Like SmartArt but wish there was more flexibility in customizing its shapes? We added just such a feature in Office 2007 SP2 which gives you the ability to ungroup a given diagram in PowerPoint.
Just right click the border of a top level diagram and choose “Ungroup”:
Below are the original diagram on the left and the resulting shape group on the right:
Now that the diagram is a group, you can manipulate the shapes individually which means they won't affect the size or position of other shapes in the diagram (the "smartness" of SmartArt will be gone). This also includes dragging the shapes outside of the original border, editing as freeform and adding text to all diagram shapes. Finally it allows for more tailored animations as each shape can now be animated individually in the Custom Animation pane (if you ungroup the resulting group first).
Why am I so excited about this feature? Because it was an idea I had after Office 2007 shipped. I convinced our PMs to create a spec for it, and it turned out to be so useful during our testing that we back ported it from Office 14 into Office 2007 SP2! Quite a rare event having a feature thought up by a developer making its way into a previous version of Office.
Being able to demonstrate a nearly fully functional prototyped also helped seal the deal. Many features are great ideas on paper, but run into trouble when we try to implement them. Doing a solid prototype proves the feature isn't down right impossible. You can also send the feature to a tester to bang on for a while to see if any showstopper bugs rear their heads.
So thanks to a bunch of people's hard work, we shipped the best and what will surely be the most beloved SmartArt feature of all time (except for all those still to come).