Word: Resize a SmartArt graphic or a chart

March 17, 2016

In more recent versions of Word, you can use commands on the Insert tab to add a chart or SmartArt. When these objects are inserted into your document, they automatically resize to fit the page width. However, you can’t resize them exactly the same way you can resize an inserted graphic. You know if you’ve got one of these objects because when you click on them, you get a thick border around them (graphics have a very thin border), as shown below.


Below are some of the methods you can use to resize one of these SmartArt or chart objects. Choose the method that best suits your way of working.

Method 1: Drag a handle

The simplest method is to click on a ‘handle’ indicated by the three dots on the sides and corners of the object, then drag the handle in or out to resize the object. I’ve circled the handles in red on the image below.


  • Drag a corner handle to keep the height and width in proportion.
  • Drag a side handle to make the object wider or narrower while maintaining the height.
  • Drag a top or bottom handle to increase or decrease the height while maintaining the width.
  • This method is not exact, and depends on your skills with the mouse.


Method 2: Resize by percentage or value

This method is more exact and doesn’t rely on fine motor skills with a mouse. It’s similar to a method you can use to resize a graphic, but the options are harder to find.

  1. Right-click on the object’s border.
  2. Select More Layout Options.
  3. On the Layout window, select the Size tab.
  4. Either adjust the absolute height and width, OR the scale.
    • My preference is Scale, as you can enter a percentage to increase or decrease the size by. To keep the proportion, either make both percentages the same, or select the Lock Aspect Ratio check box, then just change one of the percentages — the other will automatically adjust.
  5. Click OK.

Method 3: Resize by percentage or value (ribbon)

This method is very similar to Method 2, except for how you get to the Layout window.

  1. Select the object to display the SmartArt Tools ribbon.
  2. Select the Format tab on the SmartArt Tools ribbon.
  3. Click Size on the far right of the ribbon.
  4. Although you can specify exact measurements on the fly-out ‘menu’, if you want to specify a percentage, click the tiny icon in the lower right corner (I’ve circled it in red in the image below).
  5. This opens Size tab on the Layout window.
  6. As for Method 2 above, either adjust the absolute height and width, OR the scale.
  7. Click OK.


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