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Microsoft PowerPoint 2007/2008

Working with SmartArt: An Overview

In PowerPoint 2007/2008,SmartArt graphics can be added to your presentation to help with relating ideas and information aesthetically. The SmartArt designs are built with this purpose in mind, and cover a number of graphical representations for your data, including organization charts, flow charts, pyramids, Venn diagrams, and more. Additionally, many of the SmartArt graphics have animation features built in, to help you make your presentation visually connected. For example, you can set up a Venn diagram with three circles, and have each circle fade in one at a time to punctuate your presentation. Different SmartArt designs may also include spots for pictures or movies within the graphic. This overview covers the following subjects:

return to topThe SmartArt Canvas

SmartArt graphics can be customized just like ordinary text and shapes in PowerPoint, with some added features. When working with SmartArt, the shapes and text are locked inside the SmartArt canvas. This canvas keeps everything within it visible by dynamically resizing and reshaping as you work. For example, if you resize one shape to be very wide, the other shapes will automatically become thin proportionately in order to remain visible. The Text pane, another added feature, is a pane connected to the canvas which organizes all of the text boxes in the SmartArt and allows you to easily enter and edit text.

return to topTypes of SmartArt

There are seven categories of SmartArt graphics. Each category is built to be used in different situations and offers a number of graphics to choose from.

Cycle: Shows a process, especially one that is cyclical. Hierarchy: Shows a ranking relationship between data.
Example of a Cycle SmartArt graphic Example of a Hierarchy SmartArt graphic
Pyramid: Shows a building relationship. Matrix: Shows how various elements relate to a central idea.
Example of Pyramid SmartArt graphic Example of a Matrix SmartArt graphic
Process: Shows a progression of items or data. List: Shows a general list of related items.
Example of a Process SmartArt graphic Example of a List SmartArt graphic
Relationship: Shows a variety of relationship types. (e.g. sequence, interconnected, balance, etc.)  
Example of a Relationship SmartArt graphic  

return to topSizing SmartArt

When you add or change a SmartArt graphic, it appears in the SmartArt canvas. You can use sizing commands to make the canvas larger so you have more room to work. The SmartArt canvas is a dynamic work area that works with you to make sure all the parts of your graphic are visible when you resize particular elements. For more information about sizing, refer to Working with SmartArt (Win | Mac) .

return to topFormatting SmartArt

Once you have chosen a SmartArt graphic, you can format the entire graphic with preset styles, or you can format pieces of it just as you format shapes. You can add text, color, fills, textures, and backgrounds as well as change line weight and style. For more information, refer to SmartArt Formatting Options (Win | Mac).

return to topAnimating SmartArt

Along with sizing and formatting, you can also animate your SmartArt to direct the audience's attention to different parts of the graphic being presented. With animation, you can control the flow of the information during the presentation. For more information, refer to Animating SmartArt (Win | Mac).

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