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Formatting Connectors within Flowcharts in Office 2011 for Mac

Learn about formatting connectors within flowcharts in Microsoft Office 2011 applications such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for Mac.


Product/Version: PowerPoint, Word, and Excel versions of Office 2011
OS: Mac OS X

Once you add multiple connectors that emanate from a Decision shape, you need to help your users decide where they branch their thought or work processes within the flowchart. This is typically done by adding a Yes or No caption to the connectors that output from a Decision shape.

Tip: Don't know what a Decision shape is? Explore our Getting Started with Flowcharts and Flowchart Symbols: What They Represent? pages.

So how do you add these captions? Look at Figure 1, where we have added two connectors that output from the "Are you happy?" Decision shape – at this point of time, these two connectors don't have Yes or No captions.

Two connectors are emerging from "Are you happy?" Decision shape
Figure 1: Two connectors are emerging from "Are you happy?" Decision shape

Depending upon whether the user's answer is Yes or No, they will decide which shape they need to move towards next within the flowchart -- the Yes and No captions can be easily added by inserting individual text boxes for both Yes and No, as shown in Figure 2, below.

Yes and No captions added
Figure 2: Yes and No captions added

To add such captions beside the connectors, and to format the connectors – please follow these steps:

  1. Access the Insert | Text Box menu option as shown in Figure 3.

    Select the Insert | Text Box menu option
    Figure 3: Select the Insert | Text Box menu option

  2. At this point, your cursor turns into a cross-hair. Now, drag and draw to create a text box besides the connector for which you want to type Yes. Next select this text box, and type Yes.

  3. Similarly, place a second text box besides the other connector emanating from your Decision shape, and type No within this text box. Your flowchart will now look similar to what you last saw in Figure 2.

  4. Optionally, you can now rotate the No text box. To do that, select the text box so that you can see the Rotation handle, highlighted in red within Figure 4. Click this rotation handle and drag it towards the right or left as required so that your text box is rotated.

    Click and drag the Rotation handle to rotate the text box
    Figure 4: Click and drag the Rotation handle to rotate the text box

    Tip: Press the Shift key while dragging the rotation handle so that you can drag in increments of 15 degrees -- you'll feel a distinct snap as you rotate at each 15 degree level -- six such snaps equal 90 degrees!

  5. Now your text box that contains No has been rotated, as shown in Figure 5, below (compare with Figure 2).

    Rotated caption
    Figure 5: Rotated caption

  6. Other than adding Yes and No captions to your connectors, you can also make them thicker or thinner. To do so, select the connector(s) -- then access the Format tab of the Ribbon, and click the down-arrow within the Line button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6.

    Shape Outline button
    Figure 6: Shape Outline button

    Tip: Cannot see the Format tab on your Ribbon? Make sure you select your Connector so that this tab turns visible!

  7. This brings up the Line drop-down gallery as shown in Figure 7 -- choose the Weight option to bring up a sub-gallery (again, see Figure 7).

    Weight option selected within Line gallery
    Figure 7: Weight option selected within Line gallery

  8. Choose a thicker or thinner Weight -- we chose a slightly thicker Weight at around 3 points -- you can see the thicker connectors in Figure 8, below (compare to Figure 5, above).

    Flowchart with thicker connectors
    Figure 8: Flowchart with thicker connectors

  9. Save your documents often!

See Also: Formatting Connectors within Flowcharts in Office 2013 for Windows


Office 2008 for Mac All-in-One For Dummies Office 2011 for Mac All-in-One For Dummies

If you liked this tutorial, do look at this book, authored by Geetesh Bajaj and James Gordon.

This book is the single most comprehensive content for Microsoft's latest Office suite offering for Mac users.

Check the book on Amazon.com...

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