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Change Shapes within a SmartArt Graphic in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to change shapes within a SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. In many ways, editing text within SmartArt graphics is more intuitive using the Text Pane.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher



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Most of the time, SmartArt graphics work great with their default looks, yes, you can change your SmartArt graphics to other layouts and you can also change the Theme colors or apply a SmartArt Style to make your SmartArt appear distinct and unique. What many users don't realize though is that you can change the actual shapes within a SmartArt graphic. For instance, you can change some circles in your SmartArt graphic to squares with a mere click or two!

Follow these steps to explore how you can change the shapes 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. Note that once you select a SmartArt graphic, two contextual tabs activate on the Ribbon. The SmartArt Tools Design and the SmartArt Tools Format tabs, as shown highlighted in red in Figure 2, below.
  2. Continuous Block Process SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint
    Figure 1: Continuous Block Process SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint
  3. Select any shape within SmartArt graphic which you want to change. In the example shown in Figure 2, we have selected the middle Rounded Rectangle. Now select the SmartArt Tools Format tab.
  4. SmartArt Tools Format tab selected
    Figure 2: SmartArt Tools Format tab selected
  5. Contextual Tabs

  6. The SmartArt Tools Design and 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 Format tab. Locate the Shapes group, then click the Change Shape button, as shown in Figure 3, below.
  8. Change Shape button
    Figure 3: Change Shape button selected
  9. This brings up the Shapes gallery, as shown in Figure 4, below. Select any shape you like, for this tutorial we have selected an Oval (refer to Figure 4 again).
  10. Oval shape selected within Shapes gallery
    Figure 4: Oval shape selected within Shapes gallery
  11. Figure 5, below shows the selected Rounded Rectangle is now changed to an Oval. Note that only the shape is changed and other attributes such as fill color, outline color, etc, are still the same (compare Figure 2 and Figure 5).
  12. Selected shape within a SmartArt graphic is changed from a rectangle to an oval
    Figure 5: Selected shape within a SmartArt graphic is changed from a rectangle to an oval

See Also:

Advanced SmartArt: Change Shapes within a SmartArt Graphic (Glossary Page)

Change Shapes within a SmartArt Graphic in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Change Shapes within a SmartArt Graphic in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

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