Microsoft Excel 2010 : Linking a Cell to Smart Art

Converted SmartArt diagrams will be removed when you open a workbook in the Excel Web App.

You can’t actually link SmartArt text to a cell, but you can create the layout in SmartArt, convert it to shapes, and then replace the text with formulas linking the component to a cell. This allows the text in the layout to update automatically when the cell’s text updates.

There are two reasons why it’s important to make sure the SmartArt is designed perfectly before converting it. First, after you convert it, it’s no longer SmartArt and you will not have access to the SmartArt tools to make changes. The second reason is that it is much easier to select the correct frames when they have text in them already.

Linking SmartArt to Cells

To link SmartArt to a cell, follow these steps:


Set up the sheet as needed, including the cells with dynamic text that you will link the SmartArt components to.



Completely design the SmartArt, including the placement of sample text.



Select the diagram.



Go to SmartArt Tools, Design, Reset, Convert to Shapes. This will convert the SmartArt to individual shapes.



Go to Drawing Tools, Format, Arrange, Selection Pane. The Selection pane opens on the right side of the window.



Many components in SmartArt consist of layers of shapes, which are all now visible in the Selection pane. Select one of the components called Freeform. The corresponding shape will be selected on the sheet. If this is not the desired shape, select another in the Selection pane until the shape you want is highlighted. Freeform is usually the shape used to hold text.



After the desired shape is selected, place your cursor in the formula bar, type an equal sign and then the cell address of the cell you want to link the shape to, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Insert the formula in the formula bar to link the shape to a cell.

Linking a Cell to Smart Art  

Repeat steps 6 and 7 until all components are linked.