Check Out These Tips and Shortcuts to Insert and Format SmartArt in PowerPoint
by Avantix Learning Team | Updated March 12, 2021
Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)
If you're inserting and formatting SmartArt in PowerPoint, there are several tips and shortcuts you can use to work faster with SmartArt objects.
Some of the following shortcuts are sequential shortcuts so Alt > N > M would mean press Alt, then N and then M.
Recommended article: How to Group or Ungroup Objects in PowerPoint (with Shortcuts)
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1. Inserting a SmartArt object on a slide
Press ALT > N > M. The gallery appears. Press tab to move to the list of layouts. Keep pressing arrow keys until the desired SmartArt object is selected and then press Enter.
Below is the SmartArt Gallery in PowerPoint:
2. Selecting a SmartArt object with a keyboard
Keep pressing Escape until no object is selected and then keep pressing Tab until the desired SmartArt object is selected.
3. Moving between shapes in a SmartArt object using a keyboard
Select the SmartArt object or one shape in the SmartArt object and then keep pressing Tab to move to the next shape.
4. Displaying the Text Pane
Select a SmartArt object and then press Alt > JS > X.
5. Switching between the Text Pane and the SmartArt object
Press Ctrl + Shift + F2.
6. Selecting multiple shapes using the Text Pane
Select a line of text in the Text Pane and then press Shift + down arrow to select additional shapes.
7. Indenting text in the Text Pane
With the cursor positioned in a line of text in the Text Pane, press Tab.
8. Outdenting text in the Text Pane
With the cursor positioned in a line of text in the Text Pane, press Shift + Tab.
9. Increasing the size of a shape
With a shape selected, press Shift + up arrow or Shift + right arrow.
10. Decreasing the size of a shape
With a shape selected, press Shift + down arrow or Shift + left arrow.
11. Increasing the size a shape in small increments
With a shape selected, press Ctrl + Shift + up arrow or Shift + right arrow.
12. Decreasing the size of a shape in small increments
With a shape selected, press Ctrl + Shift + down arrow or Shift + left arrow.
13. Reordering a shape up in a SmartArt object
With a shape selected, press Alt > JS > U.
14. Reordering a shape down within the SmartArt object
With a shape selected, press Alt > JS > W.
15. Moving a shape
With a shape selected, press an arrow key to move a shape in the direction of the arrow.
16. Nudging a shape in small increments
With a shape selected, press Ctrl + an arrow key to nudge in the direction of the arrow.
17. Opening the SmartArt Layout Gallery
Select the SmartArt object and press Alt > JS > L > M.
18. Rotating a shape by 15 degrees
With a shape selected, press Alt + right arrow or Alt + left arrow.
19. Rotating a shape by 1 degree
With a shape selected, press Ctrl + Alt + right arrow or Ctrl + Alt + left arrow.
20. Resetting a SmartArt object
With the SmartArt object selected, press Alt > JS > E. This will remove all custom formatting.
This article was originally published on September 10, 2017 and has been updated for clarity and content.
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