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MS Office: Switch SmartArt Layouts Without Starting Over

It’s not uncommon for me to use SmartArt in my documents. As a teacher I’ll often use them to visually organize data for my students… of course when doing so I often find that the layout I chose when initially creating it doesn’t seem to work by the end.

So now what?

While I have seen countless people start over, there’s no way am I going that route.

Fortunately, switching SmartArt layouts is as easy as it was to choose one the first time – without losing the information you’ve entered!

All you have to do to switch layouts is to take a quick look at the SmartArt Tools Design tab.


Built right in there’s a section just for this purpose.

If you click the down arrow you’ll find that all the layouts from the category you started with are displayed.


Choose one, and all your information will be transferred into the new layout.

Decide that you need a new SmartArt from a completely different category? Maybe go from a list style to a hierarchy?

No problem, simply click on the More Layouts choice and you’ll be SmartArt dialog box that you started with.¬†(You can also reach that initial dialog box with a right-click on the diagram then choose Change Layout from the menu.)

From one SmartArt layout to another… back and forth then off to another… all of it without losing your content or triggering a “start over”.

~ April