In PowerPoint 2007 and later, you can easily convert bulleted text to diagrams that look great — with just a few clicks. For example, you can change this to this.
Why is the diagram better?
- It shows a relationship among the 3 components, something the bullets don’t do
- It’s more visually striking, so it attracts the attention of your audience. As a result, they’re more likely to remember what you say
These diagrams are called SmartArt. Creating such a simple one is simple:
- Click inside the text placeholder to select it.
- On the Home tab, click Convert to SmartArt.
- Choose the layout you want from the gallery. If the layout you want isn’t visible, click More SmartArt Graphics, where you can choose from all the options.
- You can stop there, but I highly recommend trying out the Change Colors button on the SmartArt Tools Design tab as well as the SmartArt gallery options.
However, sometimes you want a more complex diagram. Here’s the start of one.
The problem is that I want to fill the outer circles with images, but the SmartArt layout doesn’t allow that. While I can copy and paste an image into the circle, I can’t click it and insert an image file from my computer. How can I get around that inflexibility?
When you select SmartArt, it has a border around it. You can also select objects within the SmartArt and edit them, but within limitations. Sometimes, you just can’t get the results you want.
The answer is to convert the SmartArt to individual shapes. You can do this in a couple of ways, but the simplest is to ungroup it — twice. Just select the SmartArt, right-click and choose Group> Ungroup. Then do it again. Now you have individual shapes.
That means you can format them however you want.
Here’s the final result, after filling the outer circles with pictures.