#Office365Challenge – SmartArt was introduced to the Office Suite in 2007. I don’t see a lot of people using it, so that must mean that not a lot of people know about it. SmartArt is used to insert “prepopulated” template shapes – used to illustrate data.

Day: 51 of 365, 314 left
Tools: Microsoft Office, Outlook, Excel, Word, PowerPoint
Description: Inserting and Modifying SmartArt in Office

“SmartArt, found under the Insert tab in the ribbon in PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and Outlook, is a group of editable and formatted diagrams. There are 115 preset SmartArt graphics layout templates in categories such as list, process, cycle, and hierarchy. When an instance of a SmartArt is inserted, a Text Pane appears next to it to guide the user through entering text in the hierarchical levels. Each SmartArt graphic, based on its design, maps the text outline, automatically resized for best fit, onto the graphic. There are a number of “quick styles” for each graphic that apply largely different 3D effects to the graphic, and the graphic’s shapes and text can be formatted through shape styles and WordArt styles. In addition, SmartArt graphics change their colors, fonts, and effects to match the document’s theme.” ~ Thanks for the nicely written overview Wikipedia

So let’s get cracking. How do we use this?

In PowerPoint / Excel / Outlook and even Word you can click on the Insert Tab (1), then on SmartArt (2), the SmartArt dialogue box will now open where it allows you to choose from the different categories (3), select the category, then the preferred template, click on OK (4):

Once the SmartArt is inserted (1), a text pane appears on the left (2), allowing you to enter the topics / text. Take note when selected, you can quickly change the SmartArt template to something else (3), change the colours (4) as well as the 3D effects of the shapes:

And that’s all there is to it! You can click on the individual shapes inside the SmartArt and make changes as well to colours, placement, fonts and allignment.

Take note, if the Text Pane has disappeared, simply click on the expand node on the left of the SmartArt to expand it again:

Now you can be smarter about the Art you insert!

Overview of my challenge: As an absolute lover of all things Microsoft, I’ve decided to undertake the challenge, of writing a blog every single day, for the next 365 days. Crazy, I know. And I’ll try my best, but if I cannot find something good to say about Office 365 and the Tools it includes for 365 days, I’m changing my profession. So let’s write this epic tale of “Around the Office in 365 Days”. My ode to Microsoft Office 365.

Keep in mind that these tips and tricks do not only apply to Office 365 – but where applicable, to the overall Microsoft Office Suite and SharePoint.