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Adding Shapes to Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how you can add more shapes to existing SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. You can add shapes before and after existing shapes, or even above and below shapes.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher



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After inserting a SmartArt graphic within PowerPoint, or converting some bulleted text to SmartArt, you might need to add more shapes to your SmartArt graphics. Fortunately, the SmartArt feature allows you to make these additions and edits with just a click or two. You can add more shapes to your existing SmartArt graphics either from within the SmartArt graphic itself, or through the Text Pane. Whether you can add a new shape to a SmartArt graphic depends entirely on the SmartArt variant that you are using. Some variants offer more options than the others.

Follow these steps to add extra shapes to your SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows:

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

    See more SmartArt graphic samples here.

  4. 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.
  5. SmartArt Tools Design and Format tabs on the Ribbon
    Figure 2: SmartArt Tools Design and Format tabs on the Ribbon
  6. Contextual Tabs

  7. The SmartArt Tool Design and SmartArt Tool 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.
  8. Select any individual shape within the SmartArt graphic and activate the SmartArt Tools Design tab on the Ribbon, as shown in Figure 2, above.
  9. Within this tab, click the Add Shape button to view the drop-down gallery that you can see in Figure 3, below.
  10. Add Shape button under Create Graphic
    Figure 3: Add Shape button
  11. Alternatively, you can right-click the selected shape to bring up the resultant contextual menu, as shown in Figure 4, below. Then, choose the Add Shape option. Note that options here are exactly the same, as shown within the Add Shapes gallery, as shown in Figure 3, above.
  12. Add Shape
    Figure 4: Add Shape
  13. These options are explained below:
  14. Add Shape After

  15. Inserts a shape at the same level after the selected shape.
  16. Add Shape Before

  17. Inserts a shape at the same level before the selected shape.
  18. Add Shape Above

  19. Inserts a shape one level above the selected shape.
  20. Add Shape Below

  21. Inserts a shape one level below the selected shape.
  22. Add Shape Assistant

  23. This option places a shape which is hierarchically lower than the selected shape. Shape Assistant is only available if you have chosen an organization chart layout.
  24. You'll see that last three options in Figure 3, are grayed out. This is because these options logically don't work with the SmartArt graphic variant being used (Diverging Radial). Each SmartArt graphic variant will allow some options, and gray out the others.

See Also:

Working with SmartArt: Adding Shapes to Existing SmartArt Graphics (Glossary Page)

Adding Shapes to Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Adding Shapes to Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Adding Shapes to Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Adding Shapes to Existing SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

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