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Diagram It

Thursday, December 27th, 2007 by | Filed Under: MS Office Help

Diagram It

Do you have MS Office XP or newer? Do you have some information you need to deliver to an audience with some punch? Is it something that would be best if displayed visually, as opposed to a bunch of text?

Maybe something along the lines of a Venn diagram. Or, a pyramid. Maybe even a radial diagram.

(Note: You’d obviously use versions that are a little larger than my screenshot. I shrunk them down, just to give you a quick idea of what’s possible).

If you’re in need of a display and you find you’re looking for new ways to get your point across, maybe the diagram choices available in Word, Excel and PowerPoint are just the solution you need!

Here’s the scoop on quick, easy and eye-catching diagrams in your Office files.

To activate the diagram function in older Office versions, use the Insert menu, Diagram choice. In Office 2007, you need the Insert ribbon, SmartArt button.

In older Office versions, you will get a small dialogue window (the Diagram Gallery), where you can decide what type of diagram you want to work with.

In Office 2007, you’ll find yourself at the “Choose a SmartArt Graphic” dialogue window.

Select a diagram type and click OK.

Instantly, a blank diagram of the type you chose will appear in your file and the Diagram toolbar will open. In Office 2007, you’ll find that instead of a toolbar, you get two ribbons with all of your options: Design and Format.

At this point, you probably have noticed that the diagram has a whole lot of “click to add text” positions.

This is where you can get busy entering your information. Things such as font and text size can be altered using the usual methods.

You can easily add text positions, change diagram types, set text wrapping options, change the coloring of the diagram and other items through the toolbar. It’s a pretty easy toolbar to use and I’m sure that, with a little bit of experimenting, you’ll have a handle on it.

For those of you using older Office versions, there’s one thing I feel I should point out to you. When the diagram is placed into your file, it’s fairly large. I suppose that’s good for easy insertion and editing of your information, but I bet that once it’s ready to go, you may want a new size. Well, this is where I found the Layout button on the Diagram toolbar to be very valuable.

I chose the Scale Diagram choice to make big size changes, mostly shrinking the diagram to fit within my document. Other size changes I tried to make without the toolbar were very minimum and if you’re embedding the diagram into some text, you probably don’t want it to be quite that big.

At any rate, when you’re done, you can click outside the diagram to get back to the rest of your file.

This is definitely an easy way to give your information a powerful punch. Plus, you know what they say: a picture is worth a thousand words!

~ April

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