Tag Archives: SmartArt

Tame your computer – get smart with SmartArt

2 Sep

Hope you’ve all fallen in love with SmartArt, introduced in Microsoft Office 2007?! (I still encounter people who don’t know about this nifty feature, hence the question.)

My only bugbear about SmartArt is that it’s difficult to tweak individual bits. Perhaps you want to remove one of its arrows. Or animate a specific part of the graphic. Well, you can do so once you convert the SmartArt into individual shapes.

Here’s how:

  1. Consider duplicating the slide (CTRL + D) as this is a one-way process.
  2. Right-click on the border of the SmartArt graphic.
  3. Select Convert to Shapes.

If you struggle with or don’t like the right-click, the Convert button can be found on the SmartArt Tools Design tab. And if, like me, you love keyboard shortcuts you may want to check out ungrouping the SmartArt graphic by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + G twice.

Related tips:

Tip # 501: Change the emphasis of a SmartArt graphic by changing its direction

Tip # 355: Tweak your SmartArt graphics

Tip # 268: Convert an existing bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic

Tip # 230: Draw three concentric circles with text in each

Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.

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Tame your computer – picture perfect

25 May

Not so long ago I was helping a client update her PowerPoint presentation. We had used one of the SmartArt Graphics that can contain pictures, but wanted to reposition the photo … more head, less body. The right-clickers among you might intuitively try Size and Position, but that applies to the placeholder, not the picture itself. But don’t despair – you can get access to the photo.

Here’s how:

  1. Click on the picture in the SmartArt.
  2. Click on the Picture Tools Format tab.
  3. Click on the Crop button.
  4. To resize the picture, drag any of the corner sizing handles, so that both the height and width change and you won’t end up with a distorted photo.
  5. To reposition the picture, make sure you have a 4-headed arrow cursor and drag the picture to the desired location. Hold down the SHIFT key to “snap” the picture to a perfect horizontal or vertical “grid”.
  6. Click anywhere outside the placeholder to “confirm” the change.

With thanks to Miranda for this week’s tip inspiration.

Related tips:
Tip 501: Change the emphasis of a SmartArt graphic by changing its direction (tip_501.php)
Tip 355: Tweak your SmartArt graphics (tip_355.php)
Tip 268: convert an existing bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic (tip_268.php)

Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.

Tame your computer – get smart with SmartArt

11 Dec

Don’t you love SmartArt?! They are quick and easy to create and you can choose from many different layouts, making it easy to communicate your message or ideas effectively in Excel, Word, and Outlook, but mainly – I guess – PowerPoint.

But what if you need to change the emphasis or reverse the flow of your SmartArt graphic? Well, you can switch the layout of the SmartArt graphic between left to right and right to left with one simple click.

Here’s how:

  1. Click anywhere in the SmartArt graphic that you want to change.
  2. On the SmartArt Tools Design tab, in the Create Graphic group, click Right to Left. (If you don’t see the SmartArt Tools Design tab, you didn’t click on a SmartArt graphic.)
  3. To switch back to the original direction of your SmartArt graphic, click Right to Left again.

What happens depends on the type of SmartArt, but, say, you used a basic chevron process (“arrows pointing to the right” for you and me) … one click on Right to Left and hey presto, the arrows are pointing the other way.

By the way, the feature isn’t available for all SmartArt graphics and the customisation might get lost when you select a different layout, but I still really like the feature.

For more tips about working with SmartArt graphics see:

Tip # 355: Tweak your SmartArt graphics (Microsoft Office)

Tip # 268: Convert an existing bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic (PowerPoint)

Tip # 230: Draw three concentric circles with text in each (Microsoft Office)

Want to learn more? For a  schedule of my upcoming courses, click here. Affordable. Guaranteed to run. And fun!