How to Insert and Modify Diagrams in Microsoft Word 2010

  • 6/2/2010

Modifying Diagrams

After you create a diagram, you can add and remove shapes and edit the text of the diagram by making changes in the Text pane. You can also customize the diagram by using the options on the SmartArt Tools contextual tabs.

You can make changes such as the following by using the commands on the Design contextual tab:

  • Switch to a different layout of the same type or of a different type.

  • Add shading and three-dimensional effects to all the shapes in a diagram.

  • Change the color scheme.

  • Add shapes and change their hierarchy.

You can customize individual shapes in the following ways by using the commands on the Format contextual tab:

  • Change an individual shape—for example, you can change a square into a star.

  • Apply a built-in shape style.

  • Change the color, outline, or effect of a shape.

  • Change the style of the shape’s text.

You can use Live Preview to display the effects of these changes before you apply them. If you apply a change and then decide you preferred the original version, you can click the Reset Graphic button in the Reset group on the Design contextual tab.


In this exercise, you’ll change a diagram’s layout, style, and colors. Then you’ll change the shape and color of one of its elements, and customize copies of the diagram.

  1. If necessary, adjust your view of the document so that the entire diagram sits in the bottom half of your screen.

  2. Click a blank area inside the diagram frame to activate the diagram as a whole.

  3. On the Design contextual tab, in the Layouts group, click the More button.


    The Layouts gallery appears, showing the other available Process diagram layouts.


    You can switch to any of these layouts.

  4. In the Layouts gallery, point to each thumbnail to preview the diagram with that layout.

    Because changing the layout does not change the width of the diagram frame, some of the horizontal layouts create a very small diagram.

  5. In the Layouts gallery, click the last thumbnail in the fourth row (Basic Bending Process).

    The diagram changes to two columns with arrows indicating the process flow.


    The Basic Bending Process diagram.

  6. Point to the sizing handle on the left side of the diagram’s frame, and when the pointer changes to a two-headed arrow, drag the frame to the left until the diagram occupies a bit less than half the page width.

    When you release the mouse button, the shapes in the diagram expand to fill the resized frame.

  7. On the Design contextual tab, in the SmartArt Styles group, click the More button.

    The SmartArt Styles gallery appears.


    You can apply two-dimensional or three-dimensional styles.

  8. In the gallery, point to each style, noticing the changes to your diagram. Then under 3-D, click the first thumbnail in the first row (Polished).

  9. In the SmartArt Styles group, click the Change Colors button.


    The Colors gallery appears, offering sets of different colors or of different shades of the same color.

  10. Preview a few color combinations, and then under Colorful, click the first thumbnail (Colorful – Accent Colors).

    In the document, you can see that the new diagram colors coordinate with the text colors.


    The diagram shapes have a new style and new colors.

  11. In the upper-left corner of the diagram, click the Gather information shape (not its text), and then on the Format contextual tab, in the Shapes group, click the Change Shape button.


    The Shapes gallery appears, showing all the available built-in shapes.


    You can use any of these shapes in a diagram.

  12. Under Basic Shapes, click the first shape in the first row (Oval).

    The selected shape changes from a rectangle to an oval.

  13. Without changing the selection, in the Shape Styles group, click the Shape Fill button. Then under Standard Colors in the palette, click the first box (Dark Red).

  14. Click away from the diagram.

    You can now see the results.


    The shape that corresponds with the heading to the left of the diagram is now accentuated with a different shape and color.

  15. Click a blank area within the diagram to select it. Then on the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click the Copy button.

  16. Scroll down the document, click to the left of the Set up team heading, and in the Clipboard group, click the Paste button to paste in a copy of the diagram.

  17. On the Format tab, in the Arrange group, click the Position button, and then click More Layout Options to display the Layout dialog box. Ensure that the Horizontal setting is Alignment, Right relative to Column and the Vertical setting is Alignment, Top relative to Line. Then click OK.

  18. Click the Gather information shape (not its text). In the Shapes group, click the Change Shape button, and under Rectangles, click the second shape (Rounded Rectangle). Then in the Shape Styles group, click the Shape Fill button, and under Theme Colors in the palette, click the third box (Light Turquoise, Background 2).

    The shape corresponding to the previous heading is now muted to show that it has already been discussed.

  19. Click the Set up team shape (not its text), and change its shape to Oval. Then change its fill color to Dark Red.

    The diagram now corresponds with the adjacent topic.


    The red oval shape reflects the heading to the left, and the previous topic is a muted color.

  20. If you want, repeat steps 15 through 19 to insert a customized copy of the diagram adjacent to each of the remaining headings in the Process section.