I'm new to Tikz and am working on converting SmartArt from MS PowerPoint to LaTeX. One of my diagrams looks like this:

Descriptive Diagram

I'm aware of the package smartdiagram, and I found the "descriptive diagram", which seems somewhat close to the above. But I am trying to show the steps of a process AND describe each of those steps (hence the directed hexagons down the left). Is there a way to do this that already exists in smartdiagram? Or do I need to draw my own tikzpicture?

2 Answers 2


Or, without the smartdiagram package:



  minimum height=1.5cm,
  minimum width=1.5cm,
  signal pointer angle=130,
  signal to=east,
  signal from=west,
  transform shape
  text width=7cm,
  minimum height=1.15cm,
  outer sep=0pt
\node[myshape,#1] (desc\thetmp) {};
\node[font=\color{white}] at (desc\thetmp) {#2};
\node[mytext,anchor=north west] at (desc\thetmp.north west) 


\MyDesc{Foo 1}{Description 1}
\MyDesc[below = 1.5cm of desc1.north]{Foo 2}{Description 2}
\MyDesc[below = 1.5cm of desc2.north]{Foo 3}{Description 3}


enter image description here

  • Great. Suppose I want to get rid of the bullet. Do I just delete \parbox[t]{2em}{\hfill$\bullet$\hfill\null}%? Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 18:34
  • 1
    @user1577636 Yes. Additionally, you change \parbox[t]{\dimexpr\linewidth-2em\relax}{#3} to \parbox[t]{\linewidth}{#3}. Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 18:36
  • @user1577636 I simplified the code in my updated answer. Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 23:33

With a small patch, it is possible to achieve:

enter image description here

which is far from being perfect, but looks like the reference picture.

The code:


\tikzset{description title/.append style={
    signal to=south, 
    signal from=north,
\smartdiagramset{description title width=2cm, 
description title text width=1.75cm,
descriptive items y sep=2,
description text width=5.75cm,
module minimum height=1.25cm}
\smartdiagram[descriptive diagram]{%
{Set up,The set up operation consist of..},
{Run, {After having set up the program, you must run..}},
{Analyse, You must check what did with analytical tools like..},}
  • 3
    I'm planning to add this feature in the new release, thanks for the suggestion. Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 18:10
  • Yep. In the temporary workaround above, is there a way to scale down the whole thing (i.e. an equivalent to scale = 0.5 in tikz)? Commented Mar 15, 2014 at 20:55
  • @user1577636: sure, you can exploit \scale from graphicx package; then \scale{0.5}{\smartdiagram[..]{..}}. Commented Mar 16, 2014 at 8:35

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