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SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn about SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2010.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010
OS: Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP






SmartArt graphics are essentially diagrams based on logic or relationships. First introduced with PowerPoint 2007, SmartArt has been improved in PowerPoint 2010 (and Office 2010). Using a combination of simple shapes and text, SmartArt can be more effective in expressing information than plain bulleted text.

Follow these steps to insert a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2010:

  1. Create a new presentation in PowerPoint 2010, or open any existing one. Navigate to the slide where you want to insert a SmartArt graphic.
  2. Select the Insert tab on the Ribbon, and then click the SmartArt button as shown in Figure 1.

    SmartArt button
    Figure 1: SmartArt button
  3. This summons the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box (see Figure 2). Choose any of the SmartArt graphic variants, and click the OK button to add it to the slide.

    Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box
    Figure 2: Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box
  4. This places the selected SmartArt graphic on the slide as shown in Figure 3.

    SmartArt on the slide
    Figure 3: SmartArt on the slide
  5. Replace the dummy text with the text that you want to use.
  6. When a SmartArt graphic is selected on the slide, two new contextual tabs are activated on the Ribbon:

    1. The SmartArt Tools Design tab (see Figure 4) allows you to add and reorganize shapes within a SmartArt graphic. You can also change the layout, color, and styles and reset the formatted SmartArt to its default state.

      SmartArt Design tab
      Figure 4: SmartArt Design tab

    2. The SmartArt Tools Format tab (see Figure 5) lets you change, enlarge or reduce the size of the shapes, apply Shapes Styles, format text and also rearrange the shapes.

      SmartArt Format tab
      Figure 5: SmartArt Format tab
  7. Save your presentation.
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