How-To

Make PowerPoint Presentations Rock with SmartArt

Looking for a way to make your PowerPoint presentations even less boring during meetings? Using the SmartArt feature can make them more visually interesting. There are a few different methods for creating your graphics. We’ll take a look at each and every one of them separately.

Note: For more on how to make your PowerPoint presentations more interesting, check out our guide on PowerPoint Transitions and Animations.

What is This Feature?

A SmartArt graphic is a visual representation of your information that you can quickly and easily create, choosing from among many different layouts, to effectively communicate your message or ideas. It is available in Microsoft Office 2007 or its newer versions.

From scratch using the Insert tab

On any presentation slide, click Insert > SmartArt to show the Graphics window.

Insert SmartArt PowerPoint

By default, the window will show you all of the available graphics you can choose from.

smartart smart art powerpoint power point 2013 windows customize types chose choice multiple

For this step, I’ll try out the Detailed Process graphic.

smartart smart art powerpoint power point 2013 option choice detailed process smart art

After pressing OK, your graphic art will be inserted. A small pane to its side will allow you to enter the desired text.

smartart smart art powerpoint power point 2013 inserted slide ready for editing edit

Here’s a quick example I made for the purpose of this tutorial.

smartart smart art powerpoint power point 2013 button option feature

From a bullet List

If you have a pre-made bullet list which you would like to convert, PowerPoint makes it all very easy. Here’s the list I’ll be using.

smartart smart art powerpoint power point 2013 button bulleted list slide premade ready convert to smartart

Start off by clicking inside of your list to have it selected.

smartart smart art powerpoint power point 2013 button bulleted list slide premade ready convert to smartart select

This will bring you to the Format tab, from here select Convert to SmartArt.

smart art convert to smartart bulleted list bullet powerpoint power point convert 2013 feature button format options

Hovering over the presented options will show you a live preview of how it will look.

hover over options live preview powerpoint 2013 smart art feature preview styles

hover over options live preview powerpoint 2013 smart art feature preview styles

You can also click on the More SmartArt Graphics option at the bottom of the menu.

office 2013 more smartart options convert bulleted text feature button 2013

That will open the window with all available options.

powerpoint smart art smartart graphic create choice presets choose graphic

From scratch using the quick buttons of a text field

On any new slide using a layout which includes a text field, you can click the Insert a SmartArt Graphic button.

blank text field format slide style powerpoint 2013 insert smart art smartart grahpic create new

This will, again, bring you to the window you’re already familiar with. From here, you know what to do.

smartart smart art powerpoint power point 2013 windows customize types chose choice multiple

Editing your SmartArt

With the graphic still selected, click the Design tab.

smartart smart art design tab design smartart style choice bevel emboss look shine reflection look

Then you can change the style.smartart smart art style GIF example styles powerpoint 2013

The color.smartart smart art colors GIF example designs color powerpoint 2013

Even the Layout:

smartart smart art layout GIF example layouts layout designs powerpoint 2013

Conclusion

Using this feature is a great way to freshen up your presentation and to present data in a neat and organized way. If you play around with it enough, you will find that it can be a real lifesaver for difficult presentations. Here are some example SmartArt graphics I’m really happy with:

smartart smart art style example final result

smartart smart art style example final result


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