I am new to smartdiagram. Used to use Tikz a bit but that was more than a few years ago. For some reason, I am baffled by my inability to easily shrink the width of the three red "pillow boxes" which have my three labels "Tasks", "Tools", and "Techniques".

Thanks for any suggestions.


\renewcommand{\familydefault}{\sfdefault} % % to change font to the default style of sans serif:

\usetikzlibrary{chains, backgrounds}




top color=transparent!5,
bottom color=transparent!80

arrow fill/.style={
  path fading=priorityarrowfadingdown

   start chain=c going above,
   node distance=2mm,
   local bounding box=a,

\foreach \t in {
  \node [description, drop shadow, on chain, align=center] {\t};



% draw big arrow on side
\node [priority arrow, left=12mm, rotate=180, transform shape, anchor=before tail] (f) at (a.north west) {}; % wdg: "left=7mm" is the distance btw the boxes and the arrow 

% draw ticks on big arrow
\foreach \i in {1,...,3}
   \draw [\col, line width=5pt]  (c-\i -| f.south) -- (c-\i -| f.north);

  • Adding \smartdiagramset{description text width=2.5cm, description width=3cm} before \foreach would do the work. These options are documented in manual of smartdiagrame, sec. 4.2.2. In addition, your code is still in tikz style, but not smartdiagram style. Jul 30, 2020 at 23:54
  • @Wayne please see if the answer helps
    – js bibra
    Jul 31, 2020 at 5:55
  • That worked perfectly. All too easy once you know the answer. Many thanks. Note that I have some clever answers from below. I will response to those as well. Thanks all.
    – Wayne
    Jul 31, 2020 at 17:17

1 Answer 1


The same with smartdiagram --


page 18-19

The default uparrow is changed with the help of tikzset

\tikzset{priority arrow/.append style={rotate=180,anchor=0,xshift=30,}}

--it rotates 180 degrees (whereas the style defined is rotate=90 degrees) --it anchors the arrow at a different point (anchor=west is default) --it shifts the arrow downward using xshift=30 (you may need to adjust this manually, depending on the size of your diagram)

The size of boxes is changed with the help of smartdiagramset

\smartdiagramset{description text width=2.6cm, description width=1cm}

enter image description here



\tikzset{priority arrow/.append style={rotate=180,anchor=0,xshift=30,}}
\smartdiagramset{description text width=2.6cm, description width=1cm}

                    set color list={orange!50!red,orange!50!red,orange!50!red},
                    priority arrow width=2cm,
                    priority arrow height advance=2.2cm
    \smartdiagram[priority descriptive diagram]{


Thanks to --

Change arrow orientation in smart diagram



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