Convert Bullet Text into a SmartArt Graphic in PowerPoint

One of the most useful tools in PowerPoint is a feature called SmartArt that allows you to create graphical representations of presenting text. There are several built-in graphics in the SmartArt gallery, however, most people only know how to use it in the traditional method of inserting the graphic and then typing the text in each item inside the graphic. However, there is a better method where you can convert existing bulleted content into a SmartArt graphic. This is a huge time saver and an excellent way to concentrate on the content first, and then convert the text into a graphic which is more presentable for your audience.

The following is the traditional or the common method, where one inserts the graphic (let’s say a Horizontal Bullet List), and enters the content by clicking in each box and typing the text manually. This is the more tedious way and longer way of using the feature.

  1. Create a slide where you can enter some bullet points for your presentation.
  2. In the placeholder, click on the Insert a SmartArt graphic icon.
  3. Select the desired SmartArt Graphic (such as a “Horizontal Bullet List” as shown).





Let’s say you already have a slide with some bulleted text. The screenshot below shows a slide where there are 4 topics with some descriptions (the sub-bullets).


To convert the existing text into a Smart Art Graphic, just right click in the bullets and choose Convert to SmartArt. Select the graphic shape you want (such as Horizontal Bullet List). VOILA! That’s it. PowerPoint has taken all the content and placed them inside the appropriate graphic text boxes.


Here is the completed graphic:

1 Comment

  1. Michael Palko

    This is a great tip! And something that has really improved my presentations.

    I made a video a few months ago about how I use SmartArt , check it out:

    This video is great for understanding why that format “works”:

    Can’t wait to hear how you use it!

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