HOW TO: Determine the Order in Which Shapes Are Added to Diagrams in Office Programs

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SUMMARY

This step-by-step article describes the order in which shapes are added to diagrams.

When you add a new shape to a conceptual diagram in Microsoft Office XP, the decision about how and where the shape is added depends on the type of diagram. This behavior is designed to preserve the best possible formatting and layout for each of the different types of diagrams.

For each scenario described in this article, assume the following:
  • The Primary Colors diagram style is being used.
  • The Use AutoFormat command is available for the diagram.
  • The AutoLayout command is available for the diagram.


Radial Diagrams

  • The first shape (Yellow) is the center shape.
  • The second shape (Orange) is added below the first.
  • The third shape (Blue) is added below the first. The second shape is moved above the first.
  • The fourth shape (Green) is added clockwise from the third, and the third is shifted counterclockwise to preserve even spacing.
  • The fifth shape (Red) is added clockwise from the fourth. The fourth and third shapes are shifted counterclockwise to preserve even spacing.
The general rule is that as soon as there are three shapes in a radial diagram, the first shape remains in the center, the second shape stays at the top, and all additional shapes are added between the last shape and the second shape. If you have a shape selected when you insert a new shape, the new shape is added immediately after the selected shape (clockwise), unless the selected shape is the center shape. In this case, the new shape is added as if no shape is selected.



Cycle Diagrams

  • No shapes are visible until the diagram contains at least two shapes.
  • The first two shapes are arranged so that the first shape (Purple) is located at the top of the diagram, and the second shape (Yellow) is located at the bottom of the diagram.
  • The third shape (Blue) is added clockwise from the second, and the second shape is shifted counterclockwise to preserve even spacing.
The general rule is that when a new shape is added to a cycle diagram, the first shape remains fixed at the top of the diagram, and the new shape is added counterclockwise from the top shape. All other shapes are shifted and resized to preserve even spacing. The text box for each shape is clockwise from the shape. If you have a shape selected when you insert a new shape, the new shape is added immediately after the selected shape (clockwise).



Pyramid Diagrams

  • The first shape (Blue) is the full pyramid (triangle).
  • The second shape (Green) is added below the first.
  • The third shape (Yellow) is added below the second.
The general rule is that when a new shape is added to a pyramid diagram, it is always added at the bottom of the diagram. All shapes above it are shifted and resized to maintain a consistent height for the diagram. If you have a shape selected when you insert a new shape, the new shape is added immediately below the selected shape.



Venn Diagrams

  • The first shape (Blue) is added to the center of the diagram.
  • The second shape (Orange) is added to the left of the first shape, and the first shape is shifted to the right.
  • The third shape (Yellow) is added clockwise from the second shape, and the first shape is shifted to the top-center of the diagram.
  • The fourth shape (Green) is added clockwise from the third shape, and the third and second shapes are shifted counterclockwise to preserve even spacing.
  • The fifth shape (Purple) is added clockwise from the fourth shape, and the fourth, third, and second shapes are shifted counterclockwise to preserve even spacing.
The general rule is that as soon as there are three shapes in a Venn diagram, the first shape remains in the top-center location, and all other shapes are evenly spaced clockwise, in the order in which they were added. If you have a shape selected when you insert a new shape, the new shape is added immediately after the selected shape (clockwise).



Target Diagrams

  • The first shape (Red) is the center shape.
  • The second shape (Green) is larger and is placed behind and centered on the first.
  • The third shape (Orange) is larger than the second shape and is placed behind and centered on the second shape.
  • The fourth shape (Yellow) is larger than the third and is placed behind and centered on the third shape.
  • The fifth shape (Blue) is the same size as the fourth, so all previous shapes are reduced in size. The fifth shape is placed behind and centered on the fourth.
The general rule is that shapes are added to target diagrams similar to the way that rings are added to the outside of a target. When you have five or more shapes, the size of the shapes is adjusted to maintain the overall size of the diagram and to maintain even spacing between the rings. If you have a shape selected when you insert a new shape, the new shape is added as a ring just outside the selected shape.

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Article ID: 293184 - Last Review: February 27, 2014 - Revision: 2.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Excel 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
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