SmartArt Graphics

Using SmartArt in Word documents lets you communicate with graphics in Word documents instead of only using text.

Introduction

Lesson 22

SmartArt allows you to visually communicate information rather than simply using text. Illustrations can enhance your document, and SmartArt makes using graphics especially easy. In this lesson, you will learn how to insert a SmartArt graphic, modify the color and effects, and change the organization of the graphic.

SmartArt graphics

Video: SmartArt Graphics in Word 2010

Launch video!Watch the video (3:52).

Word has a variety of SmartArt graphics you can use to illustrate and organize many different types of ideas. To get the most out of SmartArt, you'll need to know how to insert a SmartArt graphic, modify the color and effects, and change the organization of the graphic.

To insert a SmartArt illustration:

  1. Place the insertion point in the document where you want the graphic to appear.
  2. Select the Insert tab.
  3. Select the SmartArt command in the Illustrations group. A dialog box appears.
    The SmartArt Command The SmartArt command
  4. Select a category to the left of the dialog box, and review the SmartArt graphics that appear in the center.
  5. Select the desired SmartArt graphic, then click OK.
    Selecting a SmartArt graphic Selecting a SmartArt graphic

To see more details about a graphic, click any image and a larger preview of the graphic with additional text details will appear on the right side of the dialog box.

To add text to a SmartArt graphic:

  1. Select the graphic. A border will appear around it with an arrow on the left side.
  2. Click the arrow on the left side of the graphic to open the task pane.
    The arrow to open the task pane The arrow to open the task pane
  3. Enter text next to each bullet in the task pane. The information will appear in the graphic and will resize to fit inside of the shape.
    Typing text into the task pane Typing text into the task pane
  4. To add a new shape, press Enter. A new bullet will appear in the task pane, and a new shape will appear in the graphic.

You can also add text by clicking the desired shape and typing your text. This works well if you only need to add text to a few shapes. However, for more complex SmartArt graphics working in the task pane is often faster.

You can change the layout of a SmartArt graphic even after you've added text. However, if the new layout is different from the old one, some of your text may not show up. Experiment with different layouts to see how they display your text differently.

Changing the organization of a SmartArt graphic

To add a shape to a graphic:

  1. Select the graphic. The Design and Format tabs appear on the Ribbon.
  2. Select the Design tab.
  3. Click the Add Shape command in the Graphics group.
  4. Decide where you want the new shape to appear, and select one of the shapes nearby the desired location.
  5. Select Add Shape Before or Add Shape After. If you want to add a superior or a subordinate, select the Add Shape Above or Add Shape Below options.
    Adding a shape Adding a shape

You can change the layout of a SmartArt graphic even after you've added text. However, if the new layout is different from the old one some of your text may not show up. Experiment with different layouts to see how they display your text differently.

To move shapes using the Promote and Demote commands:

  1. Select the graphic. The Design and Format tabs appear on the Ribbon.
  2. Select the Design tab.
  3. Select the shape you want to move.
  4. Click the Promote or Demote command in the Create Graphic group.
    Promoting a shape Promoting a shape
  5. The shape will move up or down by one level.
    The promoted shape The promoted shape

You can also demote and promote shapes from within the task pane. With the insertion point in the task pane, press the Tab key to demote a shape. Press the Backspace key (or Shift+Tab) to promote a shape. It's a lot like creating an outline with a multilevel list. For more information, you may want to review our Working with Lists lesson.

Modifying the SmartArt graphic's appearance

To change the SmartArt style:

  1. Select the graphic. The Design and Format tabs appear on the Ribbon.
  2. Click the Design tab.
  3. In the SmartArt Styles group, click the More drop-down arrow to view all of the styles.
    Viewing the SmartArt Styles Viewing the SmartArt Styles
  4. Hover your mouse over each style to see a live preview.
    Selecting a SmartArt Style Selecting a SmartArt Style
  5. Select the desired style.

To change color scheme:

Word provides a variety of color schemes to use with SmartArt. The color schemes use theme colors, so they will vary depending on which theme you are using.

  1. Select the graphic. The Design and Format tabs appear on the Ribbon.
  2. Select the Design tab.
  3. Click the Change Colors command. A drop-down menu appears, showing various color schemes.
  4. Select the desired color scheme.
    Selecting a new color scheme Selecting a new color scheme

If you want to change the appearance of a single shape within the SmartArt graphic, select the shape, then click the Format tab. You can then modify the shape style, color, effects, and other settings for that shape.

Challenge!

  1. Create a new document.
  2. Insert a SmartArt graphic.
  3. Enter text into the graphic.
  4. Change the SmartArt style.
  5. Change the color scheme.