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Useful ways to use SmartArt Graphics in your presentations

SmartArt is a diagramming tool in Powerpoint that allows you to create visual representations of information.  Your SmartArt graphics can be designed to match the look and feel of your presentations and can be used to create process flows, cycle diagrams, pryamids and orgazational charts. SmartArt is also created from the Insert tab > Illustrations Group on the Ribbon.

SmartArt graphics can be created from scratch by choosing from several different types of layouts and the one you choose will depend on what information you want to convey and in what way.  For example, the Process layout shows the steps to complete a particular task whereas the Hierarchy layout illustrates the structure of an organization such as an organizational chart.

Requirements:  PowerPoint 2013 or 2016.  To follow this tutorial, open up the Hiking Adventures Begin PowerPoint presentation and follow the directions below:

Insert a SmartArt Graphic in PowerPoint

  1. Click on slide 3 to select it and then click on the Insert tab > Illustrations Group > SmartArt button on the Ribbon. The Choose a SmartArt dialog box will appear.
    Add a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint
  2. Click the List category
  3. Scroll down and choose Vertical Block List in the fifth row. Notice the description in the right hand pane.  Click the OK button.
    List layout in SmartArt graphic
  4. The SmartArt image will be inserted in your document and the text pane should now be visible as shown in the image below. If not, click the tab on the left side of the graphic.
    Tip!  When entering text in the SmartArt graphic, you will need to press the down arrow on your keyboard and not the ENTER key as pressing the ENTER key will add a new bullet point.
    SmartArt text pane
  5. With the first bullet in the Text Pane selected, type Bone Density and then press the down arrow on your keyboard to move to the next bullet. The text will appear in your graphic.
  6. Type Weight Bearing  then press the down arrow key again to move to the next bullet and type Strenghens Core.  Your graphic should now look like the following:
    SmartArt text pane
  7. You can also type directly in the text boxes.  Click in the second text box and type Heart. Click in the text boxes next to Heart and type Lowers risk of heart disease and Improves Blood pressure.
    Smartart Text Boxes in PowerPoint
  8.  Click in the third text box and type Weight. Click in the text boxes next to Weight and type Burns about 250+ calories/hour and Helps control weight.  Your SmartArt graphic should look like the following:
    SmartArt bullets

Converting Bullet Lists to SmartArt

You can also convert text already typed in your presentations, such as a bulleted list, into a SmartArt graphic.  Once converted, you can then style the SmartArt graphic by adding colors, fills, outlines and other effects as desired.  Depending on the SmartArt graphic layout you choose, you can also add pictures and additional text and change the layout type at any time.

  1. Click on Slide 4 to display it and then select the bulleted list or click anywhere in the list. Click the Home tab > Paragraph group and click the Convert to SmartArt Graphic button.  You can also click More to open the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box.
    Convert bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint
  2. Choose the Vertical Picture Accent List layout.  Your slide should look like the following.
    Convert bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint

Style your SmartArt Graphic

When working with SmartArt graphics, the SmartArt Contextual tab will appear. Here you will see two new tabs, the SmartArt Design tab and the SmartArt Layout tab.

  1. Make sure your SmartArt graphic is still selected. Then, under the Design Tab, click the more button to display SmartArt styles.  Choose the 3D Polished Style.
    Styling SmartArt in PowerPoint
  2. Click the Design tab > SmartArt Styles Group and click the Change Colors button on the Ribbon 2. Select the Gradient Loop Accent 1 style.
    Styling SmartArt in PowerPoint
  3. If you have a picture SmartArt, you can click on the pictures and choose an image to go into each section.  Browse to the location where your images are located and add one picture for each bullet as shown below.  See Adding images to your PowerPoint presentations.
    Add a picture to a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint

There are several other options that you can try out for your SmartArt diagrams.  It’s a good idea to experiment with these options to customize your presentation as needed.

How to Create an Organization Chart using SmartArt in Word 2016

SmartArt is one of Word’s designer features that allows you to create attractive illustrations very simply by using the Insert Tab in Word.  This capability is also available in Excel, PowerPoint and also while formatting an email in Outlook.  You can create a variety of SmartArt graphics in Word and the type you use would depend on what type of information you want to convey.  The different types,  as you can see below,  include Lists, Processes, Cycles, Hierarchy, Relationships, Matrix, Pryamid, Picture or Office.com.  Each type contains several different layouts.

In this tutorial, we will be creating an organizational chart using one of Word’s SmartArt organization chart layouts, such as Organization Chart.  Word’s SmartArt graphic capability is an easy and efficient way to create and update your organization chart as it allows you to graphically represents the management structure of your organization.

Using SmartArt graphics in Word

As we want to create an organizational chart in Word in this tutorial, we will be using the Hierarchy type. The Hierarchy type allows you to select a variety of organizational chart styles showing the reporting relationships in an organization, such as director, managers and non-management employees.

  1. Click the Insert tab > Illustrations group and select SmartArt.
    Adding SmartArt Graphics in Word 2016
  2. In the Choose a SmartArt Graphic gallery, click Hierarchy
  3. Select an organization chart layout of your choice.  As you click on the different charts, notice the preview on the right hand side.  In this example. we’ll select the first option which is simply called Organization Chart.  Click OK.
    Create an organizational chart using SmartArt in Word
  4. The text pane will appear to the left of your SmartArt graphic.  You will be using the Text pane to enter and edit the text that appears in your SmartArt graphic.  As you add and edit your content in the Text pane, your SmartArt graphic will be updated automatically.  You can also enter the text directly in the text boxes in the SmartArt graphic.  Click in the first Text Box in the SmartArt graphic and type Director.

Adding text to SmartARrt graphic

5.  Now click [Text] in the Text pane, and then type the name Manager.  Finish entering the text in the other Text boxes by typing Employee.
Adding Text to a SmartArt graphic

Add Additional Text Boxes

Your organizational chart is likely to be a lot bigger and more complicated than the example shown above so you’ll need to add additional text boxes to accommodate additional staff members.   New text boxes can easily be added or removed as needed.

  1. Click the text box located in the row where you want to add additional text boxes.  It is usually the text box that is located closest to where you want to add the new box.  The SmartArt Tools contextual tab will appear.
  2. Click the Design tab under the SmartArt Tools tab > Create Graphic group,
  3. Click the down arrow next to the Add Shape button, and choose Add Shape After.  The new text box will appear in your chart.Add text boxes to the SmartArt

    Type the name Manager and then continue to build your organizational chart.   The following is our completed Organizational Chart.  Use the techniques described below this chart to add in the additional text boxes and Assistants as shown.

    Adding text boxes and assistant boxes to SmartArt graphic in Word 2016

    • Add Shape Below – Inserts a text box one level below the selected box
    • Add Shape Before – Inserts a text box at the same level as the selected box but before it.
    • Add Shape Above – Inserts a text box one level above the selected box. The new box takes the position of the selected box, and the selected box and all the boxes directly below it are each demoted one level.
    • Add Assistant – You can also add an assistant box.  The assistant box is added above the other boxes at the same level in the SmartArt graphic, but it is displayed in the Text pane after the other boxes at the same level.

Delete and Moving Text Boxes

  • Deleting a box is easy.  Just click the border of the box you want to delete, and then press the Delete key on your keyboard.
  • Moving boxes is just as easy.  To move a box, click the box that you want to move and then drag the box to its new location.  You can also move or “nudge” a text box in very small increments by simply holding down Ctrl while you press the arrow keys on your keyboard.

Styling Organizational Charts

  1. Click the SmartArt graphic to select it then click the Design tab under the SmartArt Tools contextual tab Create Graphic group,
  2. Click the Change Colors down arrow and then select Color Fill Accent 2 or a color style theme of your choice.
    Add Color to SmartArt graphic
  3. With the SmartArt graphic still selected, apply a style by displaying the SmartArt Style Gallery and selecting a style of your choice.  Your final organizational chart should look something like the example below.
    Applying a SmartArt graphic style in Word 2016