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Using the Pathways

These pathways are a nice way to show a route to a central object or a 3D network. The series example shows a network of specialists. If you add names and titles, it would be an interesting alternative to an org chart. The circular platforms at the end of the pathways are perfect for placing objects or even text. They are drawn as 3D objects and shading and layering is set in the downloads. All you need to do is recolor to match your own template – minimal formatting is needed. The platforms are separate from the paths, so they can be color coded to add additional layers of information.

Customizing the Pathways

Adjust size

Be sure to group the pathways and then resize/rescale (hold shift key down as you resize). Then ungroup and proceed with other formatting edits.

Color variations

Select a color or colors from your templates color palette and you want to apply that to the top(s) of the round platforms and/or the tops of the pathways. You'll probably need to create a darker hue of that/those colors for the sides of the platforms and/or pathways. Since the pathways and platforms are drawn in 3D you'll need to create and apply colors that represent the shaded part of the main color. The easiest way to do this is to

  • Select the top(s) and the side(s) and apply the color from your template's color palette
  • Then just select the sides and double-click on one of the selected sides. The Format AutoShape menu will come up
  • In the Fill section of the menu, click the downward pointing arrow next to the color box and select More Colors
  • A color menu will appear: move the right-facing arrow next to the color gradient down to get a darker hue of the original fill color
  • Click OK
  • Click OK on Format AutoShape menu.
  • Then apply line colors that match the fill colors for each field in the graphic.


The downloads have been layered correctly. Take care not to shift the layers around, as it may distort the pathway appearance. Some of the layers are small, so you will need to zoom in on the graphic in order to select the small fields and not reorder the layers. This is an important best practice for this series.

PowerPoint 2007 options

The drop shadows are nice; but, since the pathways are already drawn as 3D objects, other PowerPoint formatting (bevels, reflections, etc.) will detract from the overall effect. Don't use them.

3D variations

Do not apply 3D to these pathways. They are already drawn as 3D objects


You can apply a PowerPoint 2007 drop shadow if you want, but no shadows in PowerPoint 2003. The drop shadow will "lift" the pathway graphic off the page.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Do not apply gradients, patterns, or pictures to these pathways. The gradients won't work well with the line color for each field. Patterns and pictures will detract from the overall visual effect.


Animate with simple reveals. Avoid using fades because the objects will come in looking like wireframes until they fill in - not that attractive. The Appear animation is rather abrupt. It may be best to simply reveal what are on top of the platforms in reveals and not the pathways themselves.

Click on a name for more information.
Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image