Adding Visual Elements to Office 2011 Files

By Peter Weverka

Part of Office for iPad and the Mac For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Word 2011 documents, Excel 2011 worksheets, and PowerPoint 2011 slides are much more attractive and communicate more when you include visual elements. Office 2011 offers commands for creating these visual elements:

  • Charts: A chart is an excellent way to present data for comparison purposes. The pie slices, bars, columns, or lines tell readers right away which business is more productive, for example, or who received the most votes. Go to the Charts tab to begin creating a chart.

  • Diagrams: A diagram allows readers to quickly grasp an idea, relationship, or concept. Instead of explaining an abstract idea, you can portray it in a diagram. Go to the SmartArt tab to create a chart.

  • Shapes and lines: Shapes and lines can also illustrate ideas and concepts. You can use them for decorative purposes, too. To draw shapes and lines, click the Media Browser button on the Quick Access toolbar, click Shapes in the Media Browser, and select a shape. Then drag with the mouse to draw your shape.

  • Pictures: A well-placed picture or two can make a newsletter, brochure, or slide that much more attractive. Click the Media Browser button on the Quick Access toolbar and choose an option to insert a photo from your computer, a picture from an online source, or a clip-art images.

After you insert a visual element, go to the Format tab to make it look just right.