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Delete Shapes from Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to delete shapes from existing SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. Shapes get deleted from SmartArt graphics while retaining symmetry and spacing aesthetics.

After inserting a SmartArt graphic within PowerPoint or converting some bulleted text to SmartArt, you can easily add more shapes to your SmartArt graphics with a click or two. You can even delete shapes from any existing SmartArt graphic.

Follow these steps to learn how you can delete shapes from your SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows:

  1. Select your existing SmartArt graphic, as shown in Figure 1, below. The SmartArt graphic variant that we have selected is the Diverging Radial.

  2. Figure 1: Diverging Radial SmartArt graphic
  3. SmartArt Ideas

  4. See more SmartArt graphic samples.


  5. Select the shape within the SmartArt graphic which you want to delete. We selected the top most circle with Dubai written in it, as shown in Figure 2, below.

  6. Figure 2: Shape selected within SmartArt graphic


  7. Now, press the Delete key on the keyboard. Doing so will delete the selected shape within the SmartArt graphic, as shown in Figure 3, below.

  8. Figure 3: Selected shape deleted
  9. Undo a Step

  10. Use the Ctrl+Z keyboard shortcut to undo if you accidentally deleted a shape.
  11. PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts

    Do you want more keyboard shortcuts?

    Explore our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences Ebook that is updated for all PowerPoint versions.

  12. Figure 4, below, shows the SmartArt graphic after the selected shape was deleted. Compare Figures 1 and 4. You will notice that PowerPoint retains the symmetrical spacing between the remaining shapes.

  13. Figure 4: SmartArt graphic after selected shape was deleted

See Also:

Working with SmartArt: Delete Shapes from Existing SmartArt Graphics (Glossary Page)

Delete Shapes from Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Delete Shapes from Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Delete Shapes from Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows