# Create a series of connected, list-filled boxes (flowchart?)

I would like to create a series of horizontally linked 'text boxes', with arrows between each one. Each box will contain some text (probably a list with a title). I would like it to look something like this:

What would be the best package/method for going about doing this?

Ideally, the overall width of the three boxes would be automatically resized to fill the full width of the column they are in, but this is only a secondary requirement.

(I realise that this is effectively a flow chart—however, all the flowchart packages I've come across seem more suited to the free-form, spidery flowcharts and seem to be overkill for this purpose. Feel free to suggest them nonetheless if they are suitable.)

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A quick and dirty solution (without any extra package):

\fbox{\parbox[t]{6em}{Title \#1\\Item\\Item\\Item\\Item}}%
\raisebox{-4ex}{$\to$}%
\fbox{\parbox[t]{6em}{Title \#2\\Item\\Item\\Item\\Item\\Item}}%
\raisebox{-4ex}{$\to$}%
\fbox{\parbox[t]{6em}{Title \#3\\Item\\Item\\Item}}


And you can define some commands for convenience.

\newcommand\mybox[2][6em]{%
\raisebox{4ex}{\fbox{\parbox[t]{#1}{#2}}}}
\newcommand\Rarrow{$\rightarrow$}

\mybox{Title \#1\\Item\\Item\\Item\\Item}%
\Rarrow
\mybox{Title \#2\\Item\\Item\\Item\\Item\\Item}%
\Rarrow
\mybox{Title \#3\\Item\\Item\\Item}


This is enough, if the requested diagrams are very simple. However, for more complicated diagrams (at arbitrary position, with curves, shaded boxes, etc.), it is better to use more powerful tools, like tikz and pstricks.

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Thanks, this is exactly what I was looking for. I think I'll also set another input to the \mybox for the title. –  Bill Cheatham Feb 17 '11 at 16:01

perhaps tikz block diagrams may aid you?

http://www.texample.net/tikz/examples/tag/block-diagrams/

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This doesn't exactly meet up with the example output, but I wanted to try my hand at this because the given picture sort of looks like just a bunch of boxes stacked after each other:

\def\repeating#1{\vcenter{\offinterlineskip
\def\title#1{\vphantom{$\Big($}\bf#1}
$\repeating{\title{Title \#1}\cr Item\cr Item\cr Item\cr Item\cr} \mathord{\longrightarrow} \repeating{\title{Title \#2}\cr Item\cr Item\cr Item\cr Item\cr Item\cr Item\cr} \mathord{\longrightarrow} \repeating{\title{Title \#3}\cr Item\cr Item\cr Item\cr}$

I am still wondering if I could somehow make the \halign's \vcenter a \vtop instead, and the \longrightarrows inside a \vcenter, but I haven't yet got that to work.