Microsoft Word 2010 comes with many new features, one of which is newly expanded SmartArt capabilities, a feature that can make documents both better looking and easier to follow.
SmartArt is a graphical way to represent real world events, such as lists, processes and business hierarchies with real pictures, words and other graphics that can be customized to reflect actual personal or business relationships or processes.
To add SmartArt to a document, click on Insert on the main menu. The ribbon displayed shows all of the things that you can insert into a Word document. One of them, about a third the way over, is the SmartArt icon. Hovering over the icon causes a small popup to be displayed that explains what SmartArt is all about; clicking on it brings up the SmartArt popup window that displays all of the different categories of SmartArt. To see all the choices in each category, click on the category name, and then use the scroll bar to move lower.
To insert one of the Smart Art choices into your document, double click on it, or highlight it and then click Ok.
The SmartArt object will be inserted into your document at the current location in the default size, and will have all the customary handles for sizing, re-sizing and moving the object around in your document. For most SmartArt objects there will also be one or more places for entering text into the object, which are denoted as such: [text]. Clicking on it will clear the word “text” and instead display a blinking cursor indicating that you can start typing whatever text you have in mind.
In addition, many of the SmartArt objects also have places that allow for the insertion of pictures or other graphics. These are denoted with the standard Word icon for picture, as seen on the Insert ribbon. To add a picture or other graphic to your SmartArt object, click on the picture icon and a standard Word file menu will launch allowing you to move to the place where you keep your pictures, and then to select one. Doing so will cause the picture to load and become embedded in the SmartArt object.
All of the standard Word object formatting capabilities can be used on any of the SmartArt objects by selecting a SmartArt object and then clicking your right mouse button. This includes the new Word 2010 special effects such as: 3-D format and rotation, glow, shadow and reflection. Individual parts of the object, or the object as a whole can be manipulated to suit your taste.
In addition, each SmartArt object also has one additional handle on its left side that is used to bring up a mini-window for changing the default number of parts of the object; to add levels to a hierarchy, for example.
To sum up, the new SmartArt capabilities are extensive enough to allow you to capture pretty much whatever it is you are trying to model, whether at work or at home, and to do so in a professional and polished way.
Overall, the new SmartArt facility should be a boon to anyone that uses Word to create more than just basic documents.