SmartArt is one of the coolest features to land in Excel 2007. And, even cooler that having access to SmartArt is knowing that SmartArt has been incorporated into all of the Office 2007 products. That means, once you learn the art of SmartArt in Excel, you’ll be able to use that same knowledge in Microsoft Word 2007 and Microsoft PowerPoint 2007.
Figure 23. SmartArt Graphic Dialog Box
Each SmartArt graphic is a stunning visual representation of your information. Even better yet, SmartArt graphics are amazing easy to edit including color, presentation and data.
You can see in the graphic (above), there are a whole host of different graphic types available in SmartArt. The trick is figuring out which graphic type to use that will best represent your data.
Once you pick a SmartArt category, the rest is easy. For instance, assume for a moment that you chose the List category. You can see from the graphic (above) that there a multitude of styles which all fall under “List.” But, you can always change the style without losing any customizing you’ve made to your graphic. So, don’t get too hung up on picking the right style the first time – with SmartArt, you definitely reserve the right to change your mind, and SmartArt will change right along with you – no questions asked.
SmartArt Layout Types
Each SmartArt layout type contains a group of related SmartArt styles intended to display your information in the best possible way.
With using the List type layout, your main points are able to gain visibility and impact in colorful shapes that emphasize their importance. The List layout is for groups of information that don’t necessarily follow a step-by-step process.
Process layout types typically including arrows to indicate directional flow and are used specifically to indicate steps in a process. For instance, the Process type is one you might choose when creating Flowcharts.
Just like the Process layout types, the Cycle layout types also show the steps in a process, although, in a Cycle layout, the step-by-step information is communicated as a circular, or repetitive, process.
If you were looking for where to create your organization charts – look no further. You can create stunning organization charts using the Hierarchy layout type.
Relationship layout types show relationships with hierarchy such as Venn diagrams and radial layouts.
To represent two-dimensional information, try one of the Matrix layout types. Additionally, the Matrix layout types represent your data best when used to represent four or fewer key points with a central idea in the middle.
When looking to show proportional or hierarchical relationships, that often build upward, the Pyramid layout type is what you need.