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Tutorial for

Vertical Flows 006

Funnel Flow

Using the Funnel Flows

The little funnel graphics between the round-edge rectangles suggest that one topic flows into the next. The downloads are set up so they are on the left-hand side of the slide, making it easy to add associated text for each bar.

This graphic is versatile: it can be used as a replacement for a funnel, a bullet alternative, and a vertical flow. You can also replace the rounded-edge rectangles with whatever you like and use the funnel graphics to suggest a downward flow.

Unlike a traditional flow, there is no narrowing at the bottom. Each section is the same size and, therefore, implies that they are equal.

Be sure you have select the correct framework version of this series according to you needs:

  • v01: all of the rectangles and funnels are separate fields
  • v02: except for the top rectangle, the funnels are attached to the rectangle below. You can apply one wipe to reveal the funnel and the following rectangle. This works particularly well if you use colors and gradients. Look at the tutorial for this technique
  • v03: all of the rectangles and smaller funnels are separate fields
  • v04: all of the rectangles and smaller funnels are one field, making it possible to animate from top to bottom in one click.

Customizing the Funnels

Adjust size

If you want to change the size/shape of the PowerFramework, be sure to group it and resize the entire group. Once resized, ungroup to proceed with other customizations.

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 or heaver lines.

v02 can receive some interesting coloring. Because the flow above the segment is attached to the segment, a gradient can be used in an interesting way.

The gradient capabilities in PowerPoint 2007 can provide greater control about where the blending occurs. This example was done in PowerPoint 2003.

3D variations

3D might be interesting if the depth of the 3D is very shallow (3 to 6 points). A funnel is not flat, so a 3D effect if too large might fight the suggestion of a funnel.


Shadows on every piece tend to make each element appear very separate. If you're trying to convey a smooth flow, a shadow may disrupt that suggestion. A shadow will work fine with v04 versions of the funnel flows, however; because it is all one field. A drop shadow in PowerPoint 2007 would look especially nice.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

A gradient scheme was discussed above under "Color." Subtle gradients can be used with other variations within this series as well, although more for interest than to suggest a blend.


The benefit of using this series instead of a traditional flow is more apparent when animation is applied. As mentioned above, there is a difference in using this flow configuration instead of a traditional flow. When you animate each segment in v01 to appear individually as reveals, they appear as topics, not as part of a flow. The suggestion of a flow comes from the small flow connector between the segments. This is a subtlety, but important.

Animating v04 frameworks in one slow downward wipe implies a fluid and controlled flow – a seamless completion.

Be sure to download the animated example for a way to animate this graphic to get the most out of it.

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