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SmartArt With Icons from PowerPoint Designer in PowerPoint 365 for Windows

Learn how you can change bulleted text to SmartArt graphics with icons in PowerPoint 365 for Windows. This technique is both easy and powerful, and can be achieved with a few clicks.

PowerPoint Designer is an amazing feature in PowerPoint 365 for Windows that lets you quickly change how your slides are formatted so that you can present them confidently. But did you know that PowerPoint Designer's features go even further? For example, you can change a bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic, complete with icons. These icons can then be changed, and you can also edit the SmartArt graphic itself with a few clicks.

Follow these steps to change a bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic with icons in PowerPoint 365 for Windows:

  1. Create a bulleted slide that has first-level bullets that are either single words or small terms, as shown in Figure 1, below.

  2. Figure 1: Bulleted list with first-level bullets
  3. Now add a description for each bullet with a second-level bullet, as shown in Figure 2, below. Yes, this slide looks like what many users will call a Death by PowerPoint slide. That's not a problem because we will use PowerPoint Designer to change the appearance of the slide to something much better in the next, few steps.

  4. Figure 2: Bulleted list with first and second-level bullets


  5. Now, with your slide, as shown in Figure 2, above active, you should see the Design Ideas Task Pane, as shown in Figure 3, below.

  6. Figure 3: Options within the Design Ideas Task Pane
  7. No Design Ideas Task Pane?

  8. Is there no Design Ideas Task Pane? You can summon the Pane by accessing either the Home or Design tabs of the Ribbon, and then clicking the Design Ideas button, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 4, below.

  9. Figure 4: The Design Ideas button
  10. If you see no such button, or if the button is grayed out, please look at our Troubleshooting PowerPoint Designer in PowerPoint 365 for Windows page.
  11. At least one of the options in the Design Ideas Task Pane will be a SmartArt graphic with icons, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3, previously on this page. We clicked on this option to apply it to our slide, and you can see the resulting slide in Figure 5, below.

  12. Figure 5: Bulleted list is changed to a SmartArt graphic with icons
  13. While you may be happy with the icons that PowerPoint has chosen for you, you can change them to something else too. To do so, click any icon, and you will see a Replace Your Icon Smart Tag on hovering, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 6, below.

  14. Figure 6: Replace your icon
  15. Clicking this Smart Tag brings up some suggestions as shown in Figure 7, below. You can accept any of them, or you can also click the See all icons option, highlighted in red within Figure 7, below.

  16. Figure 7: See all icons
  17. Clicking the See all icons option brings up the Insert Icons dialog box you can see in Figure 8, below. Since you get many icons in this dialog box, you can choose the Search box to enter a keyword, shown highlighted in red within Figure 8.

  18. Figure 8: Insert icons dialog box
  19. You can next select the icon you want to use, shown highlighted in blue within Figure 8, and then click the Insert button, highlighted in green within Figure 8.
  20. You can see the changed icon in Figure 9, below.

  21. Figure 9: Changed icon
  22. Since the finished content is a SmartArt graphic, you can do any formatting that you would apply to SmartArt. Tutorials for these techniques can be found in our SmartArt graphics page.