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Customize SmartArt additions

Friday, November 6th, 2009 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help

Now, as many of my constant readers know, I love the SmartArt feature of Office 2007. I think it’s an incredibly easy way to organize and attractively display your information. It’s definitely a great upgrade to the diagram feature or previous Office versions.

And… many of you have probably picked up on my affinity for the Text pane that comes with each SmartArt graphic. I love to use that feature to add, delete and move the information around without all the hassles of shape selecting. (Click here to see a previous article concerning the SmartArt Text pane.)

However, I do realize that there are many of you out there who are more visual and really like to work with the actual shapes.

I’ve found that for some people there tends to be issues of adding shapes to the picture. Whereas the Text pane will automatically do this as you enter different lines of text, the shapes wouldn’t have that behavior.

So… here’s an easy way to add shapes to your art in exactly the right location.

You begin with a right-click on the shape to which you want to add the new one.


On the menu hover over Add Shape and you’ll find that the submenu of choices will open.

The descriptions of where the new shape will be placed are pretty obvious. So, assuming that you choose the correct shape to start, you’ll have exactly the addition you wanted.

Oh… and one other thing… if you don’t like right-click type of work then you can always select the object then go to the Design tab of the SmartArt Tools on the Ribbon.

On the far left you’ll find a button labeled Add Shape.


If you click the bottom of the button you’ll see the same list of shape addition choices as those who use the right-click method.

All-in-all, customizing your SmartArt with additions is a pretty easy thing regardless of your preferences for text in outline formats or for the shapes themselves.

~ April

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