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Convert SmartArt Graphic to Text in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to convert text within SmartArt graphics to bulleted text in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. This feature can be helpful if you want to recover text in a SmartArt graphic.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher



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One of the best options to create new SmartArt graphics is by convert your existing bulleted text to a SmartArt graphic. Many times, though, you might want to do the reverse; that is converting SmartArt back to bulleted text. Do note though that you will be left with just plain text rather than any shapes or visuals.

Follow these steps to do the conversion of SmartArt graphics to bulleted text in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows:

  1. Select your existing SmartArt graphic, as shown in Figure 1, below. The SmartArt graphic variant that we are using is called the Horizontal Picture List.
  2. Horizontal Picture List SmartArt with text
    Figure 1: Horizontal Picture List SmartArt with text
  3. Create a Backup Safety Net

  4. It's a good idea to create a duplicated backup of the slide that contains the SmartArt graphic that you want to convert to text. A quick way to create this backup is to select the slide within the Slides Pane or in Slide Sorter view. Then press the Ctrl+D keyboard shortcut to make a copy of your slide. Want more keyboard shortcuts? Get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts Ebook.
  5. When the SmartArt graphic is selected, you'll find two contextual tabs activated on the Ribbon. These are the SmartArt Tools Design and SmartArt Tools Format tabs, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2, below. Activate the SmartArt Tools Design tab by clicking on it.
  6. SmartArt Tools Design tab selected
    Figure 2: SmartArt Tools Design tab selected
  7. Contextual Tabs

  8. The SmartArt Tools Design and SmartArt Tools Format tabs are contextual tabs. 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.
  9. Within the SmartArt Tools Design tab, click the Convert button to bring up a drop-down list, as shown in Figure 3, below. Within the list, select the Convert to Text option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.
  10. Convert to Text option
    Figure 3: Convert to Text option
  11. This action will convert the SmartArt graphic to a bulleted list, as shown in Figure 4, below.
  12. SmartArt graphic converted to bulleted list
    Figure 4: SmartArt graphic converted to bulleted list
  13. Alternatively, you can right-click the SmartArt graphic . In the resultant contextual menu, and choose the Convert to Text option, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 5, below.
  14. Convert to Text option within the right-click contextual menu
    Figure 5: Convert to Text option within the right-click contextual menu

See Also:

SmartArt Basics: Convert SmartArt Graphic to Text (Glossary Page)

Convert SmartArt Graphic to Text in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Convert SmartArt Graphic to Text in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Convert SmartArt Graphic to Text in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

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