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Circular Flows 001

Quadrant with Circular Flow

Using Circular Flows

Circular flows depict virtuous and vicious cycles. This particular version of a cycle provides a defined space for text associated with each segment. There are four sizing variations on this theme in order to utilize the chart field correctly, e.g., if you have a lot of text you will need to select the framework that has a smaller cycle and larger boxes. Simply sizing without scaling will distort the cycle part of these frameworks.

The center can be populated with the name of the cycle or a photograph. The segments can be numbered so a starting and stopping point can be established. The text on the right hand side of the cycle can be broken into several fields so that it occupies the boxes in a graceful way. The left-hand text may need to have shift-returns inserted so that the text does not overlap the cycle segments. Instead of using horizontal text for the segment descriptors, you can also use arc formats of WordArt.

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 Circular Flow

Adjust size

This series has four variations. You should select the best suited format for the space you have available on your page/slide, because these frameworks need to be scaled as you size to avoid distortion of the circular flow. To scale size, group the framework, grab one of the handles at the corners of the framework and hold the shift key down as you drag the handle to the size you need.

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. Thinner lines are recommended with this framework, as the thicker lines will tend to fill in the space between the fields. If the cycle parts have color, you should eliminate the lines altogether so that the divisions are as distinct as possible.

3D variations

A 3D effect adds volume to the PowerFramework, which can be accomplished within PowerPoint after it is imported. Be sure to use 3D and/or 2D consistently throughout the presentation, and make sure you have complimentary dimensions on a page for a more polished look. The order of the pieces is important to achieve a solid look; so after you apply 3D, reorder your pieces if necessary (that is bring some forward or push some to the back, etc.) Also, you may want to vary the depths on the boxes and the circular flow so they will look like they go together (the circular flow may have only a 3-point depth and the boxes may have a 12-point depth).


A shadow effect adds interest and dimension to a graphic, which can be accomplished within PowerPoint after the PowerFramework has been imported. You will want to apply shadows to only the bottom pieces in order to achieve a back-lit or front-lit shadow.

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 the circular flow part of this type of framework.


Animations of flows should be restricted to wipes to show circular flow progression and the associated boxed areas can fade in or appear (there are no diagonal reveals available).

Click on a name for more information.
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