Oct. 21, 2022, 3:03 p.m.

Draw the circular flow diagram in PowerPoint


There are a lot of repeatable process (or called life cycles, using the circular flow diagram) in our business activities. Software development life cycle is the most famous one during the application development process. There is a simple method to draw such circular flow diagram in PowerPoint.

Guided illustration:

The below steps illustrate how to draw the circular flow diagram:

Select the Circle Hollow

Figure 1. Select the “Insert” menu, the click the “Shapes”, select the Circle: Hollow.

Draw the circle

Figure 2. In “Shape Format”, draw the circle (a donut shape).

Select more shapes

Figure 3. Add another shape, click the orange rectangle to drop down all the shapes.

Select the Arrow Chevron

Figure 4. Select the Arrow: Chevron.

Draw the arrow

Figure 5. Draw the arrow.

Adjust the arrow

Figure 6. Adjust the arrow size, make it thinner.

Remove the fill of the arrow

Figure 7. Set the “Shape Fill” to “No Fill”, make the arrow white in color (it is not transparent).

Remove the outline

Figure 8. Set the “Shape Outline” to “No Outline”, white arrow without outline seems disappeared.

The highlight of the arrow

Figure 9. The outline and fill of arrow are changed to white in color, the surrounded highlight appeared after selected the arrow.

Move the arrow to cover the circle

Figure 10. The white arrow appeared again, move it to cover the circle.

Make the arrow sharper

Figure 11. Adjust the arrow to make the arrow sharper.

Copy and paste the arrow

Figure 12. Copy the arrow and place it surrounds the main circle.

Change the arrow orientation

Figure 13. The direction of arrow is point to right, change it to point to left. Go to “Rotate” then select “Flip Horizontal”.

Align the arrow

Figure 14. There is a convenient way to align the drawing, go to “Align” then select “Align Center”.

Copy the arrow and paste them

Figure 15. Copy the draw and paste them repeatedly.

Place the arrow in proper position and select them

Figure 16. After place all the arrow, select them together with the circle.

Make the selection to fragments

Figure 17. In the “Shape Format”, select the “Merge Shapes” command. Then click the “Fragment” to break the selection.

Break to fragments

Figure 18. All drawing break to many fragments.

Shape outline of fragments

Figure 19. Select “Shape Outline” to make the fragments more visible.

Remove the inner circle

Figure 20. Select the center circle and then press the delete key to remove the inner circle.

The inner circle is removed

Figure 21. The inner circle is removed (it is not visible because the main circle has the inner outline).

Remove the “glitch” of the arrow

Figure 22. Remove “glitch” of the arrow, the best practice is the arrow fully surrounded with the circle.

Remove “glitch” of all arrows

Figure 23. Remove all “glitch” of the arrow until the circle shape is cleared.

Delete all the arrows

Figure 24. Delete all the arrows, the circular flow is now revealing.

Fill the shape

Figure 25. Fill the color of each circular flow element. It can be select “Shape File” and click the color in the menu bar. It also can be formatted in “Format Shape”, “Solid fill” then select the “Color”.

Word cannot make fragments

Figure 26. Microsoft Word can create the shape, but the “Merge Shapes” command does not exist (refer to Figure 17).


Draw the circular flow diagram in PowerPoint is straight forward. The main command is break down all drawings to fragments.