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Infographies in MS Word

Infographies using MS Word

I've been ogling over really nice examples of infographies for quite a while now including on the Information is beautiful site (Link). I even contemplated buying the book which comes in at about £50 and is sitting in Waterstone's waiting for me when I finally give in. There are some particularly nice infographies on the L'express website (Link)

I initially thought it would be necessary to use a drawing package to try doing one myself but decided to have a go in MS Word in which it is much easier to manipulate boxes etc than it was. The incentive was that at least I wouldn't be putting together the spreadsheet of all the schools in London which I was supposed to be doing (and have now finished, thankfully).

I decided to see whether it would be possible to do one on a literary text and as usual chose L'étranger! I came up with the example you'll find linked to on the right. I'm breaking it down here to show you where the elements came from; it could work in all sorts of similar ways.

I chose to change the size of the page to A3 in page layout and to make the orientation landscape. The resulting document can be printed at A3 or A4.

All the blocks are simply text boxes (Insert>text box) with other text boxes added over the top. If you look at the template you can see how the basic shape and blocks were created. It's then a question of selecting the outline and removing the line around the box or adding a fill colour. Easy.

Graph-The graph is simply text boxes set far enough apart to be able to fit the relevant words at the bottom. The numbers relate to the number of times a particular word is used in the text (using ereader).

The adjectives are again text boxes with a solid line and text effects (shadow). I also did a "change shape" in the format menu on the boxes-you can do them all in one go if you select all the boxes at once.

The L'intrigue/l'action box is simply an Add Shape arrow. The squares with arrows are also produced like that with shadows.

Pedagogical use

It might be interesting to do an infographie for each part of a film or each chapter of a book. Students could produce their own infographie giving their favourite quotations and words which they consider important. The resulting work could serve as the starting point of some spontaneous information gap conversation. They would also look good on an open day smile

Do have a go with the template and feel free to adapt as much as you like.

I think sometimes the creativity that can be developed with freely available programs is underestimated and MS Word has come a long way in the last few years. No need to be lusting after ipad apps necessarily and the focus is definitely on the content here.

L'etnranger, infographie
Download the L'étranger Infographie example docx (unproofed)

Download infographie template for MS Word docx

L'étranger Infographie (w97-03)

Template (w97-03)