Excel: Change a SmartArt Layout

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Problem: I typed my text in my SmartArt, but my manager doesn't like the layout.

Strategy: You can easily convert a SmartArt graphic from one style to any other style by using the Layouts gallery on the Design tab. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the SmartArt graphic. Excel will display the SmartArt Tools tabs.
  2. From the Design tab, select the Layouts gallery. It initially shows four other layouts besides the one you used. Click the bottom arrow to open the gallery.

  1. Click the More arrow to open the gallery.
    1. Initially, the Layouts gallery shows only the layouts from the same category as your existing graphic. To choose from the complete set of layouts, choose the More Layouts option at the bottom.
  2. You see more layouts, but not all of them.
    1. Choose the All category and then choose a new layout.

    Results: Your existing message will be presented in a completely new SmartArt layout.

  3. New layout, same words.

    Gotcha: Some layouts allow only a certain number of shapes. If you have a layout with six shapes and then convert it to a layout that allows only three shapes, for example, you will not initially lose the extra text. The text for the remaining shapes will appear with a red X in the text pane. If you switch back to another layout, these shapes will be restored. However, if you save and close the document, the text by the red X will be discarded. Microsoft did this to prevent you from accidentally including sensitive hidden data in the graphic.

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