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Adding New Shape(s) to Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2013

Learn how to add more shape(s) to an existing SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2013.


Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and higher






Once you insert a SmartArt graphic within PowerPoint (or convert some bulleted text to SmartArt), you may want to add more shapes to your SmartArt graphic. Fortunately, you can make these additions and later edit them too. You can add more shape(s) to your existing SmartArt graphics either from within the SmartArt graphic itself, or through the Text Pane. Note that adding a new shape to a SmartArt graphic entirely depends on the SmartArt variant that you are using -- some variants offer more options than the others.

Follow these steps to start adding more shape(s) to your existing SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2013:

  1. Select your existing SmartArt graphic, as you can see in Figure 1. The SmartArt graphic variant that we are using (and have selected) is the Diverging Radial.

    Diverging Radial SmartArt in PowerPoint
    Figure 1: Diverging Radial SmartArt
  2. When the SmartArt graphic is selected, you'll find two contextual tabs activated on the Ribbon: the SmartArt Tools Design and the SmartArt Tools Format tabs (highlighted in red within Figure 2).

    SmartArt Tools Design and Format tabs on the Ribbon
    Figure 2: SmartArt Tools Design and Format tabs on the Ribbon
  3. Just select any individual shape within the SmartArt graphic and click the SmartArt Tools Design tab on the Ribbon (refer to Figure 2 above).

    Note: The SmartArt Tools Design tab is a contextual tab. These tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time -- they only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options.
  4. Within this SmartArt Tools Design tab, click the Add Shape button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3) to bring up a drop-down gallery that you can see in Figure 3.

    Add Shape button
    Figure 3: Add Shape button

    Alternatively, you can right-click the selected shape to get the resultant context menu, as shown in Figure 4 . Here choose the Add Shape option, note that the options here are exactly the same as shown within the Add Shapes drop-down gallery (refer to Figure 3, above).

    Add Shape
    Figure 4: Add Shape

    These options are explained below:

    • Add Shape After: Click to insert a shape at the same level as the selected shape but following it.
    • Add Shape Before: Click to insert a shape at the same level as the selected shape but before it.
    • Add Shape Above: Click to insert a shape one level above the selected shape.
    • Add Shape Below: Click to insert a shape one level below the selected shape.
    • Add Assistant: This option places a shape which is hierarchically lower than the selected shape. Shape Assistant is only available if you have chosen an organization chart layout.
    You'll see that last three options in Figures 3 and 4 are grayed out. This is because these options logically don't work with the SmartArt graphic variant being used (Diverging Radial). Each SmartArt graphic variant will allow some options, and gray out the others.

See Also:

Adding New Shapes to Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Adding New Shape(s) to Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Adding New Shape(s) to Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

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