Weekly Computer Tip # 268
1 May 2009

Convert an existing bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic (PowerPoint 2007)

PowerPoint 2007 has some nifty new features (although I also miss a couple of old favourites, such as adding a slide to your existing presentation, that automatically shows the titles of some or all the slides in your presentation, see tip_83.php if you're still using an older version and didn't know how to do this!)

The one I love is the ability to convert existing text or bullets into, say, a diagram (called SmartArt in Office 2007), which is often much more effective than flying bullets (aka Death by PowerPoint).

Here's how:

  1. Right-click anywhere in your bulleted list and select Convert to SmartArt. (Or go to the Home tab and click Convert to SmartArt Graphic in the Paragraph group.)
  2. In the gallery, click on any of the (over 80!) layouts of SmartArt graphics.

If you close the presentation, you cannot use the go-back-to-where-I-was-happy (Undo) button. Instead, you can copy and paste the text from the Text pane into a slide. OK, you will lose your formatting, but you will keep your information!