When SmartArt was introduced in Office 2007 everyone could make their documents just look a little more ‘designed’. Wow with just a little more clicks we had this diagram looking great with no hassle at all. But did you know that you can do more with that smart art option? How about creating a collage picture from some of your photo’s with a few simple clicks. Let me show you what I mean. For this example I used PowerPoint but anyone using Microsoft Office knows that you can do this in Word and Excel as well. So pick an application and see if you can follow my steps here.
The first step I take is insert some pictures I’d like to use for my SmartArt. In this case I’ve chosen some pictures I took when visiting the Yankee Stadium in New York. I selected 5 pictures and clicked ok. The slide looks something like this:
As you can see all pictures are still selected and they should remain that way. So don’t click anywhere yet because we are not done yet.
Back to the Ribbon
With all pictures still selected you should see a contextual tab appear in your ribbon. In the contextual ribbon tab click on the Picture Layout button as shown below.
Yes, this looks great! But…. it says “Text” right there in my picture and i don’t want that. Well the trick here is to open the text pane from the SmartArt and click the space bar once. This will create a space in the text box and will remove the word “text” in the central picture. Do this for all text boxes!
Some more design…..
Now add some more design to the SmartArt by clicking the design tab in the ribbon and picking the one you like best. Shown below
When you have picked a layout and like to see the other possibilities just click the ribbon again and change the layout in the SmartArt section. It will show you the possible SmartArt that can be used. Not every SmartArt is applicable but the ones that do will show you a nice preview.
Examples: let me show three layouts I chose while working with the same pictures
Wow how cool are those? Better yet, if you would like to save this SmartArt as a picture just right-click the smartart and choose ‘Save As Picture’. You now have 5 pictures melted into 1 without distorting the original files. Yes non designers, we can be designers too!