Get visual with SmartArt graphics

Click Play to see how to convert a bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic.

As the animation shows, you can convert a list by clicking its text, clicking Convert to SmartArt Graphic Button image on the Ribbon, and choosing one of the layouts shown in the gallery that opens.

You can see a preview of the SmartArt graphic's layout on the slide merely by pointing to a layout thumbnail in the gallery.

When you're converting a list, many of the layouts that appear in the gallery are of the List layout type, but other types are there, too, to support a range of content.

If what you want isn't in the initial gallery, click More SmartArt Graphics at the bottom of the gallery to open the full gallery of SmartArt layouts.

This conversion feature applies to text only, within a placeholder or any other shape.

Of the Microsoft Office programs that offer SmartArt graphics, only PowerPoint 2007 has the ability to convert existing text or a list to a SmartArt graphic.

For existing diagrams, there's a way to update them to be SmartArt graphics, but that is separate from this conversion feature; that process is shown at the end of the third lesson.

Don't overuse     Because PowerPoint 2007 makes it so easy to convert a list to a graphic, it can be tempting to convert every list you've got. But be judicious in using the feature. Be sure that a graphical format really is helping your information be seen, remembered, and understood. And keep in mind that for people with vision disabilities or dyslexia, sometimes a plain text list is more effective than a graphic.