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Getting Started with SmartArt Development

Office 2007

SmartArt graphics provide an easy way to add attractive, formatted graphics to your 2007 Microsoft Office system documents. SmartArt templates are most useful for creating graphics that display a limited number of key points. Graphics that contain larger amounts of text are often confusing and distracting.

Creating SmartArt Graphics

You can create new SmartArt graphics in Microsoft Office Excel 2007, Outlook 2007, PowerPoint 2007, and Word 2007. You can also copy graphics into other programs in the 2007 Office system. Creating a new graphic is as easy as clicking the Insert tab in your Microsoft Office program, and then clicking SmartArt in the Illustrations group, as shown in the following figure.

Insert a SmartArt graphic
Insert a SmartArt graphic

When you create a new graphic, you are prompted to choose a graphic layout. After doing so, you can type directly into the SmartArt graphic. The data that you type into the graphic can have a hierarchy. For example, level-one data items could be the names of objects. Level-two data items could be their descriptions.

There are three different kinds of SmartArt graphics:

  • Static graphics — Static graphics always show the same number of shapes, regardless of the number of data items. If more data items exist than shapes, the data items do not appear.

  • Dynamic graphics — These graphics add shapes with each new data item.

  • Semidynamic graphics — These graphics add shapes with every new level-one data item up to a finite number of shapes. If more level-one data items exist than there are specified shapes, the excess data items do not appear in the graphic.

You create SmartArt graphic layouts by using XML-based templates. Each layout template automatically sizes and positions the shapes and text of the graphic, which allows a remarkable degree of control over the graphic. You can switch templates to change the aesthetic or organizational appearance while seamlessly maintaining the graphic’s content. You can also share new graphic templates across your organization for a uniform look and feel or distribute them over the Internet for everyone to use.

For more information about creating SmartArt graphics in a Microsoft Office document, see the Help documentation for the particular Microsoft Office product. For more information about how to access and edit the XML files that control SmartArt graphics, see SmartArt Files and Tools.

The following figures show examples of graphics created from existing SmartArt templates.

Basic block list
Basic block list

Target list
Target list

Vertical bullet list
Vertical bullet list

Gear
Gear

Converging arrows
Converging arrows

Staggered process
Staggered process

Non-directional cycle
Nondirectional cycle

Text cycle
Text cycle

Horizontal hierarchy
Horizontal hierarchy

Hierarchy
Hierarchy

Balance
Balance

Funnel
Funnel

Grid matrix (brick scene)
Grid matrix (brick scene)

Grid matrix (bird’s eye scene)
Grid matrix (bird's eye scene)

Segmented pyramid
Segmented pyramid

See Also

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