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Inserting SmartArt in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how you can insert SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. SmartArt can quickly change bulleted text to graphics that contain shapes with text.

SmartArt is a PowerPoint option that allows you to create diagrams easily. Did you know that SmartArt can function as a substitute for conventional bullet points?

In this tutorial, you'll learn how to insert SmartArt graphics within PowerPoint 2016 for Windows. If you are new to SmartArt, do also take a look at the What is SmartArt? and SmartArt Samples pages.

Follow these steps to insert a new SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows:

  1. Create a new presentation, or open an existing presentation in PowerPoint.
  2. Insert a new slide, or create a new presentation altogether.
  3. New Slides and Slide Layouts

  4. Learn how to insert a new slide and how to change the slide layout in PowerPoint 2016.
  5. Click the Layout button on the Home tab of the Ribbon to bring up the Layout drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 1, below. Select any of the layouts that include a content placeholder. A content placeholder is the small palette like collection of multi-colored buttons visible on some of the slide layouts that you can see in Figure 1.

  6. Figure 1: Choose a slide layout that includes a content placeholder
  7. If your slide layout has a content placeholder, click the Insert a SmartArt Graphic button among the six buttons in the content placeholder that you can see in the slide within Figure 2, below.

  8. Figure 2: Content Placeholder
  9. Alternatively, if you want to insert a SmartArt graphic in an existing slide that has no content placeholder, select the Insert tab of the Ribbon, and click the SmartArt button, as shown in Figure 3, below.

  10. Figure 3: SmartArt button within the Insert tab of the Ribbon


  11. Either of these options opens the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box that you can see in Figure 4, below.

  12. Figure 4: Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box
  13. The left pane lists the types of SmartArt graphics available.
  14. The middle area displays SmartArt graphic variants within the selected type.
  15. Finally, the area towards the right shows a preview of the selected SmartArt graphic along with a brief description.
  16. Select any of the SmartArt graphic variants you want to insert, and click the OK button.
  17. Doing so will place the selected SmartArt graphic on the slide, as shown in Figure 5, below.

  18. Figure 5: Inserted SmartArt graphic
  19. When the SmartArt graphic is placed on the slide, click the arrow located on the left side as shown highlighted in red within Figure 5, above, to open the Text Pane, as shown in Figure 6, below.

  20. Figure 6: SmartArt graphic text pane
  21. Any text content added or edited within the text pane shows up within the SmartArt graphic as well. We explore this option more in our Text Pane For SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2016 tutorial.
  22. Save your presentation.

See Also:

SmartArt Basics: Inserting SmartArt (Glossary Page)

Inserting SmartArt in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Inserting SmartArt in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Inserting SmartArt in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Inserting SmartArt in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows