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- Customizing the Ribbon interface
- Using the new Backstage View
- Saving time with the Animation Painter
- Styling a presentation with themes and transitions
- Introducing new ways to work with video
- Using the enhanced photo editing features such as cropping, removing backgrounds, and artistic effects
- Broadcasting a presentation on the Web
- Merging, comparing, and collaborating on presentations
Skill Level Appropriate for all
In Office 2007, we saw the introduction of the SmartArt tool, a complete rebirth of what used to be called Diagrams in previous versions. Office 2010 adds about 80 new diagrams to the existing 116, giving you even more flexibility, and allowing you more creativity with your diagrams than ever before. Let's take a look at the new SmartArt Gallery. Rather than using our traditional sample file, we are going to go ahead and open up the SmartArt Samples, where I have put together a few SmartArt diagrams that I'd love to show you.
We will run through this fullscreen. Here we have a SmartArt diagram that shows a process in steps 1, 2, and 3. Immediately, you can see how SmartArt tools can take simple bullet points, such as this, and convert them to something that looks much nicer. Here we have a process diagram, slightly more complicated, that shows us those same three steps where we grow it, where we bottle it, and where we sell it. But for each step, we've added a little bit of information, in bullets, to further explain the concept to our viewers. This SmartArt diagram, a little bit more interesting, same content though, showing us three large rings and several smaller bullets, indicating the information that we want the audience to see.
It is important to realize that every single SmartArt diagram that you see here is completely customizable, in terms of color, the number of bullets that you see, as well as the 3D shadow, and other kinds of effects that you see. SmartArt diagrams also allow you to add pictures; as you can see, we've done that here. We've got three different products, along with some information about what bread is best paired with our three different products. Now that you have seen a few examples of SmartArt, let's go ahead and put one to use. I am going to go back to our sample presentation now, and on slide number 7, we are going to add a very simple SmartArt diagram, illustrating the history of our organization.
In the content area of our slide, I am going to click on the Insert SmartArt Graphic icon, which shows us the full expanded gallery of SmartArt diagrams we have to choose from. This particular one is great to show a process. We are going to use it to show three different years for the Two Trees Olive Oil Company. Just as in prior versions, the SmartArt graphic appears, and I can click into each of these sections and add some text. Unfortunately, PowerPoint shows a weak combination of color, but that's easy for us to change.
Just as in prior versions of PowerPoint, I can pull down the Change Colors menu, and as I hover over, I will see a variety of options. I think I like this one the best. I can also choose different styles, just like prior versions, changing the shading and even the 3D look of our diagram. SmartArt is one of the best ways to convey complex, or even simple information to your audience - far better than using bullet points. Use it to explain concepts, to communicate ideas quickly, letting the audience focus on you, the speaker.
It deviates from the generic, boring bullet points. I hope I have inspired you, at some point, to go through the Insert tab, and click on SmartArt, and check out the new gallery of SmartArt Graphics that you can add to embellish your presentation.