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Using graphic tools  in Microsoft Word or Microsoft PowerPoint  to create graphic organizers for presentations and reportsKeeley Library    April 24, 2000
This example was created using Microsoft PowerPoint.
Other drawing programs such as Paint, Clarisworks, Microsoft Works can also be used.
Use the drawing or graphics toolbar in Microsoft Powerpoint or Word.
1.Use the AutoShapes pop-up menu to select the kind of shape you want to draw. Then, Click on one of the classes of shapes, such as Basic Shapes, to see available options.
2.Select which of the Basic Shapes you want to draw and click on it. Then, position your mouse pointer in your document where you want the shape to be, and hold down the mouse button as you draw the shape. Near the AutoShape menu is the color fill "paint can" which can be used to color your autoshape. Also near the AutoShape menus are line tools, which can be used to connect your shapes. Lines can also be selected and color added. A little experimenting will often produce great results. 
Now that you have shapes, you will want to write in them. First, you need to select the shape by clicking on it. You will see little handles appear around the shape.
Next, you will use the Insert Pull Down Menu and choose  "Text Box". by clicking on it. Then, go back and click inside the autoshape to insert the text box.
If you click right in the middle of the autoshape when you are inserting the text box,  you will fix the position of the text box in the center of the autoshape, and it will move with the autoshape when you reposition it as you add more items.
You can go back  to the Insert menu and change the appearance of the texture, line thickness, and other features of both autoshape and text box later. Your results will improve with practice.
After you have all the elements of your graphic organizer or concept map in place, you can then use the "Group" function in the "Draw" menu to group all the shapes, lines, and text boxes together as one object, which can then be moved around.
You can also save it as a "gif" file or "jpeg" file for importing into other documents, or web pages at a later date. Computer technology and library media staff will gladly help you with this if you decide to use a computer generated concept map for your project.
You could  always use a hand drawn concept map and then use a scanner to save it as a file, but the results might not be as crisp, and you would  have fewer display options. Editing the computer generated concept map  should also be much easier than changing a hand drawn map, and the results should look much neater.
Examples of graphic organizers, concept maps and flow charts 
in books and on the web.

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Jane Constant, Reference Librarian
Keeley Library, B.M.C.Durfee High School of Fall River
September, 1978  to  June, 2001