Inserting and Formatting a Diagram

Inserting and Formatting a Diagram

When you want to illustrate a process or the relationship between hierarchical elements, you can create a dynamic, visually appealing diagram by using SmartArt Graphics, a powerful new tool that comes with PowerPoint, Word, and Excel. By using predefined sets of formatting, you can almost effortlessly put together any of the following:

  • Process diagrams. Visually describe the ordered set of steps required to complete a taskfor example, the approval process for the launch of a new book series.

  • Hierarchy diagrams. Illustrate the structure of an organization or entityfor example, a company's top-level management structure.

  • Cycle diagrams. Represent a circular sequence of steps, tasks, or events; or the relationship of a set of steps, tasks, or events to a central, core elementfor example, how the elements of a story all come together to provide an exciting ending.

  • Relationship diagrams. Show convergent, divergent, overlapping, merging, or containing elementsfor example, how organizing your e-mail, calendar, and contacts can converge to improve your productivity.

On a slide that includes a content placeholder, you can click the placeholder's Insert SmartArt Graphic button to start the process of creating a diagram. You can also click the SmartArt button in the Illustrations Group on the Insert tab to add a diagram to any slide. In either case, you then select the type of diagram you want to create and click a specific layout to see an example and description. When you find the diagram that best conveys your information, you click OK to insert the diagram with placeholder text that you can replace in an adjacent text pane.

You can customize a diagram at any time by clicking it and then using the commands on the SmartArt Tools contextual tabs. You can use the commands on the Design contextual tab to make changes such as the following:

  • Switch to a different layout of the same type or a different type.


    If the text in the original diagram doesn't fit in the new layout, the text is not shown, but is retained so that you don't have to retype it if you switch again.

  • Add shading and three-dimensional effects to all the shapes in a diagram.

  • Select a different combination of colors that coordinates with the presentation's color scheme.

  • Add and change the hierarchy of shapes.


You can remove a shape by selecting it and then pressing the Delete key. You can also rearrange shapes by dragging them.

You can use the buttons on the Format contextual tab to customize individual shapes:

  • Change an individual shapefor example, change a square to a star to make it stand out.

  • Apply a built-in Shape Style.

  • Change the color, outline, or effect of a selected shape.


If you customize a diagram and then decide you preferred the original version, you can revert to the original by clicking the Reset Graphic button in the Reset group on the Design contextual tab.

In this exercise, you will add an organization chart to a slide, enter text, and then add first-level and second-level shapes. You will then change the layout and color scheme of the chart as a whole and change the color of a single slide, before adjusting the chart's size.

USE the 04_Diagrams presentation. This practice file is located in the Chapter05 subfolder under SBS_PowerPoint2007.

OPEN the 04_Diagrams presentation.

Display Slide 5, and then click the Insert SmartArt Graphic button in the content placeholder.

Insert Smart Art

The Choose A SmartArt Graphic dialog box opens.

In the left pane, click each layout type in turn to see all the available layouts of that type in the center pane, and then click Hierarchy.

In the center pane, click each layout in turn to view an example and description in the right pane.

When you finish exploring, click the first layout (Organization Chart), click OK, and then click the button in the middle of the left border of the diagram to open the text pane.

PowerPoint inserts a blank organizational chart into the slide, and a pane opens in which you can type the text that you want to appear in the organization chart shapes. Notice that the text placeholders in this pane appear as a bulleted list. You can use the same techniques to create entries and subentries in this window as you would to create bullet points and subpoints on the Outline tab of the Overview pane.

With the first bullet in the Type your text here pane selected, type Florian Stiller, and then press the key to move the insertion point to the next placeholder.

Type Ryan Danner, and then press .

PowerPoint adds a duplicate shape at the same level in the hierarchy.


Our instructions assume you are entering text at the insertion point in the text pane. Typing and pressing Enter in a diagram shape enters a new paragraph in the same shape instead of creating a new shape.

Type Nate Sun, press , and then press .

The new shape becomes a subordinate of Nate Sun.

Type Shelley Dyck.

In the text pane, click at the right end of Ryan Danner, press , and then press to convert the entry to a subordinate.

Type Andy Ruth, press , type Jo Berry, press , type Blaine Docktor, press , and type Lukas Keller.

On the slide, select the three unused placeholder boxes at the bottom of the slide (hold the key to select multiple shapes), and then press .

Click the Close button of the text pane to hide it.



If you want to edit the text in the diagram, you can quickly open the text pane by clicking the button on the left side of the diagram's frame.

On the Design contextual tab, in the Layouts group, click the second thumbnail (Hierarchy).

In the SmartArt Styles group, click the Change Colors button, and then in the gallery, under Colorful, click the first thumbnail (Colorful - Accent Colors).

The shapes in the diagram assume the colors of the selected scheme.

Click the Florian Stiller shape. Then on the Format contextual tab, in the Shape Styles group, click the Shape Fill button, and under Recent Colors, click the first box (lime green).

Drag the handle in the lower-left corner of the diagram's frame to the left to stretch the frame until its left edge is centered on the word Organizational in the slide title.

Click outside the frame to see the final result.

CLOSE the 04_Diagrams presentation without saving your changes.

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