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Tutorial for

Arrow Variations 019, 040

Forward and Backward Arrows

These layouts are a nice alternative to circles surrounding and feeding into a central object. Each column of arrows (with tabs for text) can represent its own group (as in the series example). The two columns of arrows do not need to contain the same number of arrows. You can mix and match sets of arrows; and we've included all of the variations in one download to make this easy for you.

Once you have selected the arrow columns you want on your slide, you can group the columns and size them to occupy the space on your slide perfectly. Then just select a picture, graphic, image, or chart to place in the center.

The concepts that work with the forward arrows are forward thinking, looking ahead, moving forward, projections, goals, advancements, etc. The concepts that work with the backward arrows are review, looking back, moving backward, historical decisions, etc.

Customizing the forward and backward arrows

Adjust size

Group the arrows and tabs and resize/rescale together. To rescale, hold the shift key down as you resize. If you are mixing and matching columns of arrows, then be sure to group each column and then align them so that they are centered horizontally. This is important.

Color variations

These arrows and tabs for text are drawn so that the arrows have perspective (forward and backward). For best results, color the "flat" part of the frameworks with a lighter color and the arrows or shafts of the arrows that are drawn with perspective a darker shade of the same color.

PowerPoint 2007 options

Don't use formatting like glow, soft edges, bevels, etc., with these frameworks. Use the shadows if you wish, but make sure that the layering is correct. The tabs should be on top, then the arrow or arrow shaft beneath that. If you are using the variations that have the arrow points separate from the shaft, then the arrow points should be on the very top.

3D variations

No 3D with these.


See instructions for the shadows above in the PowerPoint 2007 Options section.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Gradients are nice. Pictures may not work because the text tabs are small and the text will obscure the picture.


A useful animation scheme might be to introduce the tabs (rectangles with the text in them) first and then wipe the arrows toward the center. Reveal the center object when the arrows wipe. Another animation scheme might be to have the center object showing, reveal the tabs containing text individually, and then wipe the arrows toward the center.

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