Infographics allow to present information in a user-friendly and succinct manner. Almost all topics can be presented using infographics.

One of the great tools that can be used to create infographics is PowerPoint. The only limit is your patience and imagination. There are many templates and easily customizable elements to get you started.

If you are not sure which types of graphs to use for your different data sets, here are some good practices to keep in mind:

  • Column chart: Use for comparing different categories or for showing changes over time.
  • Pie chart: Use for making part-to-whole comparisons. They work best with small data sets.
  • Line graph: Use for showing data that changes continuously over time. Ideal for displaying volatility, trends, acceleration, or deceleration.
  • Doughnut chart: Use like a pie chart. This stylistic variation allows you to put a number, graphic, or other visual in the center of the chart.
  • Bar chart: Use like a column chart.

Here are 8 steps for making infographics using PowerPoint.

Step 1: Change Slide Size

Start with a blank presentation and a new slide. The default in PowerPoint is for landscape slides. To change this, navigate to the Design tab and click “Slide Size” followed by “Page Setup…” This will cause a dialogue box to appear. Change the orientation of your slide to “Custom” and add custom measurements:

It’s recommended you make the image 6 inches wide by 14 inches tall to get started. However, consider the purpose and data for your infographic when deciding on the size.

Step 2: Format the Background for Your Infographic

Next, you will want to give your infographic an interesting background. There are a few ways to do this. The simplest way is to select an attractive theme from the Design tab, allowing PowerPoint to set your background and the complementary colors for you:

The other way to do it is manually by navigating to the “Format Background” option on the far right of the Design tab. Clicking this option will display a dialogue box that gives you a few different options, including setting a background image from an uploaded file of your choice and creating gradient options once you choose “Picture or texture fill”:

Step 3: Edit Your Title and Subheadings

By default, the slide will have placeholders for title and subtitle elements. You can edit the text in each and move them to the area of the infographic you want them in. Putting them at the top is usually a good idea, but you might want to experiment with your designs and choose what looks best.

Step 4: Add New Elements Using SmartArt

There are many ways to add custom shapes, charts, and vector graphics when creating infographics with PowerPoint. The SmartArt application provides an easy way of adding a wide range of items that are easy to create and use. Go to “Insert” tab and choose “SmartArt” at the top.

Then choose the type of element you would like to include. Most of dynamic infographics are created using only SmartArt. Pick one to start with:

You can also select the design variation you prefer from the options displayed at the top of your screen:

Click on your graphic to edit the text elements and add your content:

Select the color you would like to use from the “Change Color” option. If you selected a theme when choosing your background, your elements will all default to theme colors. If not, you will need to choose them manually:

Step 5: Create Unique Elements Using Shapes and Text Boxes

In addition to SmartArt, you can combine shapes with text boxes to create unique features for your infographic. Go to the Insert tab and select “Shapes.” Then choose from the wide range of shapes:

Once you chose you shape, use the options that appear at the top to choose your color. You can use one of the options or the “Shape Fill” and “Shape Outline” options to select custom colors. You can also use the “Shape Effects” function to make your shape more dynamic:

Once you have your shape looking exactly as you want it, add a text box by choosing “Text Box” under “Shape Format” tab. You can add multiple text boxes and tweak the fonts, sizes, and colors, and then move them around:

Once all your text boxes and shapes look together exactly how you want the to, select every part of the new element you have created, including the shape and all your text boxes, by clicking on each in turn while holding shift or by just highlighting all the elements of the shape using sensor or mouse. When you’re sure you have selected every aspect, right click over the selected elements; then click “Group” and select “Group” again:

This will link all aspects of your newly created element together. Now when you click on it, you will find it is selected as if it were a single element rather than several. This is especially useful because you can then move it around easily without losing any elements of it. Also, if you need to duplicate your new element, simply select it once it’s been grouped, copy and paste it, and then adjust the text and colors.

Step 6: Add Your Own Images to Create Complex Elements

To ensure your infographics are entirely unique to you, consider using photographs or relevant icons.

You can use the Insert tab to add an image as you have added shapes and text boxes and combine your images with both in exactly the same manner we used in step 5. The easier way, however, is to take advantage of SmartArt elements that include images. Go back to the SmartArt function and insert a new element that includes images; edit it, as we did in step 4; and then click on any of the empty image icons:

A dialogue box will appear, giving you various options for choosing a source for your image. Find the file you want to use and insert it. Repeat this as many times as necessary to replace all empty images with your images.

Step 7: Optimize the Layout of All Your Elements

Continue adding elements to your infographic until you have all the needed information on it that. Once you have everything on your infographic, experiment with the layout until everything is presented in the most visually appealing as well as logical way.

Remember, one of the benefits of creating infographics with PowerPoint is that you can always return to “Custom Slide Size” in the Design tab to change the dimensions of your infographic if your space needs changed.

Step 8: Save Your Infographic

Once your infographic is complete, go to “File,” click “Save As,” and select the file type for your infographic. PowerPoint’s default is to saving it as a presentation, but you can select various different file types from the dropdown list. When you click “Save,” PowerPoint will ask if you want to save the whole presentation or just the one slide. Select the slide and choose your format.

Infographics in PowerPoint