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Horizontal Flows 055

Parallel and Succession Flow

Using the the parallel and succession flows

These flows perform a double duty: they show activities that happen at the same time as well as a succession flow. Complex processes can be illustrated using this series. The top half is split to show activities that happen at the same time, and the bottom half shows a successive flow of activities. Together they comprise a single process.

Customizing the combination flows

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of the flow, be sure to group it and resize the entire group. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations. Hold the shift key down as you resize if you want to rescale the grouped flow.


Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the flow will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. Select "No line" if you want the space between the segments wider (the downloads don't have a line color). Each segment can receive its own color.

3D variations

3D isn't recommended for this framework because there are too many closely aligned segments; the space between the segments becomes obscured.


Shadows can be used if the shadow cast is very close to the element. Pay attention to layering and adjust according to which way the shadow falls. In this example the layers are: the right-most piece of the bottom section is in front, and the left-most piece in the segment is in the back. The pieces in between are layered in order between the front and back. The top segments are in the very back. The shadow will fill in the spaces between the segments a bit; don't use shadows if you want the spacing distinct.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients, patterns, and pictures can be added as fills from the "Fill Effects" menu. Gradients, when carefully used, can also add motion to a flow such this. When using gradients like this, you can eliminate the line, because the pieces become distinct from each other.


It's probably better to introduce the content below the framework in animated reveals rather than animate the framework itself.

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