How to Map a Process in PowerPoint

PowerPoint's SmartArt templates include a number of process graphics. Insert a template to create a base for the process before customizing its layout and adding text to it. After you've created a process, customize its style, color and text.

Insert a Process

Step 1

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Open the Insert tab and select SmartArt.

Step 2

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Select Process and browse the list of templates. Select an image to see recommendations on how to use the design. Select OK to insert the process in the slide.

Tip

To switch to a new process layout, select the process to open the SmartArt Tools tabs and select the Design tab. Choose a new process from the Layouts area.

Customize the Layout

The template may not contain the right number of steps for your process, in which case add or delete shapes. PowerPoint automatically resizes steps when you change the layout, decreasing size when you add additional shapes and increasing size when you delete.

Add a Process Step

Step 1

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Select the process to open the SmartArt Tools tabs. Select the Design tab.

Step 2

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Go to the Create Graphic area and select Add Shape.

Tip

Keep readability in mind when you add steps to the process. Add too many extra steps and your audience may not be able to read the text on the slide.

Delete a Process Step

Select the step you want to delete and press the Delete key on your keyboard.

Add Text to the Process

Step 1

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Select the process and then click the arrow to the left of its frame to open the Text Pane. This contains a list of the fields to which you can add text.

Step 2

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Select the first field in the list. It corresponds to the first step in the process. Enter your text and repeat for the other fields. When you're done, select the X on the pane to close it.

Warning

If you use the Enter/Return key after entering text in a bulleted field in the Text Pane, PowerPoint inserts another step to the process; use the Tab key and it inserts a lower level bullet. To avoid this, select each text field with your mouse when you're ready to add text to it.

Tip

  • You can also add text by selecting a step in the process and typing directly into it.
  • To reorder steps after you've added text to them, click on Promote, Demote, Move Up and Move Down buttons on the Create Graphic area of the Design tab. To change the direction of the process, click the Right to Left button.

Customize the Layout

To change color and style from the template's defaults, use tools on the Design and Format tabs. You can also customize the process's text.

Change the Color Theme

Step 1

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Select the process and open the Design tab. Select the Change Colors button.

Step 2

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Choose a new theme from the menu to apply it to the process.

Tip

To add custom colors to individual steps in the process, open the Format tab in SmartArt tools. Select a step and click Shape Fill to choose a new color or Shape Outline to add a custom border.

Change the Step Style

Step 1

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Select the process and open the Design tab. Select the down arrow in the SmartArt Styles pane.

Step 2

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Choose a design from the Best Match for Document or 3-D areas to apply the style to the process.

Tip

To customize styles on individual steps, use Shape Styles and Shape Effects tools on the Format tab.

Customize Text with WordArt

Step 1

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To apply WordArt styles to the text in all steps, select the process; to apply styles to only one step, select the step. Open the Format tab. Select the down arrow on the WordArt Styles pane.

Step 2

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Hover your mouse over a style to see a preview on the process. Select a style to apply it.

Step 3

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Select Text Fill to open its color palette; change the color of the text's fill. Select Text Outline to change its border color. To add additional effects, such as shadow, reflection and glow, select the Text Effects button.

Tip

  • To format regular text in the process, click Font tools in the Home tab.
  • You can also create a SmartArt process from existing text in a slide.
  • To add emphasis, consider animating the process after you've created it.
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