see that the parallelogram is active because the handles are visible.

You don't need any special frameworks to develop these two types of flow interruptions.


These types of slides work perfectly well as a static page, but work even better when animated. Go to the Chart of the Month for July 2009 to see a flash animation of two types of animation schemes and to download the animated examples. The two animation schemes in this download use frameworks with only two fields. For an example of an animation scheme using frameworks with three fields, download the animation example in this series for still another animation scheme.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

FR049 – Force 049 – Interruption

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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