Flowcharts play a critical role in business communications, especially as aids in conceptualizing accounting processes. Workiva allows you to create flowcharts within a Presentations slide.
To begin creating a flowchart, select a slide in the Presentations outline panel to the left, go to the Edit toolbar and click Shape . This shows you all shapes which can be used for flow charts, including a section for flowchart-specific shapes.
Click on the shape you wish to use and click drag on your slide to create the shape. As you place a shape, grid lines will appear for accurate alignment. You can also double click to insert a shape using a default size.
To insert multiple shapes of the same type, right-click on the shape in the drop-down; this puts you into sticky insert mode. Then click and drag on your slide in each place where you want that shape to appear.
You can continue to add the same shape until you press the Escape key on your keyboard. This feature is particularly helpful when connecting many shapes with elbows or lines.
Objects can be resized or rotated using the handles that appear when the shape is selected. Multiple shapes can be moved or resized simultaneously by selecting multiple and dragging/resizing as a group.
Select a shape and right-click to access the Shape Properties panel. In the Shape Properties panel, you can set an explicit X/Y position on the slide and change the exact size or rotation of the shape.
Add Text to Shapes
To add text to your flowchart shape, elbow, or line, double-click in a shape. Use the Edit toolbar or right-click to access Paragraph Properties to format your text.
You can add a comment to text from the right-click menu. Text inside of shapes can also be hyperlinked or used to create a source link. Link into shapes from a spreadsheet or your SOX or Internal Audit Database.
To adjust the layout dimensions of your flowchart:
- Go to the File toolbar.
- Choose the Properties icon and then Presentation Properties.
- In the presentations Properties dialog box, choose the Slide Formats tab.
- Set your desired width and height in the Slide Layout section.
Connectors and Anchor Points
Once you have inserted multiple shapes, you can draw a line with or without an arrow or an elbow connector between the shapes. Go to Shape in the Edit toolbar, then choose a line or arrow under Lines and Connectors.
To anchor shapes to one another:
- Hover over the first shape until the cross-hairs are directly over an anchor point. The circular anchor point will turn green.
- Click to insert the line or elbow connector.
- Drag the other end of the line to an anchor point on the second shape and release.
Once the shapes are connected, you can move either of the shapes and the line will remain attached to the shapes.
An elbow connector is a specific type of arrow that allows you to depict intricate workflows. The gridlines that temporarily appear on the slide and the blue dots in key locations on the shapes will help you to place the elbow connector in the desired location.
If you’d like to move the elbow connector separately from the shapes, hover over the elbow connector until the double arrows appear. Then click and drag the elbow connector to adjust the placement.
If you have connected two shapes with an elbow connector and then move one of the shapes, the line for the elbow connector will be automatically re-drawn along the simplest path in order to keep the two shapes connected.
Lines and elbow connectors can also be connected to charts. Click and drag the endpoint of the line or connector to the edge of the chart until the green circular anchor points appear. Release the line or connector to attach to the chart.
If you want to adjust the line weight, style, or endpoints, use the options located in the Border Format drop-down.
Add Text to Connectors
To add text to either an elbow or line, simply double click the elbow or line and a text box automatically appears. Simply add your content. This text box is coupled to the line or elbow. When the line or elbow is moved, the text moves as well. This reduces the amount of editing you need to do when updating flowcharts in the future.
Once text is added to a line or elbow, it can be moved and formatted similar to a full-fledged text-box.
Change Slide Dimensions
To give a slide different dimensions than the rest, create a slide layout with custom slide dimensions. To do so, navigate to the View toolbar and choose the Layouts icon.
Use the Layout Properties panel on the right to set the dimensions of your layout. The dimension you set on the layout slide will set the dimensions for any slide using that layout.
For precision work, use the zoom feature. You can zoom in and out using the zoom in/out buttons in the bottom right corner of your screen.
Custom Logos and Shapes
To insert a custom logo or other unique shape, upload the image as a PNG or JPEG file by clicking on the Image icon in the toolbar and choose the appropriate file. To resize, select the image so that the resize handles will appear.
Note: Visio™ files can also be uploaded. Contact support to get this process started.