SmartArt replaces the old Diagrams and Organization Chart features in earlier PowerPoint versions. SmartArt is a special class of vector graphic object that combines shapes, lines, and text placeholders. SmartArt is most often used to illustrate relationships between bits of text.
The SmartArt interface is similar regardless of the type of diagram you are creating. You can type directly into the placeholders on the diagram, or you can display a text pane to the side of the diagram and type into that, much as you would type into an outline pane to have text appear in a slide’s text placeholder boxes. See Figure 24-1. You can also select some text, right-click it, and choose Convert to SmartArt.
There are seven types of SmartArt diagrams in PowerPoint 2007, and each is uniquely suited for a certain type of data delivery.
A list diagram presents information in a fairly straightforward, text-based way, somewhat like a fancy outline. List diagrams are useful when information is not in any particular order, or when the process or progression between items is not important. The list can have multiple levels, and you can enclose each level in a shape or not. Figure 24-2 shows an example.