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Convert SmartArt into Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X

Date Created: October 25th 2011
Last Updated: October 25th 2011

Excerpt/Capsule: Learn how to convert SmartArt to individual shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.

As part of this ongoing SmartArt series, you have learned that SmartArt graphics can be customized to a large extent – you can resize and move individual shapes, format text and change colors, add and delete shapes, and animate them in sequence -- yet, even the customization options have their limitations. Any customization is within the bounding box within which your SmartArt graphic is contained. To get over these limitations, you may consider converting your SmartArt graphic to a collection of individual editable shapes that can be manipulated further. This approach does have its advantages since you are no longer tied to the SmartArt feature and can now treat the individual shapes as normal PowerPoint shapes that can be formatted, positioned, or animated as you deem fit! However, this freedom does come at a price -- first of all, this is a one-way process, and you lose any editability for the SmartArt graphic from that point of time. Follow these steps to learn how you can convert a SmartArt graphic into individual shapes:

  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 Horizontal Picture List.

    Horizontal Picture List SmartArt with text
    Figure 1: Horizontal Picture List SmartArt with text

  2. Select the SmartArt tab of the Ribbon (highlighted in red in Figure 1).

    Within this tab, locate the Reset group, and click the Convert button (highlighted in blue in Figure 1) to access the drop-down list that you can see in Figure 2.

    In this drop-down list, select the Convert to Shapes option (refer to Figure 2 again).

    Convert to Shapes option
    Figure 2: Convert to Shapes option

  3. This will convert the selected SmartArt graphic to shapes, as shown in Figure 3. Note that the ungrouped SmartArt graphic now shows typical selection handles as in the case of any PowerPoint shape – you no longer see the SmartArt selection box as shown earlier in Figure 1.

    SmartArt graphic converted to shapes
    Figure 3: SmartArt graphic converted to shapes

  4. Now right-click the converted SmartArt to bring up a contextual menu, and choose the Grouping | Ungroup option (see Figure 4).

    Ungroup option within the Grouping sub-menu of converted SmartArt contextual menu
    Figure 4: Ungroup option within the Grouping sub-menu of converted SmartArt contextual menu

  5. This ungroups the entire converted SmartArt graphic into individual shapes, as shown in Figure 5.

    Converted SmartArt graphic ungrouped into individual shapes
    Figure 5: Converted SmartArt graphic ungrouped into individual shapes

  6. Now, you can select individual shapes and format them as you like -- look at our tutorials on Shapes to learn about the techniques you can use to make your shapes do so much more.

  7. Save your presentation.

Warning: Do note that any editability for your SmartArt will no longer be retained once you convert it into shapes -- so if you are not sure, do create a copy of your slide that contains the SmartArt graphic, and then do the conversion.

See Also: Convert SmartArt Graphic into Shapes in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows


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