What Is SmartArt in PowerPoint 2007? - dummies

What Is SmartArt in PowerPoint 2007?

By Doug Lowe

PowerPoint includes a feature called SmartArt that lets you add diagrams to your PowerPoint slides. With PowerPoint SmartArt, you can create List, Process, Cycle, Hierarchy, Relationship, Matrix, and Pyramid diagrams. The idea behind SmartArt diagrams is to represent bullet lists as a diagram of interconnected shapes. Although many different types of SmartArt diagrams are available, they all work the same way. The only real difference among the various SmartArt diagram types is how they graphically represent the bullets. For example, consider the following bullet list:

  • Arrive

  • Work

  • Lunch

  • More work

  • Leave

The following figure shows this list using two different types of SmartArt.

Two examples of SmartArt diagrams.
Two examples of SmartArt diagrams.

Many SmartArt diagram types can display two or more outline levels in your bullet list. The second-level bullets are incorporated as text within the diagram.


SmartArt lets you easily change from one type of diagram to another. The following list summarizes the kinds of diagrams you can create with PowerPoint SmartArt:

  • List: Shows a simple list. Some of the list diagrams show information that doesn’t have any particular organization; others display information in a way that implies a sequential progression, such as steps in a task.

  • Process: Shows a process in which steps flow in a sequential fashion.

  • Cycle: Shows a process that repeats in a continuous cycle.

  • Hierarchy: Shows hierarchical relationships, such as organization charts.

  • Relationship: Shows how items are conceptually related to one another. Included in this group are radial and Venn diagrams.

  • Matrix: Shows four items arranged into quadrants.

  • Pyramid: Shows how elements build upon one another to form a foundation.