If you need a Visio shape that allows you to quickly create a chain of “chevron” arrows for your management presentations, then you have come to the right place! Our Visio SmartShape is jammed full of smart behaviors that save you a ton of time!
A lot of the work we do, the processes we follow, and the techniques we implement involve series’ of linear steps. We are simple creatures, and don’t take well to flowcharts with lots of branching and decisions. Yuck!
Proof of this are the illustrations we see in management presentations, team meetings and PowerPoint-driven rah-rah! sessions we are subjected too.
We often see steps illustrated as a string of chevron arrows, one after the other, gleefully showing us the way from problem to resolution. Even worse than seeing one, we might need to create one for a presentation we are giving!
Ravi Apte, who is a fan of Visio Guy, sent me an e-mail a few weeks ago suggesting a number of shapes he’d like to use in his Visio drawings. One of these resulted in today’s download: the austerely-named: Automatic Chevron Process Visio Shape.
Yes, once again, I’ve gone berserk in the ShapeSheet and crammed tons of features into a single shape. All so that you can use that time and energy you save for leaving me a nice comment at the end of this article.
Or better yet, thank Ravi for inspiring this article and download! Thanks Ravi!
While the auto-chevron is easy to use, it isn’t 100% obvious as soon as you drop it on the page. Once you know where to start, however, it’s a piece of cake!
So lets quickly go over the features so you can get to that all-important process-chevroning that you have been putting off for so long.
Quick Text, Quick Arrows
The shape can contain up to ten arrow-segments. While designing the shape, I thought to myself; “What a pain it will be to have to select each of ten arrows and enter a separate bit of text!” And what a pain it would be, if not for SmartShape behavior!
So, to make things easier, I’ve implemented a feature I’m starting to call Quick Text. When you select the shape and start typing, you actually enter a single list of items, separated by semicolons. I think Quick Text is a cool invention, and hopefully you do to! If not, leave a comment and tell me to knock it off!
The chevron process shape will extract each item from your list, and add it to an arrow. We can see what it looks like as we add items to our list:
You can see the “One;Two;Three;Fou” text at the bottom as I type. There are three semicolons which give us four items. As promised, the shape is displaying four chevron arrows, one for each item!
Although a bit geeky, this is a heck of a lot easier than selecting each arrow, or tabbing through ten different Shape Data fields to edit the shape. It also is much easier to transfer information from one shape to another, since you only have one long string of text copy and paste.
You’ll note that the list of items doesn’t show by default. That is because you don’t really want to see them – you want them parsed and shown in each chevron! But if you right-click the shape, there is an option to Show Text List if you need to see it for some reason.
You don’t always have to start typing from scratch, either. If you want to edit an existing list, just double-click the shape, or select and press F2. These actions will get you into text-edit mode, so you can edit items, or append and prepend text.
There is also a Shape Data field that allows you to specify the list-separator. You don’t have to use a semicolon if you don’t want to! Here, we can see that I’ve entered “\\\” between each item, instead of a semicolon. In the List Separator Shape Data field, I also entered “\\\”.
Also note that the text list is showing, even though we are not editing the text. This is because Show Text List has been checked in the context menu.
Smart Coloring, So You Don’t Have To!
Another feature I’ve implemented is Auto Colors. With Auto Colors, you just set the fill foreground and fill background of the shape, and each arrow automatically interpolates an intermediate color between the two.
For each chevron shape below, I’ve only had to choose two colors: a begin-color and and end-color, so to speak. Much easier than specifying five individual, intermediate shades, if you ask me!
You can edit the colors for the chevron shape by going to the menu: Format > Fill…, or more quickly by right-clicking the shape and choosing: Colors… from the context menu.
If you really must format an individual arrow-segement by hand, then you can right-click the shape and uncheck Auto Colors. When you do this, the shape will change such that you can sub-select individual items. You can tell a shape is sub-selected by the lighter-green handles, as show here:
Each arrow will retain its last automatically chosen-color until you overwrite it by sub-selecting a shape and choosing new line, fill and text formatting attributes. If you re-check Auto Colors, then all shapes will revert to…well…having automatic colors!
The text coloring is also smart. Since you could have up to ten chevrons, each with a different fill color, you could potentially have to choose a contrasting color for each bit of text as well. Again, a bunch of work that you don’t have time for. So I implemented a text-color-choosing technique that was described in Make Your Text Stand Out!.
The text-color will vary between white or black, depending on the darkness of the fill color.
Tweaking the Geometry Look and Feel
You can specify the spacing between each arrow by setting the Spacing Shape Data field. But don’t go oeverboard!
And there is a yellow control handle on the right-end of the shape that lets you set the pointiness:
All Features in a Blink
If you are a visual person (which you probably are if you are reading Visio Guy), then you might appreciate this SmartShape feature map, which illustrates all of automatic chevron process shape’s capabilities visually:
click to view larger image
Get the Automatic Chevron Process Shape
Here is the version of the Automatic Chevron Process Shape that will work in Microsoft Visio 2007. Since the shape uses some newer functionality, specific to Visio 2007, it won’t fully work in earlier versions.Download “Automatic Chevron Process Shape”s!Aj0wJuswNyXlhmZoyvvsEDmSxHqe – Downloaded 23220 times – 103.00 B
Visio Guy reader Wibo has edited the Visio 2007 version above so that the automatic coloring works in Visio 2003. I’ve checked the file, and the auto-coloring does indeed work, good job Wibo!
However, some of the other features still do not work in Visio 2003, like specifying custom list-separators (other than ‘;’). Unfortunately, I don’t have time right now to investigate.
You can get the Visio 2003 version of the Automatic Chevron Process Shape here:Download “Automatic Chevron Process Shape (Visio 2003 Version)”s!Aj0wJuswNyXlhmffvrpy2IJ9lAOp – Downloaded 8268 times – 103.00 B
If you are looking for a shape that is similar to the automatic chevron process shape, but intended more for depicting breadcrumbs in web-site design or wireframes, be sure to check out: Design Web Pages With This Visio Breadcrumbs Shape
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What is Chevron process shape? ›
Chevron diagram is a flow diagram representing steps or actions in a process with the help of cyclic or linear arrows (chevrons). They are used to emphasize direction of movement and interconnections of stages in a flow.Where is Chevron shape in PowerPoint? ›
- Click the Insert tab and then click Shapes in the Illustrations group.
- Select Arrow: Chevron in the Block Arrows section (Figure D).
- Click inside the hollow circle at the top to insert the chevron. ...
- With the chevron selected, choose white from the Shape Fill dropdown.
"Insert Shape>Block Arrows. The Chevron is the last one."How do you process chevrons in PowerPoint? ›
To insert a block arrow or chevron to a PowerPoint slide, from the Format Toolbar click either the block arrow or the Chevron icon to start your series of shapes. Each click of the icon will insert an additional block arrow/ chevron next to the last block arrow/ chevron inserted.What is the chevron pattern called? ›
A Chevron is a modification of a Herringbone, though some might say a herringbone is a variation of a chevron, and that would be true too! These ubiquitous zig-zags have roots that date back to 1800 BC and after 3815 years of popularity it's no wonder they are thought of as being very closely related.What angle is a chevron pattern? ›
The chevron pattern angle is 40-60 degrees so that it creates diagonal zig zags along one axis. Usually, the chevron flooring planks have a tongue and a groove that meet with a click. However, this is just one standard method of installing wooden floors.What is a chevron process Smartart? ›
Basic Chevron Process. Use to show a progression; a timeline; sequential steps in a task, process, or workflow; or to emphasize movement or direction. Level 1 text appears inside an arrow shape while Level 2 text appears below the arrow shapes.How do I create a custom shape in Visio? ›
- Select More Shapes > My Shapes > Favorites.
- Drag the custom shape onto the stencil.
- To edit the stencil, select Yes.
- Select the custom shape on the stencil, and type a descriptive name to rename it.
- Select Save Stencil.
Microsoft Word offers a pre-defined shortcut key for some symbols such as chevrons: Type 2329, or 27e8, 27E8 (does not matter, uppercase or lowercase) and immediately press Alt+X to insert the Left-Pointing Angle Bracket symbol: ⟨How do you add a ripple transition in PowerPoint? ›
You can apply the Ripple Transition by via the Transitions tab. Once selected, you can choose a direction to display the effect using Effect Options menu, which enables adding ripples from Bottom-Left, Bottom-Right, Top-Left, Top-Right and Center of the slide.
How do you create a hierarchy in PowerPoint? ›
- On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click SmartArt.
- In the Choose a SmartArt Graphic gallery, click Hierarchy, and then double-click a hierarchy layout (such as Horizontal Hierarchy).
- To enter your text, do one of the following: Click [Text] in the Text pane, and then type your text.
What's The Difference Between Chevron and Herringbone? Although Herringbone and Chevron are two styles of parquetry, they're both very different flooring designs. Herringbone floors use complete rectangular blocks or planks whereas Chevrons' pieces come with the short ends cut at a 45 degree angle.What is the difference between chevron vs herringbone? ›
The key difference between the two styles of flooring is the following: The ends of chevron planks are cut at a 45 degree angle. Herringbone planks are cut at a 90 degree angle. Chevron flooring creates a zigzag style pattern, coming to a point at the top of each zigzag.What is the difference between zigzag and chevron? ›
A variation to the zig zag, chevron is also made of flowing stripes that peak on opposite sides of the line of symmetry. However (you did know that was coming... :)), it is not made of solid stripes.Is a chevron a geometric shape? ›
A chevron is one of the ordinaries in heraldry, one of the simple geometrical figures which are the chief images in many coat of arms. A chevron is constructed by choosing a visually appealing angle such as the Golden Angle or any other angle the artist prefers.What is chevron size? ›
Chevron is one of the largest companies in the world and the second largest oil company based in the United States by revenue, only behind fellow Standard Oil descendant ExxonMobil. Chevron ranked 16th on the Fortune 500 in 2022 with revenues of US$162.5 billion, which also ranked it 37th on the Fortune Global 500.Can a chevron be sideways? ›
A chevron or arrow is a solid shape common in Torchon lace. A chevron can point either up or down. A sideways chevron is a zigzag. It can be worked in either cloth stitch or half stitch.What does chevron Alignment mean? ›
Chevron Alignment (W1-8) signs emphasize and guide drivers through a change in horizontal alignment. Because of their pattern, size, and placement with at least two of the signs in view of the motorist, they define the direction and sharpness of the curve, the best of all the traffic control devices.Why is it called chevron pattern? ›
The word “chevron” first appeared in English in the 14th century from the Vulgur Latin word caprio, meaning “rafters,” referring to the pattern's resemblance of two roof beams. Chevrons also became a way of signifying a certain rank in the military and police force in the Commonwealth nations and the United States.