Add a shape to a SmartArt graphic

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You can add shapes to your SmartArt graphic either from within the SmartArt graphic or from within the Text pane. Depending on the type of SmartArt graphic layout that you're using, you may not be able to use some of the commands described below. Some SmartArt graphic layouts have limits on the number of different levels that you can have, or restrictions on how many shapes the SmartArt graphic can contain. For example, the Basic Matrix layout is limited to four shapes, and you can't add more shapes to it. If you attempt to add more shapes to a SmartArt graphic layout that already contains its maximum number of shapes, or if you attempt to create a shape on a level that the SmartArt graphic layout doesn't support, the shape, and any text that you add to its bullet in the Text pane, does not appear. Shapes that are not displayed in your SmartArt graphic still appear in the Text pane, but their bullets are marked with a red X symbol Shape not displayed. If you later change your SmartArt graphic to a layout with a higher shape limit, these hidden shapes will appear again. For more information about shape limits, see Which SmartArt graphic layouts have unlimited shapes?.

Add a shape from within the SmartArt graphic

  1. Click the SmartArt graphic that you want to add a shape to.
  2. Click the existing shape that is located closest to where you want to add the new shape.
  3. Under SmartArt Tools, click the Design tab.

SmartArt Tools Design tab image

If you don't see the SmartArt Tools or Design tabs, make sure that you've selected a SmartArt graphic.

  1. In the Create Graphic group, click the arrow under Add Shape, and then do one of the following to select a location for the new shape:

Create Graphic group image

  • To insert a shape at the same level as the selected shape but following it, click Add Shape After.
  • To insert a shape at the same level as the selected shape but before it, click Add Shape Before.
  • To insert a shape one level above the selected shape, click Add Shape Above.

The new shape takes the position of the selected shape, and the selected shape and all of the shapes below it are demoted one level each.

  • To insert a shape one level below the selected shape, click Add Shape Below.

The new shape is added at the end of other shapes at the same level.

 Notes 

  • To quickly add a shape that matches those in your SmartArt graphic, click Add Shape, rather than the arrow under Add Shape, in step 4 above.
  • If you click Add Shape when you do not have a shape selected, a shape is added either at the end of the top level shapes or below a top level shape to keep your SmartArt graphic balanced.
  • The Add Assistant shape is only available if you have chosen an organization chart layout.

Add a shape from within the Text pane

Add a shape before an existing shape

  1. In the Text pane, place your cursor at the beginning of the text where you want to add a shape.
  2. Type your text, and then press ENTER.

Add a shape after an existing shape

  1. In the Text pane, place your cursor at the end of the text where you want to add a shape.
  2. Press ENTER, and then type your text.

 Notes 

  • To indent the new shape, press TAB from within the Text pane. To negative indent, press SHIFT+TAB.
  • If you select a shape that connects or links other shapes, such as a line or an arrow, and then click Add Shape, both the connecting shape and the shape next to it will be added — thus maintaining the balance of the layout design. To insert a connecting shape only, add a line or other shape to your SmartArt graphic.
  • To insert a shape that is different from all shapes currently present in the layout, first add a default shape, and then replace the shape.
  • If you want to add a customized shape either to the same SmartArt graphic or to another SmartArt graphic that has the same layout name, copy and paste the shape. You don't need to redo all your customizations after adding the shape. For example, if you have changed one of the rectangular shapes in Basic Process 1A to a red triangle, you can copy and paste the red triangle to Basic Process 1B without having to redo your color customizations. The triangle customization will not be maintained unless you are copying and pasting within the same SmartArt graphic.
  • To quickly add additional Assistant shapes, place your cursor at the end of the text representing an assistant and then press ENTER.
 
 
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