PowerPoint 2007: SmartArt Illustrations

SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint 2007 provide a powerful way to visually communicate information and ideas. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to use SmartArt effectively in your PowerPoint presentations.

What is SmartArt

SmartArt refers to a gallery of graphics that you can use to illustrate concepts and ideas in your presentations. They allow you to communicate information visually that would otherwise have to be presented as bulleted lists or paragraphs of text.

Some examples of SmartArt graphics include:

  • Hierarchy charts
  • Process flow diagrams
  • Relationship diagrams
  • Matrix diagrams
  • Pyramids
  • Picture diagrams

SmartArt makes it easy to create designer-quality illustrations with just a few clicks.

Benefits of Using SmartArt

Here are some of the key benefits of using SmartArt graphics in PowerPoint:

  • Communicate ideas visually: SmartArt allows you to represent concepts pictorially rather than just using text. This makes it easier for audiences to grasp key messages.
  • Save time: You don’t need design skills to create sleek graphics. SmartArt does the hard work for you with professionally designed layouts.
  • Flexibility: You can easily customize the graphic by changing colors, effects, and layouts even after creation.
  • Consistency: Maintain consistent design by using SmartArt templates across your presentation.

How to Insert a SmartArt Graphic

Follow these simple steps to insert a SmartArt graphic into your PowerPoint slide:

  1. Navigate to the Insert tab
  2. Click the SmartArt button in the Illustrations group
  3. Select the desired SmartArt graphic from the dialog box
    • Choose from different categories like Process, Hierarchy etc.
    • Preview the layouts on the right side
  4. Click OK to insert the selected SmartArt graphic

You can now add text by:

  • Clicking directly in the shapes and typing text
  • Using the Text pane on the left side

Customizing and Formatting SmartArt

You can customize the graphic in multiple ways after insertion:

Changing Layout

To change the layout:

  1. Select the SmartArt
  2. Navigate to SmartArt Tools Design tab
  3. Click Change Layout button
  4. Choose new layout

This will change the overall structure and arrangement of shapes.


To resize the entire SmartArt graphic:

  1. Click anywhere on the border of the graphic
  2. Drag the sizing handles to resize

Changing Colors

To change colors:

  1. Select the SmartArt
  2. Go to SmartArt Tools Design tab
  3. Click the Change Colors button
  4. Select new color variation

Applying Styles

To apply styles like 3D effects:

  1. Select the SmartArt
  2. Go to SmartArt Tools Design tab
  3. Select desired style from SmartArt Styles group

You can combine colors, effects, layouts and other formatting options to create visually appealing and impactful graphics that communicate your message effectively.

Animating SmartArt Graphics

Animation brings your SmartArt to life and grabs audience attention. Here is how to animate SmartArt graphics:

  1. Select the SmartArt graphic
  2. Go to Animations tab
  3. Click the Animation button
  4. Choose an animation effect from the gallery

You can animate the entire graphic or individual components one by one.

Some examples of animations you can apply include:

  • Fly in/out
  • Fade in/out
  • Grow/Shrink
  • Spin
  • Color transitions

When animating, pay attention to the order and sequence that conveys your story the best.

Tips for Using SmartArt Effectively

Here are some tips to use SmartArt effectively in your PowerPoint presentations:

  • Choose a layout that best represents your concept
  • Keep text short and concise within shapes
  • Use large text and high color contrast for accessibility
  • Animate to draw audience attention
  • Maintain cohesive design with consistent SmartArt formatting across slides
  • Ungroup SmartArt components to manipulate individual shapes if required


SmartArt graphics provide an easy yet powerful way to communicate visually rather than just through text. With many professionally designed layouts and creative formatting options, SmartArt enables you to develop high-impact presentations that tell a story and convey complex information effectively.

By following the guidance in this article, you will be able to create designer-quality SmartArt graphics in just a few clicks and use them strategically in your PowerPoint presentations.