Get visual with SmartArt graphics

Use these tips to work with SmartArt™ graphics in Microsoft® Office PowerPoint® 2007.

See also

Convert a list to a SmartArt™ graphic

  1. Click within the text that you want to convert.
  2. On the Home tab, in the Paragraph group, click Convert to SmartArt Graphic Button image.
  3. Point to any thumbnail in the layout gallery to see a preview of what the graphic would look like when applied to your text.

Tip     For more layout choices, click More SmartArt Graphics, at the bottom of the gallery.

  1. Click a layout thumbnail to apply it. Or, if you've opened the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box for more choices, double-click the thumbnail.

Note     When you convert a list to a SmartArt graphic, you will lose some text customizations, such as changes to the text color or font size, that were made to the original list.

Tips

  • You can also convert your text to a SmartArt graphic by right-clicking the text that you want to convert, and then clicking Convert to SmartArt.
  • You can convert text within a placeholder or a shape, such as a text box. If you convert text that's within a shape, the graphic will be a similar size to the shape. Drag sizing handles on the graphic to enlarge it.
  • If you convert a list to a SmartArt graphic, and then you want the list back, you must use Undo. If too many steps have happened and you can no longer undo, you could display the Text pane for the graphic, copy the text from there, and paste it onto a new slide. Another tactic is to copy the slide with your list before you convert it; then you have a backup.

Insert a blank SmartArt graphic

  • From a placeholder icon:
  1. To insert a slide with the appropriate slide layout, on the Home tab click the arrow next to New Slide. Apply one of the slide layouts that has the group of icons.
  2. On the slide, click the SmartArt Graphic icon within the icon group.
  3. From the gallery that opens, double-click a layout to insert it on the slide.
  • From the Insert tab:
  1. Click the Insert tab.
  2. In the Illustrations group, click SmartArt.
  3. In the gallery, double-click a layout to insert it on any slide.

Swap the layout for another one

  1. Select the SmartArt graphic on the slide. On the Ribbon, under SmartArt Tools, click the Design tab.
  2. Look for the group called Layouts. Depending on the size of your Microsoft Office PowerPoint® window, it will look either like this:

Layouts group, small version

or like this:

Layouts group, large version

In the larger version, the layout that's currently applied is displayed there as a thumbnail, and highlighted.

  1. Do one of these:
    • If you have the smaller version of the Layouts group, click Change Layout.
    • If you have the larger version of the Layouts group, click the More button Button image to see the gallery.

For more choices, click More Layouts at the bottom of the gallery.

  1. Click one of the layouts to apply it. Your earlier layout is replaced.

Work with the graphic

Here are tips for working with text and shapes in the graphic, either from the Text pane or from shapes in the graphic.

  • If the Text pane is not showing, click the SmartArt graphic to select it, and click the narrow vertical strip with arrows that's on the graphic's border.
  • In the Text pane, type text, and press ENTER to get a new bullet at the same level as the current one (for primary shapes, this will also give you a new shape in the graphic, if the layout supports more shapes). In a shape, to get a new bulleted line for secondary text, press ENTER within secondary-level text.
  • To navigate in the Text pane, click next to the bullet you want to go to, or press the DOWN ARROW or UP ARROW key to move to a bullet.
  • With your cursor in the Text pane, you can promote or demote text (and hence shapes) using the Promote and Demote buttons on the Design tab in SmartArt Tools.

OR: Press SHIFT+TAB (to promote) or TAB (to demote).

You can also sometimes use either method when working directly in the graphic, but this depends on the layout.

  • In the Text pane, you can delete text by selecting it and pressing DELETE; same goes for text in a shape.

To get rid of the entire shape, in the Text pane, press BACKSPACE to get rid of a bullet.

In the graphic itself, select the shape (click its border) and press DELETE.

Some layouts won't let you delete a second-level shape, only a first-level one, which takes the second-level shape with it.

  • If you get stuck and need to add a bullet and can't figure out how to do it, use the Add Bullet button (Create Graphic group) on the Design tab under SmartArt Tools.
  • Also remember the Add Shape button on the Design tab (SmartArt Tools); it has specific choices for adding shapes that may help you in layouts such as org charts.

Reset graphics

If you ever want to start over with adding or deleting text and shapes within a SmartArt graphic, you can reset the graphic back to the original layout.

  1. Select the SmartArt graphic.
  2. On the Design tab under SmartArt Tools, click Reset Graphic (it's on the right end of the tab).

Tip     If you only want to go back a step or two, you can use Undo on the Quick Access Toolbar.

Apply a SmartArt Quick Style

  1. Select the SmartArt graphic on the slide, and click the Design tab under SmartArt Tools.
  2. In the SmartArt Styles group, a few style thumbnails are shown. Click the More button on the bottom right of the thumbnails to see the full gallery.

If your PowerPoint window is currently small, these styles are labeled as Quick Styles; click the arrow there to see the gallery:

Quick Styles within SmartArt Styles

Select a color variation

  1. Select the SmartArt graphic on the slide, and click the Design tab under SmartArt Tools.
  2. In the SmartArt Styles group, click Change Colors.
  3. Point to any color variation in the gallery for a preview, and click one to apply it.

Change shape styles and visual effects

  1. Select the shapes within the SmartArt graphic that you want to apply a style or other formatting to. Press SHIFT as you click each one to select multiple shapes.
  2. Click the Format tab under SmartArt Tools.
  3. In Shape Styles, click the More button to display the style gallery (or click Quick Styles, if that's what the Ribbon is showing), and click a style to apply it to selected shapes.

Tip     Use the Shape Fill, Shape Outline, and Shape Effects galleries, all within the Shape Styles group, to do more with shapes.

Change text styles and visual effects

  1. Select the shapes within the SmartArt graphic that contain the text you want to style. Press SHIFT as you click each one to select multiple shapes.
  2. Click the Format tab under SmartArt Tools.
  3. In WordArt Styles, click the More button to display the WordArt style gallery (or click Quick Styles, if that's what the Ribbon is showing), and click a style to apply it to selected shapes.

WordArt Styles group

Tip     Use the Text Fill, Text Outline, and Text Effects galleries, all within the WordArt Styles group, to do more with text.

Convert old diagrams to SmartArt graphics or editable shapes

  1. With the older diagram open in PowerPoint 2007, double-click within the selection border on the diagram.
  2. In the Diagram Conversion dialog box, choose one of these:
    • Click Convert to SmartArt graphic, and click Convert.

After you convert it, the diagram has available to it all the design and formatting tools of any SmartArt graphic. You can use this conversion feature for diagrams as old as PowerPoint 2000.

Important     Don't save the converted diagram until you're sure it's what you want. To revert back to the original diagram, click the arrow next to the Undo button on the Quick Access Toolbar and then click Convert to SmartArt Graphic on that button's list of things to undo:

Undo menu

  • Click Convert to Shapes.

To maintain fidelity to the diagram's original look and behavior, make this choice. This also means that the diagram is editable by someone opening it up in PowerPoint 2003 or earlier.