You can add a variety of diagrams to your PowerPoint presentations which can be used to illustrate various concepts
Diagrams are a cross between graphics and tables.
Diagrams are typically used to show a relationship between items of text.
The term diagram refers to a special type of vector graphic objects that combines lines, shapes as well as text.
Organisation charts please see the separate section
How easy is it to create flow-charts ?

Types of Diagram

Select (Insert > Diagram) to display the Diagram Gallery dialog box.
This dialog box displays the icons for the six types of diagrams that can be created.


Organisation Chart - Used to show hierarchical relationships. Please refer to the specific Organisation Charts section for more details.
Cycle - Used to show a process with a continuous cycle.
Radial - Used to show relationships of a core element.
Pyramid - Used to show foundation-based relationships.
Venn - Used to show areas of overlap between elements.
Target - Used to show steps towards a goal.

Changing the Diagram Type

All of the diagrams can be easily converted to a different type of diagram except for organisation charts.
To change the type of a diagram use the Change To drop-down menu on the Diagrams toolbar.
This toolbar can only be displayed if you have a diagram currently active.


You can only change the type of a diagram when the AutoFormat and AutoLayout options are both switched on.
If they are not switched on you will be asked if you want to switch them on.
Changing the type of a diagram will mean the colours and formatting are automatically changed back to the default settings.
It is always best to decide on the type of diagram before you apply any custom formatting.


Whenever you insert a diagram onto a slide the diagram the AutoLayout option will be switched on by default.
You must turn this off if you want to make any manual layout changes to your diagram.
To turn the AutoLayout off for a diagram highlight the diagram and select (Layout > AutoLayout) on the Diagram toolbar.
Once the AutoLayout has been removed you can use the selection handles to drag and resize the individual components of the diagram.


AutoLayout is switched on my default .
When AutoLayout is switched on the entire diagram is treated like a single object.
This means that you cannot move or resize any of individual items.
When switched off each item becomes a separate object with its own white selection handles.

Selecting Shapes

A diagram is basically just a group of lines autoshapes and textboxes.
Even though the diagram can only be moved and resized as a single object it is still possible to select (and format) the individual items when AutoLayout is switched on
When you select an item which is a component of a group the selection handles appear in grey with a small cross inside.


Once the item is selected it can be formatted in the usual way.
To format the item either use the shortcut menu or select (Format > AutoShape).

Formatting Changes

A diagram is just a group of textboxes, lines and autoshapes that have been grouped in a particular way
This means that you can enter and edit text in the usual way.
You can also format the individual components by changing their font, colour, borders etc
You do not need to manually insert any additional textboxes to the diagrams because the necessary textboxes will be automatically inserted when you insert more shapes.

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