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Rectangular Flows 005, 006


Using Rectangular Flows 005 and 006

These rectangular flows show a dual process originating from and terminating at common points. Use these frameworks to show alternative approaches, joint efforts, complementary processes, decision steps, etc. They are versatile in illustrating concepts. These rectangular flows are similar to the circular flows in series cf019 and cf020, but they don't have as many segments and can, therefore, hold a lot more content.

Be sure to decide wings or no wings and then use them consistently within your presentation.

The center can be populated with the name of the cycle or a photograph or whatever you need. There is enough room within the segments for a somewhat lengthy description.

Once you have identified the best-suited PowerFramework, 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 Rectangular Flows

Adjust size

To resize this rectangular flow, you need to group before resizing. Scale it if you wish by holding the shift key down while resizing. These rectangular flows can take a little bit of sizing without scaling, so you can fit them into a predefined space if you need to.

Color variations

Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the rectangular flow 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 lines. The series examples are white with a slight transparency, which works well also.

Since the rectangle flows illustrate two processes, you can use color as a tool code the two processes.

2007 options

Most of the formatting effects work with the rectangular flows. The bevels take up quite a bit of the space you'd usually want to use for text, so use bevels only when you have just a small amount of text, a number, or an icon. The reflection effects don't work well with the rectangular flows.

3D variations

3D effects are not recommended for rectangular flows unless the depth is very, very small. If you do use 3D, be sure the order of the pieces is correct so that the 3D effect of the pieces do not block out the other pieces, which will disrupt the 3D effect (check the FAQ on this topic). Also, when the pieces of a 3D framework are close together, the individual pieces become indistinct. You can you use variations of the same color to create more distinction between the segments. Be aware that using 3D darkens the colors of the object, which may disrupt your color scheme. To get around this darkening, add a gradient with two colors; apply the color you want to both of the two gradient colors.


Shadows are tricky with this type of framework. You should be very careful, because most of the shadow effects in the menu disrupt the look of the framework, which makes the segments indistinct. Also, make layering adjustments so that the shadow from one section does not overlap the primary part of another section.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients can be added as fills from the "Fill Effects" menu. Gradients, when carefully used, can also add motion to the circular flow part of this type of framework. Remember not to make the gradient too radical from light to dark because the text that will be placed in the segment needs to contrast with the segment in order to be readable. Patterns can be applied if you are using a pre-PowerPoint 2007 version (no patterns are available in PowerPoint 2007). Pictures are not recommended for these flows. They are tricky to get correct because the segments have two different orientations – horizontal and vertical.


Since some of the sections flow in one direction and then turn a corner and flow in another direction, use zooms, appears, or fade-ins.

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