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Arrow Variations 036

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Using the Arrow Variation

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 is a simple, one-field framework. It is similar to AV004, but it has more variations on the theme. A series of very simple and unobtrusive little frameworks to frame a simple and basic flow concept. The frameworks can also be used as bullet alternatives.

Since there is only one field, the animation schemes and formatting will be simple to apply. Also because the frameworks are only one field, the segments cannot be highlighted with color. The text will have to indicate the highlighted section. Therefore, they may not be suitable for document-structure trackers. These frameworks do not work well if there are a lot of associated or bulleted text for each segment of the arrow.

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 the Arrow Variation

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 frameworks don't need a line color.

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. A drop shadow looks especially nice and "lifts" the framework off the page.

3D variations

A 3D effect adds volume to the arrow variation, 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 because there is more distinction between the segments.


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.

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