How to Convert a Smart Art Object into a Graphic

I like to wax poetic on the benefits of creating a SharePoint site map using Smart Art in Microsoft Office. Users like colourful, visually appealing diagrams especially when they are interactive (such as graphics with clickable hotspots created with a tool like Image-Maps – check out my instructions here!)

I recently shared this information with a client without providing step-by-step instructions. During a follow up call it became clear that converting the Smart Art object in the Word document into a graphic was not as intuitive as I had assumed.

How to Convert a Smart Art Object into a PNG Graphic in Microsoft Word:

  1. Create new Word document.
  2. Insert Smart Art object. Modify it to meet your needs.
  3. Select Smart Art object with your cursor then copy it. (Select > Ctrl + C)
    Note: Make sure you’ve selected the entire object, not just one item within it.
  4. Right-click cursor in a blank part of the page.
  5. Select “Picture” from paste options.
    Note: This creates a .png = best for graphics & a must for graphics with transparency.  (.jpg = best for photo)
  6. Right click on new .png image.
  7. Select > Save as Picture from the context menu.

Best Practice:
Save a copy of the .png file in SharePoint. ALSO save a copy of the Word document containing the original Smart Art object in SharePoint. This way if you need to make a minor edit to the original Smart Art object, you don’t need to recreate the Smart Art object again.

Correct way to select entire Smart Art object:

Wrong way to select entire Smart Art object:
In this image (below) user has only selected one piece of the image.

How to Select Picture from Paste Options:

How to Select “Save as Picture” from the Context Menu:




5 responses to “How to Convert a Smart Art Object into a Graphic

  1. Pingback: PDF to JPG
  2. Hello Kelly,

    Your instructions worked perfectly…thanks. Is there a way to keep each button separate so as to make a link?


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