How to Add SmartArt Graphics to Your Excel 2019 Worksheets

By Greg Harvey

Part of Excel 2019 All-in-One For Dummies Cheat Sheet

SmartArt graphics in Excel 2019 give you the ability to quickly and easily construct fancy graphical lists, diagrams, and captioned pictures in your worksheet. SmartArt lists, diagrams, and pictures come in a wide array of configurations that include a variety of organizational charts and flow diagrams that enable you to add your own text to predefined graphic shapes.

To insert a SmartArt graphic into the worksheet:

  1. Click the Insert a SmartArt command button in the Illustrations group on the Ribbon’s Insert tab (or press Alt+NZIM1).
    Excel opens the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box.
  2. Select a category in the navigation pane on the left followed by the list’s or diagram’s thumbnail in the center section before you click OK.
    Excel inserts the basic structure of the list, diagram, or picture into your worksheet with [Text ] placeholders (as shown in the figure) showing where you can enter titles, descriptions, captions, and, in the case of, SmartArt pictures, picture icons showing where you can insert your own pictures into the SmartArt graphic. At the same time, the Design tab of the SmartArt Tools contextual tab appears on the Ribbon with Layouts and SmartArt Styles galleries for the particular type of SmartArt list or diagram you originally selected.
    excel-smartart
  3. To fill in the text for the first for your new SmartArt graphic, click its [Text] placeholder and then simply type the text.
  4. When you finish entering the text for your new diagram, click outside the graphic to deselect it.

    If the style of the SmartArt list or diagram you select comes with more sections than you need, you can delete the unused graphics by clicking them to select them (indicated by the selection and rotation handles around it) and then pressing the Delete key.

    If the SmartArt graphic object you’ve added to your worksheet is one of those from the Picture group of the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box, your selected SmartArt graphic contains an Insert Picture button (marked only by a small picture icon) along with the [Text] indicators.

  5. (Optional) To add a graphic image to the SmartArt object, click the picture icon to open an Insert Pictures dialog box. This dialog box contains the following three options:
  • From a File to open the Insert Picture dialog box where you can select a local photo or other graphic image saved in a local or networked drive on your computer.
  • Online Pictures to open the Online Pictures dialog box where you can download a photo or other graphic image from online source such as Flickr or your OneDrive.
  • From Icons to open the Insert Icons dialog box where you can select one of the many categories of black and white images to insert.