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Tutorial for Ribbon Flow 011 – Split Paths

These frameworks are great for illustrating splitting and then reuniting paths, which can be used to present many concepts: splitting an effort into smaller parallel efforts, fracturing and healing, optional paths from which to choose, etc. And the different variations add more nuances to these concepts.

There are four variations of these frameworks:

  1. Individual fields for each path
  2. All paths in one field
  3. Separate paths with one divergent field and one convergent fields (overlap)
  4. Separate paths with one divergent field and one convergent fields (with arrow points)

All of them are split paths, but the points at which they split and reconnect are different and tell their own story. Please look closely at each and choose the variation that will tell your precise message.

Customizing the Split Paths

Adjust size

They need to be grouped and resized as a group. To rescale, hold the shift key down as you resize.

Color variations

Every field can receive its own color from your templates color palette, although they can be the same color as well. Reserve colors for highlighting wherever possible.

PowerPoint 2007 options

We don't recommend any of these special effects except the drop shadow. The other effects tend to detract from the graphic's meaning or clutter the space between the paths, making them indistinct.

3D variations

3D isn't recommended


Drop shadows if you're using PowerPoint 2007 or 2010 only.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients are a nice option. For example, consider an entry point of one color and an exit point another color. Then create a gradient with those two colors, which will show transition from entry to exit. A gradient that is darker on left and right and lighter in the middle is a nice option.


These sections can be animated with simple wipes to help underscore the left-to-right flow. Download the animated example for a possible animation scheme.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

RB011 – Ribbon Flow 011 – Diverging/Converging Paths

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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