Creating Diagrams by Using SmartArt

Creating Diagrams by Using SmartArt

As an international delivery company, Consolidated Messenger's business processes are quite complex. Many times, chief operating officer Jenny Lysaker summarizes the company's processes for the board of directors by creating diagrams. Excel 2007 has just the tool she needs to create those diagrams: SmartArt. To create a SmartArt graphic, on the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click SmartArt to display the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box.

See Also

For more information on adding pictures from existing files to your worksheets, see "Adding Images to a Document" in Chapter 5.

Clicking one of the buttons in the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box selects the type of diagram the button represents and causes a description of the diagram type to appear in the rightmost pane of the dialog box. Clicking All displays every available SmartArt graphic type. The following table lists the seven types of diagrams you can create by using the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box.


Some of the diagram types can be used to illustrate several types of relationships. Be sure to examine all your options when you decide on the type of diagram to use to illustrate your point.




Shows a series of items that typically require a large amount of text to explain.


Shows a progression of sequential steps through a task, process, or workflow.


Shows hierarchical relationships, such as those within a company.


Shows a process with a continuous cycle or to show relationships of a core element.


Shows the relationships between two or more items.

Pyramid diagram

Shows proportional, foundation-based, or hierarchical relationships such as a series of skills.

Matrix diagram

Shows the relationship of components to a whole by using quadrants.

After you click the button representing the type of diagram you want to create, clicking OK adds the diagram to your worksheet.

While the diagram is selected, Excel 2007 displays the SmartArt Tools contextual tabs named Design and Format. You can use the tools on the Design contextual tab to change the graphic's layout, style, or color scheme. The Design contextual tab also contains the Create Graphic group, which is home to tools you can use to add a shape to the SmartArt graphic, add text to the graphic, and promote or demote shapes within the graphic.

As an example, consider a process diagram that describes how Consolidated Messenger handles a package within one of the company's regional distribution centers.

The Text Pane, located to the left of the SmartArt graphic, enables you to add text to a shape without having to click and type within the shape. If you enter the process steps in the wrong order, you can move a shape by right-clicking the shape you want to move and then clicking Cut from the shortcut menu that appears. To paste the shape back into the graphic, right-click the shape to the left of where you want the pasted shape to appear and then click Paste. For example, if you have a five-step process and accidentally switch the second and third steps, you can move the third step to the second position by right-clicking the third step and then clicking Cut. Then right-click the first shape and click Paste.

If you want to add a shape to a SmartArt graphic, such as add a step to a process, click a shape next to the position you want the new shape to occupy and then, on the Design contextual tab, in the Create Graphic group, click Add Shape, and then click the option that represents where you want the new shape to appear in relation to the selected shape.


The options that appear when you click Add Shape depend on the type of SmartArt graphic you created and which graphic element is selected. For an organizational chart, the options are Add Shape After, Add Shape Before, Add Shape Above, Add Shape Below, and Add Assistant.

You can edit the graphic's elements by using the controls on the Formatting contextual tab as well as by right-clicking the shape and then clicking Format Shape to display the Format Shape dialog box. If you have selected the text in a shape, you can use the tools in the Home tab's Font group to change the text's appearance.


The controls in the Format Shape dialog box enable you to change the shape's fill color, borders, shadow, 3-D appearance, and text box properties.

In this exercise, you create an organization chart, fill in the shapes, delete a shape, add a shape, change the layout of the diagram without changing the information it embodies, and change the formatting of one of the diagram elements.

USE the Org Chart workbook in the practice file folder for this topic. This practice file is located in the My Documents\Microsoft Press\Excel SBS\Charting folder.

OPEN the Org Chart workbook.

On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click SmartArt.

The Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box appears.

Click Hierarchy.

The Hierarchy graphic subtypes appear.

Click the first subtype (Organization Chart) and then click OK.

Excel 2007 creates the organization chart graphic.

In the Type your text here pane, in the first text box, type CEO and then press the down arrow key.

The value CEO appears in the shape at the top level of the organization chart.

In the SmartArt diagram, right-click the assistant box, located below the CEO shape, and then click Cut.

Excel 2007 removes the shape and moves the shapes on the third level of the organization chart to the second level.

Click the leftmost shape on the second level of the organization chart and then type COO.

Click the middle shape on the second level of the organization chart and then type CIO.

Click the rightmost shape on the second level of the organization chart and then type CFO.

Click the CFO shape, and then, on the Design contextual tab, in the Create Graphic group, click the Add Shape button down arrow and then click Add Shape Below.

A new shape appears below the CFO shape.

In the new shape, type Comptroller.

On the Design contextual tab, in the Layouts group, click the second layout. Excel 2007 applies the new layout to your organization chart.

Right-click the Comptroller shape and then click Format Shape.

The Format Shape dialog box appears.

If necessary, click the Fill category.

Excel 2007 displays the fill controls.

Verify that the Solid fill option button is selected, click the Color control, and then, in the Standard color area of the color picker, click the red square.

Click Close.

Excel 2007 changes the shape's fill to red.

CLOSE the Org Chart workbook.

CLOSE Excel 2007.

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