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Tutorial for

Hierarchy 007 - 017

Horizontally and Vertically Split Pyramids

Using Pyramids

These frameworks are used to show hierarchies and relationships. The series for which this tutorial applies are pyramid stacks from 2 tiers to 12 tiers, with the option of each tier horizontally segmented. These vertical segments are important in that they can be colored individually. This is another example of how a seemingly simple structure actually takes a bit of time to construct in a drawing program. Using these frameworks/series is a great time saver. Additionally, the variations within the series can be mixed and matched, as in the example below. The top of the example is from one series and the bottom is from a different series. This gives you a tremendous amount of mix-and-match variations that will enable you to convey a precise message.

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 the same series in order to mix and match, bring them onto the page before you do any sizing. Once they are all present on the page, select them all and resize together. This will ensure that they are the correct size for mixing and matching. Hold the shift key down if you want to scale it while you are sizing. Ungroup again once it is the size you like so you can begin mixing and matching and other customizations can be made.

Color variations

Select color from your document's color palette or a complimentary color so that the PowerFramework will reflect the color scheme of the rest of your document. 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

There aren't many new formatting options that can be applied to the pyramids. Bevels don't work well at all. The shadow and reflection effects are nice. A glow might work if it matches the rest of your presentation.

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 separatation.


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 can be used to distinguish between the segments or to add interest. If you are going to populate the segments with text, be sure that the gradient is 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.


Instead of animating the framework, you may want to consider just animating the content that you add to the slots as reveals. Another option might be to build each row from the bottom for a bottom up concept or from the top for a top down concept.

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