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Chart of the Month – February 2015 – Irregular Horizontal Flow Segments

The preferred layout for horizontal flows is for each segment to be exactly the same size so that no inference of importance is placed on larger segments. But sometimes it is important to convey that the larger segments are more important or take longer. Therefore, horizontal flows with irregularly sized segments are needed to tell the correct story.

However, it's difficult when working with PowerPoint chevrons to get evenly sized horizontal flow segments when the segments are different sizes. The arrow point angles tend to skew. making them unusable unless time is spent making adjustments to each segment's arrow point. Editing is sometime tricky for the same reason.

So, here's an incredibly easy and effective way to make horizontal flows with irregularly shaped segments. You're going to love this. Start with this HF059 framework.

  • Group it and size/rescale it so that it lays out the way you want it on your slide.
  • Ungroup
  • Duplicate the end stripe by holding down Shift-Ctrl-Alt and moving the end stripe left to the place you wish
  • Continue previous step until you have all of the flow "segments" you need
  • Fine tune and/or edit by holding the shift-key down as you move the stripes left or right (they won't move up or down, but will only move horizontally)
  • Lay your text out (either in fields or in a table) under the flow segments and adjust their widths to match the "segments" above. We suggest you use a table to control vertical alignments.

You won't be able to just type your text into the "segments" like you usually can. You'll need to overlay text fields on the "segments." Small price to pay for the benefits of this technique.

We hope you like this technique. It will save you a lot of time.

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