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Apply SmartArt Styles in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to apply SmartArt Styles in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. This feature allows you to apply coordinated fills, lines, and effects to SmartArt graphics.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher



Learn PowerPoint

Challenge to achieve: One click to close a PowerPoint Show presentation.



While changing the color of a SmartArt graphic does change the color fills of individual shapes in your SmartArt, it does not add other niceties such as outlines or effects. Rather than individually add these attributes to your SmartArt, you can use the all-inclusive SmartArt Styles option.

Follow these steps to apply SmartArt Styles to SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows:

  1. Select your existing SmartArt graphic (learn how to insert a SmartArt graphic within PowerPoint 2010), as shown in Figure 1, below. The SmartArt graphic variant used here is called the Diverging Radial.
  2. Diverging Radial SmartArt graphic
    Figure 1: Diverging Radial SmartArt graphic
  3. When the SmartArt graphic is selected, you'll find two contextual tabs activated on the Ribbon. These are the SmartArt Tools Design and the SmartArt Tools Format tabs, highlighted in red within Figure 2, below. Select the SmartArt Tools Design tab.
  4. SmartArt Tools Design tab selected
    Figure 2: SmartArt Tools Design tab selected
  5. Contextual Tabs

  6. 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.
  7. Within the SmartArt Tools Design tab, locate the SmartArt styles group. Then, click the downward pointing arrow, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3, below.
  8. SmartArt Styles group
    Figure 3: SmartArt Styles group
  9. Doing so brings up the SmartArt Styles drop-down gallery, as shown in Figure 4, below.
  10. SmartArt Styles drop-down gallery
    Figure 4: SmartArt Styles drop-down gallery
  11. Hover the cursor over any of the Style previews in the gallery. As you hover over different previews, the selected SmartArt graphic shows you a live preview of the style applied, as shown in Figure 5, below. Click on the preview thumbnail you like within the gallery to apply the style to the selected SmartArt graphic.
  12. SmartArt graphic showing live preview of the style selected
    Figure 5: SmartArt graphic showing live preview of the style selected
  13. Don't Cover the Preview Area

  14. Place your SmartArt graphic in an area that is not covered by the SmartArt Styles drop-down gallery, so you can see the live preview.

See Also:

Working with SmartArt: Apply SmartArt Styles (Glossary Page)

Apply SmartArt Styles in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Apply SmartArt Styles in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

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