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Arrow Variations 021

Graduated Segmented Arrows

Using Arrow Variation 021

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 framework is a variation on the basic horizontal flow.

The arrows in this series get larger as they build from left to right across the slide, implying that the magnitude of the flow increases. All of the framework downloads are uniformly sized and spaced, and each arrow is drawn with one to four slices. This makes it possible to create a large variety of configurations by combining arrows from several framework downloads within this series. Notice the series example: each arrow has a different number of slices. Arrows from av021_0401, av021_0402, av021_0403, and av021_0404 were used to create the series example. The right-hand arrow implies that there is a result.

This is an eye-catching and effective way to illustrate flow concepts.

Customizing your PowerFrameworks Arrow Variations

Adjust size

Group all fields and size/scale together. Ungroup and continue customizations. If you are using arrows from several different downloads, download them and place them on one page. Then group so you can resize all of them together.

You can also space the arrows out. Notice that the space between the arrows in the series example has been increased. It's not necessary to do this, but the effect is pleasing. The space between the arrows is the same as the space between the arrow slides, which adds a nice touch.

Color variations

This framework gives the impression of gaining magnitude, so a color scheme might be fun to use to underscore this message. Choose a color from your palette that has good contrast from the background of your slide. The arrow at the furthermost right will have the darkest color, getting lighter as the framework extends to the left. The concept is that the lighter colors/less bold colors build to the boldest colors to support the message of gaining magnitude.

The arrow slices can be colored differently. Use this capability as a way to add another layer of information, not just to add interest to the slide.

Apply a line color to differentiate between the arrows. Alternatively you can add space between the arrows; then you don't have to use line colors.

3D variations

A 3D effect may be used on the lines to add dimension. The example above for this framework uses a 3D effect. Just be sure you adjust the layering of the arrows correctly, depending on the direction of your 3D angle. For example, the framework on the left is layered correctly by bringing the right-most arrow to the front, then the center arrow layered in the middle, and the left-most arrow is in the back. The example on the right is the reverse. Layering is dependent upon the angle of the 3D.


A shadow effect may be used to add interest and volume, but keep the shadows close. The best methods for applying arrows is similar to the best practices for 3D above. Layering is a consideration, depending on which way the shadow falls. The example above was formatted in PowerPoint 2007. If you use shadows, it's better not to use line colors and to add a little bit of space between the arrows.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients can also be used to accentuate the flow direction. Notice that the darker color is at the arrow point, implying that it is getting stronger as it builds. The soft edges on the left side of each arrow is a nice effect. This can be a design choice that you can recreate throughout your presentation.


To animate this type of PowerFramework, enter of the arrows by wiping from the left or fading in. See the downloadable animation scheme for an idea about how to do this.

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