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Tutorial for

Horizontal Flows 056

Line Flows

These flows can also be used to show relationships, so they are very versatile. The series example is an illustration of a reduction flow. They can also be used as a bullet alternative by placing the main thought in the circle (or any other shape you wish to use) and the subordinate thoughts on the lines to the right.

Customizing the line flows

Adjust size

The flow lines are evenly spaced throughout the series. This was done so that you'd be able to use them in an animation sequence where lines are added or eliminated. If you're using the frameworks independently, then you can group the lines and increase the space between the lines by holding the Shift and Ctrl keys down as you resize the group. Be sure to resize by the top-center or bottom-center handle of the group (not the corners or sides). This will enlarge the group vertically, but not horizontally (a good tip that you can use often on other groups). Otherwise, simply group the whole framework resize or hold the shift key down as you resize, which will rescale instead of resize.

When you add your text, there's an easy way to make all of the text fields align properly.

  1. Add your text field. It's a really good idea to remove the space around the text in the field. To do this, click on your text field (with your arrow pointer, not with your text insertion "I" beam).
  2. Right-click on the text field and select Format Shape
  3. Click on Text Box, which is located at the bottom of the list on the left
  4. In the Vertical alignment box, set it to Bottom
  5. In the Autofit section, click on the radio button for Resize shape to fit text
  6. In the internal margin section, make all of the values 0
  7. Make sure that Wrap text in shape is checked
Once you have formatted your text field, place it slightly above the top line of the framework you have chosen to use. Then duplicate the text field as many times as you have lines. Then place the last text field slightly above the bottom line of the framework. Then select all of the text fields and align them horizontally (right aligned or left aligned) and then distribute them vertically. All of the text fields should be evenly spaced and in a consistent relationship to the lines.

Color variations

You can apply line and fill colors to the circles and line colors to the lines. Choose colors form your company's template color palette.

PowerPoint 2007 options

The circle (or any other shape you wish to use) can receive any type of formatting you wish. The lines, however, should be left as is or formatted with a simple drop shadow.

3D variations

No 3D for this


Shadows only if you're using PowerPoint 2007 or 2010. Shadows in 2003 are very old-fashioned looking and not recommended.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

Apply any formatting you wish to the circle or other shape you choose to use.


Simple reveals, such as wipes, are recommended.

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