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Tutorial for

Hierarchy 021

Triangles and Bars

Using the Triangles and Bars

This series allows you to do two things: show a hierarchy and display text associated with the segments easily. Most associated text with triangles has to be staggered against the diagonal line of the triangle segments, which gets smaller at the bottom. This layout provides for a consistently sized text field for each segment.

There are three variations for this series. Choose the one you like the best and use frameworks from that variation consistently throughout your presentation. There are three variations for this series. Choose the one you like the best and use frameworks from that variation consistently throughout your presentation. The variation used in the series example shown above does not have bars extending from the segments, but the other variations have bars with a gradient to help contain the text associated with the segments. Very useful when the text from one segment is very close to the text from another segment. This is a solid alternative to a difficult spacing issue.

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 your PowerFrameworks Pyramids

Adjust size

If you are using several frameworks from this series, bring them all onto the page before you do any sizing. Once they are all present on the page, select them all, group, and resize/rescale (hold shift key down as you resize) together. This will ensure that they are all consistently sized within your presentation. Ungroup and distribute the frameworks to their correct pages.

Adding your text

Create a text field and format it the way you want (with/without bullets, etc.) and align the text field so that it is to the right of and in the middle of the pyramid segment. Then format the text field so that the text anchor is "middle." To do this, follow the steps that apply to you.

PowerPoint 2003: double click on your text field and clicking on "Text Box." Select "Middle" in the "Text anchor point" window.

PowerPoint 2007/10: right clicking on the text field and selecting "Format shape" and then clicking on "Text Box" at the bottom of the list on the left. Select "Middle" in the "Vertical alignment" window.

At this point you may want to remove the internal margins around your text by placing "0" in all four windows (Left, Right, Top, Bottom).

Color variations

Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the frameworks will reflect your company's color scheme. Select "No line" if you want to eliminate the outline of the object, or change the line point size if you want thinner lines.

PowerPoint 2007 options

Bevels don't work well at all. The shadow and reflection effects are nice, but make sure that these style choices are in use throughout your presentation. It's important to be consistent with your style (formatting) choices.

3D variations

3D works well with these types of framework. Keep in mind, however, that you will need to order/layer the segments depending on the direction of the 3D. 3D effects do not provide for outside lines to define the pieces, so you may want to nudge the pieces away from each other slightly to accentuate a definition or separation.


Use shadows conservatively. Also, you will need to order/layer the segments depending on which way the shadow is cast.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients and patterns can be used. If you are going to populate the segments with text, be sure that the gradients and patterns are subtle so the text will be readable. You can also eliminate the outside lines when you use gradients, as the gradients will define the segments.

As another alternative, you can apply a vertical gradient to the pyramids in series HI007-HI017 that have not been vertically segmented. This will give you a similar function but a different appearance.


Since this is a hierarchy, consider revealing the segments from bottom up or from top down as your message dictates. The message that is conveyed in the series example dictates that the reveals be from bottom to top. Download the animated example for an idea of how to do this.

Keep the reveals simple.

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