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Creating an Organizational Chart Using the Connector Tool

Creating an Organizational Chart Using the Connector Tool
Discover how easy it is to create organizational or flow charts with the Connector tool:

  1. Open Macromedia FreeHand MX.
  2. In a new document, set the document unit of measure to Pixels and the document size to Web.
  3. Draw a rectangle 150 pixels wide and 36 pixels high for the first box—let’s call it Box 1—in the organizational chart (see the illustration after Step 6).
  4. Make Box 2 by using the Alt-drag (Windows) or Option-drag (Macintosh) technique to copy Box 1. Make sure the cursor has changed to a double arrow before pressing Alt or Option:

    Double-arrow cursor

Note: This same technique exists in Macromedia Flash and Fireworks MX. In FreeHand MX you can also produce the same result by selecting Edit > Clone to copy an object right on top of itself, and then dragging it to the proper position on the page.

  1. Repeat Step 3 to make Box 3.
  2. Press Alt-Shift (Windows) or Option-Shift (Macintosh) and then drag a rectangle to create identical boxes below Box 3. This trick constrains your dragged copies either vertically or horizontally.

    Placement of boxes

  1. Select Box 3 and use Shift-click to select the two boxes below it. Choose Window > Align or press Control-Alt-A (Command-Option-A) to align these boxes using the Align and Transform panel. Select Distribute Centers in the top pop-up menu and Align Center in the second pop-up, as shown below:

    Align Panel

  1. Press Alt-Shift (Option-Shift) and drag to the right to make the next column of boxes. Repeat for the third column of boxes. You now have a total of 11 boxes on the page.
  2. Select a box and fill it with color using the fill color on the main Tools panel. Fill all the boxes with colors. Fill box 2 with FFFFFF (white).

Tip: Select multiple boxes to fill them with the same color at once.

    Organizational chart color-coded

Note: For an easy way to add these colors to the Swatches list, so you can easily reference their names or values, select Xtras > Colors > Name All Colors.

  1. Using the Text tool click inside the top dark-blue box. In the Object tab of the Properties inspector panel, change the text size from 24 to 18 and change Plain to Bold. Type Director of Sales. Click outside the box in an open area to deselect the text.
  2. Using the Pointer tool position the text block to the approximate center of the box. For precision you can select both the text box and the blue rectangle and align both centers using the Align and Transform panel, as shown below.

    Align the centers

  1. Copy the text using the Alt-drag (Windows) or Option-drag (Macintosh) technique and place it in the approximate center of the white box. Using the Text tool highlight the text, change the size to 14, and type Admin Assistant. Align the centers of the text and the rectangle as before.
  2. Copy the text in Box 2 using the Alt (Windows) or Option (Macintosh) drag function and place it in the approximate center of the Box 3. Using the Text tool again, highlight the text and type Region 1 Manager. Align the centers of the text and the rectangle.
  3. Copy the text as before and place it in the top box in the second column. Using the text tool, highlight the number 1 and type 2. Align the centers of the text and the rectangle.
  4. Follow the procedure to fill in the rest of the rectangles as shown and complete the organizational chart. Using the Pointer tool, select the text block in the dark blue box. Using the fill color from the main Tools panel, change the color to FFFFFF (white).

    Organizational chart with text

  1. Use the Connector tool draw lines to connect the boxes.

Note: If there isn’t enough space between the boxes to accommodate the default arrowheads of the connector line, the tool cannot draw the line properly. Either increase the space between the boxes, change the attributes for that one connector line in the Object properties, or redefine the Normal Connector style:

    Connector tool

  1. Using the Pointer tool, select the connector that is in front of the white box and select Modify > Arrange > Send to Back.

Now you have your completed organizational chart:

Completed organizational chart