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Text Pane for SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how the Text Pane helps add text content to your SmartArt graphic in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. In many ways, editing text within SmartArt graphics is more intuitive using the Text Pane.

SmartArt is a great option that lets you quickly create editable diagrams that also work as bulleted list alternatives. You have already learned how to convert your bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic, but once you do that, you'll discover that it is neither easy nor intuitive to edit, add, or delete text that comprised your original bulleted list. Fortunately, you can get the bulleted list back within the convenient Text Pane of the SmartArt graphic, any edits you make in the Text Pane also show immediately in your SmartArt graphic.

Follow these steps to work with the Text Pane for SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac:

Showing and Hiding the Text Pane

When a SmartArt graphic is inserted on the slide, you may or may not see the Text Pane. If you don't see the Text Pane, select the SmartArt graphic so that you can see the Text Pane icon, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 1, below.

Figure 1: Text Pane icon within the SmartArt graphic

Click this icon to make the Text Pane visible on the left side of the SmartArt graphic, as shown in Figure 2, below.

Figure 2: SmartArt graphics Text Pane

Close the Text Pane

At any point of time, you can close the Text Pane by clicking the x button on the top left corner of the Text Pane, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2, above.

Working Within the Text Pane

Within the Text Pane, start typing to add text, as shown in Figure 3, below. You can also replace existing text. The text you type in the Text Pane is also reflected within the SmartArt graphic.

Figure 3: Add or edit text in the Text Pane

To create a new line of bulleted text in the Text Pane, just press the Enter / Return key. Type text, and you'll see that your SmartArt graphic has a new shape representing what you added, as shown in Figure 4, below.

Figure 4: New bullet in Text Pane inserts a new shape in SmartArt graphic

If you want to format the text in the Text Pane, first select the text to be edited. Then, carefully right-click to view the context menu, as shown in Figure 5, below.

Figure 5: Context menu options of Text Pane

Note that the context menu includes the options to cut, copy and paste the selected text.

Select the Font option, as shown highlighted in red in the context menu in Figure 5, above to make changes to font attributes. This will open the Format Text dialog box with Font tab active, as shown in Figure 6, below. Here, you can change the font, font color, etc. of the selected text within the Text Pane (and also within the SmartArt graphic). The Character Spacing tab enables you to adjust the spacing and placement of the same text.

Figure 6: Format Text dialog box

The Text Pane also includes six handy icons that allow you to change the hierarchy and position of the selected text to previous or next bullet levels, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 7, below. Do note that these icons may be grayed out in some instances, their availability in the Text Pane depends upon what type of SmartArt graphic variant you are working with.

Figure 7: Icons within the Text Pane to re-position the text within SmartArt graphic

These six icons function as explained (from left to right) below:


This icon with a green plus sign adds a new bullet to the hierarchy relative to the shape that was selected before clicking the Add icon.


This icon with a red minus sign removes selected bullet from the hierarchy.

Decrease Indent

The left arrow icon takes the selected text to one level up. For example, if Decrease Indent is applied to a Bullet Level 2 text, it will be converted to Bullet Level 1 text.

Increase Indent

The right arrow icon increases the indent (or reduces the hierarchy by one level) of the selected text to the lower level, applying that level's style and formatting. For example, Bullet Level 1 text will be changed to Bullet Level 2.

Move Up

The up arrow icon moves the selected text up so that it appears before previous item. The text is moved up without making any changes to its hierarchy though.

Move Down

The down arrow moves the selected text down so that it appears after next item. Again, the text is moved down without making any changes to its hierarchy.

As mentioned above, some of the above icons might be grayed out depending upon the SmartArt graphic variant being used. For example you cannot add a new bullet level, or even a demoted level to the Basic Matrix SmartArt graphic once you hit the limit of 4 first level bullets, as shown in Figure 8, below, the first icon, Add has been grayed out. Even if you try to add a new bullet by pressing Return key, you will see a cross mark in red as shown in Figure 8 indicating that the new bullet cannot be added.

Figure 8: Basic Matrix doesn't allow to add 5th level bullet

Some SmartArt graphic variants though let you add more bulleted levels and are not as constrained as the Basic Matrix variant. The Diverging Radial variant, for instance lets you add many more bulleted levels to an existing SmartArt graphic, as shown in Figure 9, below.

Figures 9: Two variants of the Diverging Radial SmartArt graphic showing the effect of adding more bullets/shapes

See Also:

Advanced SmartArt: Text Pane for SmartArt Graphics (Glossary Page)

Text Pane for SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Text Pane for SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Text Pane for SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Text Pane for SmartArt Graphics in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows