SmartArt can be used to communicate information
with graphics instead of text, giving you the chance to add color, shape, and interest
to parts of your document. With so many styles to choose from, SmartArt makes it easy to
illustrate your point. I need to create a graphic that shows the
organization of the people at my company. To get started, click where you want your
SmartArt to go… then go to Insert… If you click the SmartArt command… a list of
categories will appear, along with the graphics you have to choose from, and a preview. The
type of SmartArt I’m looking for should be under Hierarchy… Let’s give this one a try…
All you have to do here is start typing your information… and it appears in the SmartArt…re-sized
so it fits the shape automatically. You can also enter your text in the shapes
themselves… which is fine for a simple graphic like this, but for something more complex,
it might be easier to stick to the task pane… Notice the Design and Format tabs that appear
whenever you have your SmartArt selected. From here, an easy way to add more shapes
to your SmartArt is to select a shape near the location you have in mind, then click
Add Shape… You can add one After or Before your current shape (which will place them
on the same level), or add one Above or Below… On second thought, I should have placed this
one level higher, right under the Owner’s name. That’s okay – you can change the level
of any shape using Demote to move it down, or Promote to move it up.
You can also perform the same actions from within the task pane using your keyboard.
Pressing the Tab key will demote a shape, while Backspace promotes a shape. It’s a lot
like creating an outline with a multilevel list. You can even add shapes to the list
by pressing Enter. Since I don’t need this shape though, I’m going to delete it. I’m
also going to go ahead and delete these other shapes by selecting each bullet, then pressing
Backspace… Now my SmartArt has text, but it still looks
a little bland. So I’m going to change the look of this graphic using SmartArt Styles…
Click the drop-down arrow here to see the full list of Styles. You can hover over each
style for a live preview… I like this one. Word also provides a variety of color schemes
to use with SmartArt. To change the graphic’s color click the Change Colors command, and
just select one you like. Color Schemes are designed to match Theme Colors, so your choices
will vary depending on which Theme you’re using.
If you decide you don’t like the way your information is organized within a SmartArt
graphic, you can always change its layout to better fit your content. Start by selecting
the graphic you’d like to change. From the Layouts group, click the more drop down arrow.
I’d like something a little more unique looking – like this one.
You can also change the appearance of individual shapes. Just select one or more… switch
to the Format tab, and take advantage of any of the options here. For example, I’d like
to change the color of the text in these shapes so that it’s easier to read.
SmartArt is a great way to incorporate more graphics in your document, and communicate
with the reader in a way that’s as eye-catching as it is effective.