Tip of the week # 520
20 August 2017


Take control of your SmartArt Graphics (Microsoft PowerPoint) *

Hope you've all fallen in love with SmartArt, introduced in Microsoft Office 2007?! (I still encounter people who don't know about this nifty feature, hence the question.) My only bugbear about SmartArt is that it's difficult to tweak individual bits. Perhaps you want to remove one of its arrows. Or animate a specific part of the graphic. Well, you can do so once you convert the SmartArt into individual shapes.

Here's how:

  1. Consider duplicating the slide (CTRL + D) as this is a one-way process.
  2. Right-click on the border of the SmartArt graphic.
  3. Select Convert to Shapes.

If you struggle with or don't like the right-click, the Convert button can be found on the SmartArt Tools Design tab. And if, like me, you love keyboard shortcuts you may want to check out ungrouping the SmartArt graphic by pressing CTRL + SHIFT + G twice.

Related tips:
Tip # 501: Change the emphasis of a SmartArt graphic by changing its direction ( tip_501.php )
Tip # 355: Tweak your SmartArt graphics ( tip_355.php )
Tip # 268: Convert an existing bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic ( tip_268.php )
Tip # 230: Draw three concentric circles with text in each ( tip_230.php )

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* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.