Using SmartArt in Microsoft Office

Are you familiar with SmartArt -- the diagram generating tool in Microsoft Office that displays text inside shapes? It’s perfect for creating anything from simple graphics to cutting-edge business diagrams. To create a SmartArt graphic in Microsoft Excel, Word, PowerPoint or Outlook:

  1. Click the Insert tab and then the SmartArt icon in the Illustrations group.
  2. When the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog appears, choose the type of graphic from the category list on the left, and then the actual graphic to create.

If you're unsure how a graphic should be used, click on the graphic to see its name and a description.

Here's the best part, Microsoft has made it easy to quickly and easily switch between colors and shapes. When you "right click" your mouse, you can try different options until you find the one that best illustrates and conveys your message.

Remember – the goal of a graphic is to enhance your communications. Hence, the graphic should be clear and easy to understand.

Also, consider the amount of text that you have. In general, SmartArt graphics are most effective when the number of shapes and the amount of text are limited to key points.

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