Monday, June 16th, 2014

Resize and Position Photos in SmartArt Placeholders


Yikes! Just how do you resize a photo inside a PowerPoint or Word SmartArt placeholder

I got an email from a reader this morning. He has a PowerPoint slide (but it could as easily be a Word document or an Excel worksheet) and he wants to size a photo inside a placeholder. You see he was making an organization chart and he was dealing with lots of different head shots – all photographed differently. He wanted to make the faces the same relative size inside the placeholders – but to do this he had to get access to the photos inside the placeholders.

You see that’s the problem, every time you right click the placeholder and choose Size and Position you’re affecting the placeholder not the thing inside it! The solution is to use the Crop tool – so click on the placeholder and choose Picture Tools > Format tab and click the Crop tool.

Now you get handles around your photo and you can drag the handles to resize the image and you can move it to change its position inside the placeholder. When you’re done, click Crop again to finish. Easy when you know how.

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Timeline in Microsoft Word 2010

The new SmartArt feature in Word 2007 and 2010 helps you create timelines very easily:

Step 1
Choose Insert -> SmartArt -> Process and select one of the process options such as Basic Timeline and click Ok. Type the text into the textboxes in the SmartArt object. Alternately, click the arrows at the far left of the object and add text via the dialog.

Step 2
To format the timeline SmartArt, select the object and choose Format -> Design on the Ribbon and then select one of the SmartArt Styles. Click Change Colors to alter the colours used in your SmartArt object.

Step 3
From the Shape Effects list you can customise an effect such as reflection or shadow for the art. In addition, as the look of a SmartArt object is controlled by the document theme you can choose Page Layout -> Themes and select an alternate theme for your document.

Helen Bradley

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Get Smart with SmartArt

Oh yum! You just have to love the new SmartArt tool in Office 2007. It is part of Excel, Word and PowerPoint it will probably be most used in PowerPoint because this is where you will most need to display large scale diagrams.

SmartArt objects are great to use to illustrate processes, lists and the flow of information or product. In fact most business graphics can be created as SmartArt objects improving their look and readability.

In PowerPoint 2007, SmartArt objects can be created two ways either by converting a list or text selection into a SmartArt object or by creating the SmartArt object from scratch.

If you have an existing list or text you want to display as a SmartArt object, select the text and, from the Paragraph group on the Home tab in PowerPoint 20007, select the Convert to SmartArt Graphic button.

Select a graphic object to use for the text – you can preview what the graphic will look like by holding the mouse pointer over the graphic and see how the text will display in it on the slide underneath.

If none of the SmartArt designs listed are what you want, click the More SmartArt Graphics button to see more options. Right now, just look for a basic layout for your SmartArt graphic as the actual look of the graphic can be adjusted later on.

Edit the text
When you convert text into a SmartArt graphic you can edit the text by clicking on the SmartArt graphic, and select the double pointing arrows on the right hand border of the object to open the text dialog. Here you can type different text if desired or add additional entries each of which will become another element in the SmartArt design.

Once you have the text in place use the SmartArt Tools > Design tab on the ribbon to format the shape. The SmartArt Styles collection gives you a range of styles that you can choose from to apply to the graphic. If you find a style that you like but the color is not correct, apply the style and then click the Change Colors button and choose a different color scheme for the shape.

Create SmartArt from scratch
It is also possible to create a SmartArt graphic from scratch using the Insert tab. Click the SmartArt button and then choose a SmartArt design to use and you can then enter your text and format it to suit your needs. This is the same option you have in Excel and Word.

You can change the look of the text inside a SmartArt object by selecting the SmartArt object and, for example, change the text format to one of the WordArt styles in the WordArt styles list.

Having chosen a WordArt style you can then change the color of the style using the Text Fill options. Notice too that when you resize a SmartArt object the text inside the object automatically resizes to fit it.

Graphics in SmartArt
You will see that many SmartArt objects include containers into which you can insert graphics. To do this, click on the graphic icon in the SmartArt element and a dialog will open allowing you to select a graphic to use for that element.

Helen Bradley

Thursday, May 3rd, 2007

Gilding the Lily – Animating SmartArt

I love the new SmartArt feature in Office 2007 and I’d buy Office just to get hold of it. The images are drop dead gorgeous and they’re so easy to make and to color.

So, what’s better than great looking SmartArt? Animated SmartArt, that is. Launch PowerPoint 2007 and create a SmartArt object. Select it and then click the Animations tab. From the Animate dropdown list choose One by One and Preview the result – deliciously animated SmartArt. Of course, you can do all sorts of Animations – this is just to whet your appetite.

Fun huh?

Helen Bradley

Wednesday, March 21st, 2007

Too cool for school – Office 2007 SmartArt

New to Microsoft Office 2007 PowerPoint, Excel and Word is the SmartArt feature which is one you’re just going to love.

To test it out add a new slide to a PowerPoint presentation, for example, and select the blank layout. From the Insert tab on the Ribbon, select SmartArt and then one of the SmartArt objects.

I like the one called Staggered Process which I’ve shown here as it makes a great display for a simple step-by-step process. Select your choice of design and then you’ll see text brackets appear on the screen. Click in them or click the double-pointing arrows at the left of the SmartArt object and type your text in the special dialog.

Once you’ve got your bullet points in – and you can add more than the default three if you need more – you have a simple step-by-step graphic. But – this is only the beginning.

There are lots of different looks for your graphic including beveled edges and 3D effects, and you can choose these from the SmartArt styles dropdown list in front of you. You can also change the colors used in the design which, of course, are based on the current document Theme colors. Change the Design Ttheme and the look of the project changes with it.

It’s about as simple as it’s ever going to be to add great looking step-by-step graphics to a PowerPoint slide. They are, seriously, way cool…

Helen Bradley