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Inserting SmartArt in PowerPoint 2013

Learn how to insert SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2013.


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






SmartArt in PowerPoint allows you to replace bullet points with info-graphic content using shapes that contain text. This approach is more logical in the way that we view and present content. In this tutorial you'll learn how to insert a SmartArt graphics within PowerPoint 2013. If you are new to this, do also take a look at the What is SmartArt? and SmartArt Samples pages.

Follow these steps to insert a new SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2013:

  1. Create a new presentation, or open an existing presentation in PowerPoint.
  2. When you insert a new slide in PowerPoint, it uses the default Title and Content Slide layout. But if you open a new presentation, it opens a new slide with the default Title Slide layout which you have to change to Title and Content.

  3. Click the Layout button/option in the Home tab of the Ribbon to bring up the Layout drop-down gallery as shown in Figure 1. Select any of the layouts that include a content placeholder (the small palette like collection of multicolored buttons visible on some of the slide layouts that you can see in Figure 1).

    Choose a slide layout that includes a content placeholder
    Figure 1: Choose a slide layout that includes a content placeholder
  4. If your slide layout has a content placeholder, click the Insert a SmartArt Graphic button among the six buttons in the content placeholder that you can see in the slide within Figure 2.

    Content Placeholder within Slide in PowerPoint
    Figure 2: Content Placeholder

    Alternatively, if you want to insert a SmartArt in an existing slide that has no content placeholder, just select the Insert tab of the Ribbon, and click the SmartArt button, as shown in Figure 3.

    SmartArt button within the Insert tab of the Ribbon
    Figure 3: SmartArt button within the Insert tab of the Ribbon
  5. Either of these options opens the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box that you can see in Figure 4.

    Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box
    Figure 4: Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box

    The left pane lists the types of SmartArt graphics available -- the middle area displays SmartArt graphic variants within the selected type, and the area towards the right shows a preview of the selected SmartArt graphic along with a brief description.
  6. Select any of the SmartArt graphic variants you want to insert, and click OK button.
  7. This will place the selected SmartArt graphic on the slide, as shown in Figure 5.

    Inserted SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint
    Figure 5: Inserted SmartArt graphic
  8. When the SmartArt graphic is placed on the slide, click the arrow located on the left side (highlighted in red within Figure 5, above) to open the text pane (see Figure 6 ).

    SmartArt graphic text pane
    Figure 6: SmartArt graphic text pane
  9. Any text content added or edited within the text pane shows up within the SmartArt graphic as well -- we explore this more in our Text Pane For SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2013 tutorial.
  10. Save your presentation.

See Also:

Inserting SmartArt in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Inserting SmartArt in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Inserting SmartArt in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

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