I use Office every day to communicate – email, documents, presentations, spreadsheets. I like to use visual aids to improve my communication -- it’s invaluable to reinforce your ideas with graphics, and if it looks cool, even better. How do you take a textual concept and quickly show your meaning in a graphic that is memorable, relevant, and beautiful?
With Office 2008 for Mac, I do it with SmartArt graphics: a new set of tools for creating attractive, effective visuals. With SmartArt, a list becomes a colorful sequence array, a roster becomes an organization chart, or a numbered list awakens as a simple, bold process diagram.
Choose a layout in the Elements Gallery and enter your data in the SmartArt text pane (we added the genie effect when showing/hiding the text pane; not only is it a cool touch, but it highlights the relationship between the SmartArt object and the text content you're bringing to life in the diagram.) In PowerPoint, you can select a bulleted list already in your presentation and click on a SmartArt layout to convert the list into a graphic.
What’s so “smart” about SmartArt graphics? The graphics automatically update and adjust as you add data, creating new diagram parts, moving existing parts to fit, resizing the contextual elements that show relationships.
Wine making, for example, is a continuous process of growing and harvesting grapes, fermenting, storing and aging, and finally tasting and enjoying. Describing this in your latest newsletter or school project? There’s a Continuous Cycle layout in the SmartArt gallery. Click in the Gallery to add the graphic, type in your stages of wine production, and click a SmartArt style in the Formatting Palette to add a splash of color. Done, and it looks great!