Your presentation-development partner … demonstrate and inspire!

Tutorial for Arrow Variation 004 – Many Rectangles to One Arrow

Using Arrow Variations

Arrow variations are series of more specialized flow concepts, used either to illustrate a precise message or to add emphasis and interest to the page.

This series is best used to show multiple short-text items flowing into or impacting one element. These frameworks do not work well if there are a lot of associated bulleted text for each segment of the arrow. Another use for these frameworks might be a bullet alternative.

Once you have identified the best-suited arrow variation, download it to a specific location on your computer so you'll be able to find it (the desktop is always a good choice).

Customizing your PowerFrameworks Arrow Variations

Adjust size

These frameworks are a single object so there is no grouping necessary before sizing. Just grab one of the corner handles and begin sizing. Hold the shift key down if you want to scale the framework.

Color variations

Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the PowerFramework will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. Select "No line" if you want to eliminate the outline of the object, or change the line point size if you want thinner or heaver lines. These arrow variations don't really need to have an outline.

PowerPoint 2007 options

These arrow variations look nice with shadows and reflections. They also look okay with bevels, although the bevel effect does diminish the usable space for text. You can see the difference between V01 and V02 clearly in the examples above. The difference between the two versions is where the separations meet the arrow. Decide which version you like better and the use that version consistently throughout your presentation.

3D variations

A 3D effect adds volume to the PowerFramework, which can be accomplished within PowerPoint after it is imported. Be sure to use 3D and/or 2D consistently throughout the presentation, and make sure you have complimentary dimensions (the same depth and direction of the 3D effect) on a page for a more polished look. A shorter 3D depth usually works better: there is more distinction between the segments (see the difference between the first and third examples above.


A shadow effect adds interest and dimension to a graphic, which can be accomplished within PowerPoint after the PowerFramework has been imported. Shadows (as on the far right) can give the appearance of multiple objects. Just be sure that the shadow you choose does not interfere with the readability of any surrounding text.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients and patterns can be added as fills from the "Fill Effects" menu. Gradients, when carefully used, can also add motion to a flow such as this. Pictures don't work all that well with this type of framework.


Animations of flows should be restricted to wipes, peak in, crawl in, fly in, etc., from the left or right to show a build and to enhance the effect of the flow. Since these frameworks are single pieces, it might be a better idea to reveal text on clicks instead of the framework itself.

Series that relate to this tutorial:

AV004 – Arrow Variation 004 – Many Rectangles to One Arrow

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
Top Share