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Format Diagrams and Organization Charts in Office XP

When you have a diagram or organization chart in your Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, Microsoft Word document, or Microsoft PowerPoint® presentation, you may want to change the way it looks — maybe spice up the color and style — and you most likely want to do it without spending a lot of time. The AutoFormat button and the AutoLayout command were designed to help you format your diagrams and organization charts with minimal time and effort.

When you first insert a diagram or organization chart, the default style is applied to it and AutoLayout is turned on. Although these settings prevent you from changing the shape, color, location, or size of an individual element of your diagram or organization chart, you can easily turn off the automatic features and customize your diagrams and organization charts as you wish.

Using AutoFormat

The AutoFormat button (located on the Diagram toolbar and the Organization Chart toolbar) provides you with a quick way to change the look of your diagram or organization chart. At any time while you are working on your diagram or organization chart, you can click the AutoFormat button and choose a different style. Applying a style changes the color, 3-D style, shadow style, and line color of the elements of your diagram or organization chart.

Here are a few examples of the different styles you can use:

Diagrams and organization chart with the style Fire

Diagrams and organization chart with the style Primary Colors

Diagrams and organization chart with the style Shaded

Note   In PowerPoint, some of the styles change the structural design of your diagram or organization chart, but the original presentation color scheme stays the same.

Using AutoLayout

When you use the AutoLayout command (on the Layout menu on the Diagram toolbar or the Organization Chart toolbar), the diagram or organization chart is automatically sized so that the layout looks right. (For example, the individual elements are the same size and an equal distance apart.) AutoLayout must be turned on to do any of the following things with your diagram or organization chart:

  • Add a shape to a diagram (Insert Shape button).
  • Move a shape backward or forward in a diagram (Move Shape Backward, Move Shape Forward buttons).
  • Reverse a diagram (Reverse Diagram button).
  • Change to another diagram type (Change to button).
  • Change to another organization chart layout (Layout button).

Customizing your own diagrams and organization charts

Although the AutoFormat button and the AutoLayout command provide you with quick and easy ways to format your diagrams and organization charts, you don't have to use these automatic features. When you first insert a diagram or organization chart, the default style is applied to it and AutoLayout is turned on.

After you use the AutoFormat button to apply a design style, you cannot change the shape or color of an individual element in your diagram. When you turn on AutoLayout, you cannot move or size an individual element. You may want to keep AutoLayout on when you start working, to keep elements lined up, and then later turn it off to move one element away from the others.

To return to the default style
  • Click the AutoFormat button on the Diagram toolbar or the Organization Chart toolbar, and then click Default in the list of styles.
To turn off AutoLayout
  • Click AutoLayout on the Layout menu.

When your diagram or organization chart uses the default design style and AutoLayout is turned off, you can customize the individual elements of your diagram or organization chart.

To change element Do this with the element selected
Location Drag it to the location you want.
Size Drag any of the sizing handles until the element is the size you want.
Shape Click Draw on the Drawing toolbar, point to Change AutoShape, point to a category, and then click the shape you want.
Color Click the arrow next to Fill Color on the Drawing toolbar, and then click the color you want.

When you customize your diagram or organization chart, keep in mind that your custom changes will not be saved if you apply another style or turn on AutoLayout. This includes changes to individual diagram elements such as applying your own colors and shapes, or moving and resizing the elements (although you can click Undo Apply Style or Undo AutoLayout Diagram on the Edit menu if you don't like the way your diagram or organization chart looks after using these automatic features).

More Information

Create Diagrams in Word 2002, Excel 2002, and PowerPoint 2002

Create Organization Charts in Office XP

 
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