Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tuesday's Tip - SmartArt Excel ancestor graphic

I love Microsoft Excel...spreadsheets soothe my OCD mind. I use them a lot to manage my family history facts and files. I have recently gone nuts with the SmartArt graphic feature in Excel (a tool in all Microsoft Office products starting with the 2007 version). I use this feature to create the relationship graphic that I use in several posts.
The relationship graphic I created using SmartArt.
To create a SmartArt illustration in Excel, open a file and click on the insert tab. You'll see the SmartArt graphic in the Illustrations block.
Your click opens the SmartArt Graphic choice list. There are many options to choose from to illustrate various and a sundry concepts. For the graphic shown above I chose the "staggered process" option.
Click on your choice of graphic and it will be inserted in to your page with the default settings. You can adjust the colors, box shape and font through the SmartArt tools design tab.
To add or subtract boxes from your graphic simply right click on a box and scroll to "Add Shape."
 
There are endless options for how to customize the SmartArt graphic for your family research. You could change the colors to match your blog, or determine different colors for different family lines. You can use the Snipping Tool to use the graphic on your blog.
 
No matter how you customize it, I think you'll find that it is a handy option for adding information to your blog or helping to clarify your family research.
 
Also, check out this post at the Legal Genealogist to read her thoughts on using Microsoft graphics on your blog.



14 comments:

Linda Huesca Tully said...

It looks really interesting, Heather. I've never paid attention to this feature on Excel, but your post makes me want to give it a try! Thanks for sharing this.

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Thanks, Linda! I have found this especially helpful when writing the series on my 3rd great grandparents. I don't have photos of 90% of them, so this adds a visual a breaks up the boring bits!

Kathryn said...

Another great tip Heather! This makes such a nice, clear graphic. I never thought of using Excel this way. Thanks for posting it!

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Thanks, Kathryn!

Sally said...

This is a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

Tammy TheStitchingCoop said...

My husband adores these programs. I'm only just now tonight loading them on my computer. I will have to follow your tutoring and see what I come with. Thank you for the share. Hugs. Tammy

Wendy said...

I've had Excel and Smart Art for a gazillion years but never gave a thought to how to actually use any of it (except for obvious things like creating a Christmas budget in Excel). I can't wait to see what you're going to show me next.

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Thanks, Sally, I hope it comes in useful for you!

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Tammy and Wendy, I think you will find a lot of uses for Excel. I have all kinds of charts I've come up with to help manage my family research. Thank you both for the kind comments!

Sierra said...

Thank you so much for the step by step. I have enjoyed how you use these graphics in your blog! I used your directions to make one of my own for a Sunday's Obituary post for tomorrow. I feel like my blog will have a cool factor to it now!

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Sierra you are too funny! I'm looking forward to seeing your graphic!

we came from said...

What a great tip! Will definitely check this out.


I have started a new blog hop - The History Hop - that allows history bloggers to link up their favourite posts every week

Blog hops provide an opportunity to share posts and to meet other bloggers and I'm hoping that the History Hop will prove
a great way to reach a wider audience and to meet other history bloggers of all sorts.

I would love to see your posts linked up,

Alice @ We Came From

http://wecamefrom.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/the-history-hop-2.html

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Thanks, Alice! I gave it a try...should have used a different "name" but now I've got it figured out!

Rita Schmidt Martin said...

When I first read this post I made a note to try this sometime. I used it on today's post and it was fun and easy!! Thanks for this tip. I use Excel all the time but had never explored this feature.