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Modifying and Formatting SmartArt Graphics

PowerPoint offers two contextual tabs that enable you to modify the design and format of your SmartArt graphics: the SmartArt Tools – Design tab and the SmartArt Tools – Format tab.

Note that these contextual tabs appear only when you have selected a graphic. If they disappear, select your graphic again to view them. Also, be aware that depending on your choice of SmartArt graphic, not all options are available on the SmartArt Tools tabs.

Using SmartArt Design Tools

The SmartArt Tools – Design tab, as shown in Figure 11.6, enables you to create additional graphic objects, specify layout and style options, and convert your SmartArt graphic to other formats.

Figure 11.6

Figure 11.6. The SmartArt Tools – Design tab is one of two SmartArt Tools contextual tabs.

Adding a Shape to a SmartArt Graphic

Although SmartArt graphics already contain shapes by default, you can add more shapes if you need. For example, you could create a basic cycle graphic, which comes with five shapes, and then decide you need to add a sixth.

To add a shape to a SmartArt graphic, follow these steps:

  1. Select the SmartArt graphic to which you want to add a shape.
  2. On the SmartArt Tools – Design tab, click the down arrow to the right of the Add Shape button to display a menu of options.
  3. Select from the following menu choices:
    • Add Shape After—Add an identical shape after a selected shape.
    • Add Shape Before—Add an identical shape before a selected shape.
    • Add Shape Above—Add an identical shape above a selected shape.
    • Add Shape Below—Add an identical shape below a selected shape.
    • Add Assistant—Add an assistant shape to an organization chart.

If you want to place an additional shape in the default location for your graphic type (such as at the end of a list), you can click the Add Shape button directly, without viewing the menu options.

Adding Bullets

If your SmartArt graphic supports bulleted lists, you can add a text bullet by clicking the Add Bullet button on the SmartArt Tools – Design tab. You must select a specific graphic object for this button to become active.

Using the Text Pane

Although you can enter text directly on your SmartArt graphic, using the Text pane is a good idea if you have a lot of text or your graphic is more complex.

To open the Text pane, click the Text Pane button on the SmartArt Tools – Design tab. Figure 11.7 shows a sample Text pane.

Figure 11.7.

Figure 11.7. Edit and organize text on the Text pane.

In this pane, you can enter and revise text, use the buttons in the Create Graphic group to promote or demote objects, and edit any pictures if you selected a graphic type that includes pictures.

To close the Text pane, click the Close button (x) in the upper-right corner or click the Text Pane button on the SmartArt Tools – Design tab again, which acts as a toggle.

Organizing SmartArt Content

The Create Graphic group on the SmartArt Tools – Design tab (refer to Figure 11.6) also includes several buttons that help you organize the content in your graphic. For example, you can promote, demote, or reorder objects to customize your graphic exactly the way you want. Be aware that like other options on the SmartArt Tools – Design tab, the availability of these buttons depends on your graphic type and what object is selected.

The buttons include the following:

  • Promote—Move selected object up a level. You can also use this with the Text pane.
  • Demote—Move selected object down a level. You can also use this with the Text pane.
  • Right to Left—Change layout from the right to the left.
  • Move Up—Move selected object up in a sequence.
  • Move Down—Move selected object down in a sequence.
  • Layout—Modify the layout of an organization chart, such as displaying subordinates to the left or to the right.

Modifying Your SmartArt Layout

The Layouts group on the SmartArt Tools – Design tab offers several layout options that you can apply to your SmartArt graphic. Three options appear on the tab itself, but you can click the down arrow to the right of the group to open a gallery of additional options. Pause the mouse over each option to preview it on your slide. These layouts correspond to the layouts that appear on the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box.

Changing SmartArt Colors

If you don’t like your graphic’s default color scheme, you can quickly change it by clicking the Change Colors button on the SmartArt Tools – Design tab. Figure 11.8 shows the gallery that displays, offering color choices suited to your specific SmartArt graphic type.

Figure 11.8

Figure 11.8. Get colorful by changing your SmartArt colors.

You can choose a primary theme color, select something more colorful, or opt for one of your theme’s accent colors.

Applying a SmartArt Style

If you want to quickly dress up your SmartArt graphic, apply one of the many ready-made styles designed to complement your presentation’s theme. To do so, select a style in the SmartArt Styles group on the SmartArt Tools – Design tab. For more options, click the down arrow to display a gallery where you can choose a style that’s a good match for your document, or try out a 3-D style.

Resetting a SmartArt Graphic

If you’ve made a lot of changes to your SmartArt graphic and decide you don’t like what you’ve done, click the Reset Graphic button on the SmartArt Tools – Design tab. PowerPoint deletes all the formatting changes you’ve made to your graphic and restores its original format. PowerPoint doesn’t delete any text you’ve added, however.

Converting a SmartArt Graphic

If you decide that you don’t want to use a SmartArt graphic you created but would like to retain your text as a bulleted list, click the Convert button on the SmartArt Tools – Design tab and then select Convert to Text from the menu.

Another option is to convert your SmartArt graphic to a shape so that you can take advantage of shape-formatting options. To do this, click the Convert button and then select Convert to Shapes from the menu. Learn more in Chapter 10, “Working with Shapes.”

Formatting SmartArt Graphics

The SmartArt Tools – Format tab, as shown in Figure 11.9, offers numerous SmartArt formatting options, many of which are shared with other PowerPoint objects.

Figure 11.9

Figure 11.9. Create a custom look with the options on the SmartArt Tools – Format tab.

On this tab, you can perform the following tasks:

  • Edit a 3-D graphic in 2-D.
  • Format and change individual SmartArt shapes.
  • Apply shape style, fills, outlines, and effects. Learn more in Chapter 10.
  • Apply WordArt styles, fills, outlines, and effects to SmartArt text. Learn more in Chapter 4, “Working with Text.”
  • Arrange SmartArt objects, such as moving objects forward and backward and aligning, grouping, and rotating objects. Learn more in Chapter 5, “Formatting and Organizing Objects, Slides, and Presentations.”
  • Change the height and width of your SmartArt graphic by clicking the Size button.

Editing in 2-D

If you applied a 3-D style to your SmartArt graphic, you can temporarily return to 2-D to edit it by clicking the Edit in 2-D button on the SmartArt Tools – Format tab. When you finish editing, click this button again to return to your 3-D style.

Changing the Appearance of SmartArt Shapes

Although SmartArt graphics include default shapes, you might prefer a different shape. For example, if you select a Basic Block List, your graphic includes several basic rectangles. Your preference, however, might be rounded rectangles.

To change the appearance of the shapes in your SmartArt graphic, follow these steps:

  1. Select the shape or shapes you want to change. To select multiple shapes, press the Ctrl key while clicking the shapes you want to change.
  2. On the SmartArt Tools – Format tab, click the Change Shape button. A gallery of shape options appears, as shown in Figure 11.10.
    Figure 11.10

    Figure 11.10. Select a new shape in this gallery.

  3. Select the shape option you prefer to change your selected shapes.

Resizing Shapes

If you want to resize selected shapes on your graphic, click either the Larger or Smaller button on the SmartArt Tools – Format tab. You can continue clicking these buttons until you reach your desired size.

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