Tip of the week # 501
5 December 2016

Change the emphasis of a SmartArt graphic by changing its direction (Microsoft Office) *

Don't you love SmartArt?! They are quick and easy to create and you can choose from many different layouts, making it easy to effectively communicate your message or ideas in Excel, Word, and Outlook, but mainly - I guess - PowerPoint. But what if you need to change the emphasis or reverse the flow of your SmartArt graphic? Well, you can switch the layout of the SmartArt graphic between left to right and right to left with one simple click.

Here's how:

  1. Click anywhere in the SmartArt graphic that you want to change.
  2. On the SmartArt Tools Design tab, in the Create Graphic group, click Right to Left. (If you don't see the SmartArt Tools Design tab, you didn't click on a SmartArt graphic.)
  3. To switch back to the original direction of your SmartArt graphic, click Right to Left again.

What happens depends on the type of SmartArt, but, say, you used a basic chevron process ("arrows pointing to the right" for you and me) ... one click on Right to Left and hey presto the arrows are pointing the other way.

By the way, the feature isn't available for all SmartArt graphics and the customisation might get lost when you select a different layout, but I still really like the feature.

For more tips about working with SmartArt graphics see:
tip_355.php : Tweak your SmartArt graphics (Microsoft Office)
tip_268.php : Convert an existing bulleted list to a SmartArt graphic (PowerPoint)
tip_230.php : draw three concentric circles with text in each (Microsoft Office)

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* Unless stated otherwise, these tips were written for Microsoft Office 2010.