Infographics are an engaging way to present data and concepts. What is an infographic?
It’s a graphic with minimal text, graphics, and numbers (usually). You can think of it as a chart or diagram.
The best infographics use clear, bright design, but what is a non-designer to do when creating an infographic? The truth is, a designer’s infographic will look better than yours if you’re artistically challenged, but you can still create a good infographic with PowerPoint and no design skills.
You can find templates for creating infographics in PowerPoint but in my experience, they never fit your data.
Are you ready? We’ll create the simple infographic you see on the here. The data is from Hubspot.
Collect your data and labels
We’ll create this infographic with data, labels or a description, icons, and SmartArt. Here are the first steps…
- Insert a slide with the Title and Content layout. Note: Your slide size and shape can be anything. You can use a vertical (Portrait orientation) slide, for example. Shape your slide around your data.
- Type your title, something that summarizes the content. If you can put a conclusion in the title that’s good. For example, I could have written “B2C Email Marketing Works” instead of “B2C Email Marketing Statistics.” That way, the audience doesn’t have to figure it out.
- In the Content area, type your data and the labels in the format you see here. You indent the labels (second-level bullets) by pressing the Tab key on your keyboard. To unindent the data after the first set, press Shift+Tab. You’ll see why in a minute.
Convert the content to SmartArt
Now we’ll convert the content to SmartArt, using the Vertical Block List layout because of the way this layout lets you call out numbers.
- Click inside the content and choose Convert to SmartArt on the Home tab.
- Choose the Vertical Block List option as you see here on the right. (If you don’t see it, choose More SmartArt Graphics and you’ll find it under the List category.)
- You’ll see something like the slide below. Your colors may be different, of course. Text (in this case the numbers) that is in first-level bullets is on the left. Text that is in second-level bullets is on the right.
Note: Here is some more information on using SmartArt to create diagrams and infographics.
Format the SmartArt diagram
We need to make some changes to this diagram.
- Click the shape that says 80%. Press and hold down the Ctrl key and click the other shapes with percentages in them so that they’re all selected.
- Click and drag the middle right or left handle on any of the selected shapes and drag inward to make the shapes narrower. The arrow shows an example of one of the handles you can choose for this purpose.
- Click inside the top box with text in it and click the Bullets button on the Home tab of the ribbon. Click inside the other boxes and repeat — you can press the F4 key to repeat removing the bullets.
- Go back to the top box with text in it and click the bottom triangle on the ruler. If you don’t see the ruler, click the View tab, then click Ribbon. This aligns both lines of text, which would otherwise remain outdented (the second line indented). Repeat with the other boxes of text. You can use the F4 key with those, too.
- To make the diagram more colorful, click the SmartDesign tab, click Change Colors, and choose one of the colorful options or another option that you like.
Here’s the result:
Icons make the infographic more visual and they’re very much in style these days. If you have Office 365, you have icons. If not, you can find icons in your stock photo account, at pixabay.com, at pexels.com, at thenounproject.com, or wherever you get your icons. If you have Office 365, follow these steps:
- On the Insert tab, choose Icons.
- Find the icons you want, one for each item in your infographic. Check each one as you go and then click Insert. They all come onto the center of the slide.
- Drag the icons to the left and place them next to the proper icon. You might have to move the entire SmartArt object to the right or make it narrower by dragging the left-center resizing handle to the right.
Here’s the result.
Add a border
A border simply holds the infographic together. Here are the steps I used:
- On the Home tab, in the Drawing group, choose the Rounded Rectangle shape and insert it so that it covers all of your content. You’ll probably need to adjust the size and placement later, but that’s easy.
- With the rectangle selected, click the small orange-yellow circle at the upper left corner and drag outward a little. The default corners are very rounded (have a large radius), which looks a little clunky and reduces the space you have for content.
- On the Shape Format tab, set the Shape Fill to white or whatever background you want for your infographic.
- Set the Shape Outline color and weight. You’ll probably want the weight to be more than the default, which is a very thin line.
- Right-click the rounded rectangle and choose Send to Back.
- Adjust the size and placement.
Here’s the result.
Ungroup the SmartArt and adjust the placement of the elements
The thing about SmartArt is that it looks like SmartArt. You want your infographic to look customized and the way to do that is to ungroup it. Here are the steps:
- Select the SmartArt.
- Right-click the border and choose Group, then Ungroup.
- Ungroup it a second time. How all of the components are separate objects.
- Deselect everything by clicking elsewhere.
- Select the shapes with data and move them to the left.
- Select the icons and move them to the right.
- Make any other adjustments you want to make. I set the fill of the graphics to match the shapes of the data. To do so, click the icon, click the Graphics Format tab, choose Graphics Fill and choose a color. I used the Eyedropper option to match the colors. I also changed the fill and outlines of the labels to match.
Here’s the final result.
How to use your infographic
You can export the infographic as an image. One way is to save the entire slide as an image:
- Choose File, Save As
- From the File Type drop-down list (which will say PowerPonit Presentation (*.pptx), choose an image type, such as PNG or JPG.
- Give it a name.
- Click Save.
- In the dialog box, choose Just This One if you only want to save the current slide.
Another technique is to select all of the objects, right-click, and choose Save as Picture.
Then you can use that image file anywhere! Add it to a blog post or web page. Post it on social media. Include it in an email. The sky’s the limit!
What are your techniques for creating infographics in PowerPoint?
Please share your favorite techniques in the comments. And please use the Share buttons to share on social media so others may benefit as well.
If you would like ongoing training in PowerPoint, creating easy but stunning slides, and more, consider Power Pointers Quarter Hour. This program offers expert weekly online training for 15 minutes that you can access whenever convenient to you.
You can find more information here.