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Tutorial for Concepts 141 – Stacked Stairs/Foundations

These steps/foundations provide a means for illustrating functional dependencies, step progressions, or hierarchies. There are six foundations in every download. If you only need three, then simply eliminate three of the steps/foundations. The steps/foundations are available in divisions of two, three, and four. You can mix and match the steps/foundations, as as was done in the series example. Use them alone or with other frameworks (as in the series example).

Customizing the stacked stairs/foundations

Adjust size

These were drawn so that each step has the same amount of rise. So when you're sizing the steps/foundations, keep this in mind. You can group the whole set of stairs and resize/rescale or resize individual stairs/foundations.

Color variations

They can receive any fill or line color you choose. You don't need to use line colors unless the difference between the segmented stairs/foundations are indistinct. Then a line color helps make them clearly distinguishable.

PowerPoint 2007 options

They don't add much value.

3D variations

They are drawn in 3D, so you don't have to apply any 3D formatting.


If you add a drop shadow, then group the whole graphic and apply it to the group. Otherwise, each stair/foundation will look like it is floating slightly above the step/foundation below it. This won't work if you're adding animation, however. Then it's better to skip the drop shadows.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients are a better way to show shading. Decide where your light source is and then add your gradient so that the shadows fall in a consistent way.


Simple reveals or maybe a descend entrance.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

CN141 – Concepts 141 – Stacked Steps/Foundations

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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