Using Smart Art

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Microsoft SmartArt Graphics are a great way to transform Excel content into visual illustrations that help people understand your data quickly.

To make a SmartArt Chart in Microsoft Excel, select the Insert tab and click SmartArt. Next you will be prompted to choose a style of chart for your information. Excel has charts to present information in a Process, Cycle, Hierarchy, Relationship, Matrix or Pyramid. You can preview these different chart styles by clicking on them to get an idea of what might work best for you. As you select your chart, think about the type of data you are presenting and what comparisons, relationships or trends you want to help people see in your data.

Once you have chosen the right SmartArt graphic, you can enter text into your chart. You will see boxes labeled [Text] which you can click on to add your own content, or you can click on the small outline tab in the upper left corner of your chart to insert text into a bullet format. From this outline view, you can also copy+paste text from other sources. Your chart will add or remove shapes for each bullet of text that you enter into the outline.

Once you have your SmartArt graphic and you are satisfied with how your information is displayed, you can change the style of the chart to make it look more interesting. Under the Styles Tab in the Formatting Palette, you can view your options, such as options to make your chart three-dimensional. Furthermore, you can adjust the colors of the chart under the Colors tab.

Finally, once you have your SmartArt chart, you can move it by selecting the sides of the blue border around the chart, or you can adjust its size by selecting a corner of the blue border and dragging with the mouse until your chart is just the way you want it.

When to Use This

  • To present your data or content in a chart format.
  • To change the style of a chart you have already made.
  • To add or remove shapes to a chart.

Additional Help