How to Create a Flowchart in Word and Excel.
Microsoft Office tools are getting more powerful with every update. Currently, you don’t even need a dedicated flowchart app. You can create flowcharts in PowerPoint, Word, and even Excel.
We’ve already covered flowcharts in PowerPoint. So, in this article, we will show you how to create a flowchart in Word and Excel. We are going to use Microsoft Office 2019 for demonstrations, but you can follow the same steps using Office 2010 or Office 365. If your version of Microsoft Office is not older than 2007, you can create flowcharts using our methods.
Table of Contents
How to Create a Flowchart in Word Using Shapes
Microsoft Word is a popular word processor used all over the world as it is compatible with all computers. Over time, Word has evolved into more than a simple word processor, and its popularity across all platforms has steadily grown. It now comes with drawing and design tools so you can create flowcharts, generate barcodes, and even create greeting cards.
One such tool is Shapes. Using the Shapes tool is the easiest way to create a simple flowchart on the go. So let’s start with a basic flowchart using shapes.
Let’s start with a blank document
When you start Microsoft Word, you are automatically presented with the option to open a blank document. Just click on the “Blank Document” option and you’re done.
This step is optional, but we recommend it because it simplifies everything. Gridlines will help you size and position each block diagram element correctly. Without this feature, you can end up with jagged shapes and jagged designs that make your flowchart look unprofessional.
To enable gridlines, go to the View tab and select the Gridlines check box.
Your document will now look like the image below.
Click the Insert tab and click the Shapes button to display the collection of Word shapes.
You will notice several categories of shapes.
We are interested in line shapes and flowcharts to create flowcharts. Each shape is used for a different purpose. While the rules are not set in stone, it is recommended that you follow Word’s guidelines. For example, you should use a rectangle for process steps and a diamond shape for decision points. You can find this information by hovering over each shape.
Now let’s add the first shape. Let’s start with an oval shape. Open the shape menu, select the oval and draw it by clicking and dragging.
After you draw your first shape, you will see a new tab at the top of the document. You have accessed the Format tab, which you are going to use to modify shapes, add colors, and more.
To add text to shapes, right-click the shape and choose Add Text from the menu.
Now let’s add another shape and then link them together using a line as a connector.
Follow the previous steps to insert a rectangular shape.
Then go to the Shape Library and instead of selecting a shape from the Flowchart category, select the arrow in the Lines category.
Select the first shape to see control points on each side of the shape, and then click the arrow. Click on the bottom handle and drag the arrow to the center handle of the second shape.
Repeat these steps using whatever shapes and lines you want to create in your flowchart.
How to Create a Flowchart in Word Using SmartArt
SmartArt is a new feature that comes with ready-made layouts for flowcharts, organization charts, Venn diagrams and more. While the Shapes tool is enough to present your ideas, SmartArt takes it to the next level with a more professional look and feel and saves you time.
Create SmartArt Graphics in Word
Create a new blank document and turn on the grid lines as you did before.
Click the Insert tab and two steps from the Shapes button, you’ll find SmartArt.
Click SmartArt and the template window will open. Word offers a wide variety of SmartArt graphics, but we’re interested in the Processes section.
In the Process category, select Image Selection Process and click OK. This template is used to visually represent a workflow or step-by-step process.
This option creates shapes that can contain images, text, and arrows that link them in a logical order.
Next to the flowchart, you will also see a box with options for editing the flowchart. You can click the text bar to insert text, and the corresponding image shape to insert new graphics.
You can also change the SmartArt design after you create it. can you insert new shapes using the Add Shape button in the upper left corner, change layouts as in the image above, add new colors, etc.
Creating flowcharts with SmartArt templates is much faster than inserting shapes manually, and the end result looks more professional. However, sometimes using shapes from scratch is the best option because you have complete control over the design and customization.
How to Create a Flowchart in Excel with the Shapes Tool
Microsoft Excel is not only for creating tables and calculations. It supports a variety of graphing tools used for plotting charts, bar charts, graphs, and more.
If you use Excel more often than Word, you can also use it to create flowcharts. The process is basically the same as in Word. This is how you can create a flowchart from scratch using the Shapes tool.
Whether you create flowcharts in Excel or Word, always create a flowchart grid. This will help you position the flowchart shapes correctly.
To customize the grid in Excel, start by changing the column width. The Excel worksheet is already a grid, you just need to customize it. The column width must be equal to the row height.
Start by selecting all the cells by clicking the button in the upper left corner of the worksheet.
Then click the Format button in the Cells section of the Home tab and choose Column Width from the menu.
By default, line heights are 15 points (20 pixels). To get a width of 20 pixels, set the column width to 2.14 and click OK.
We now have a grid, but it doesn’t work like it does in Word. We need to turn on the “Snap to Grid” feature so that the shapes automatically align to the nearest grid line.
Click the Page Layout tab and select Align. From the new menu, choose Snap to Grid.
Adding shapes in Excel works the same as in Word.
Click the Insert tab, click the Shapes button, and select the first flowchart shape.
Draw a shape by dragging the mouse pointer.
You will see the Shape Format tab at the top. As you can see in the image above, it is identical to Microsoft Word. All controls, options, and buttons work the same way.
You can select a different shape in the “Insert Shapes” section in the upper left corner and add it below the first one. Then connect them with an arrow, change their colors, and keep adding shapes to complete the flowchart.
How to Create a Flowchart in Excel Using SmartArt
The fastest way to create a flowchart in Excel is to use SmartArt graphics. This feature works the same as in Word, and the steps you need to take to create a SmartArt flowchart are basically the same.
Create SmartArt Graphics in Excel
SmartArt in Excel is the same as in Word. Click the Insert tab and click the SmartArt button.
A window with SmartArt flowchart templates opens. It looks exactly the same as in Word. There is no difference between the two, so check out our section on how to create a flowchart in Word using SmartArt if you need help. All formatting and editing options for the flowchart are also identical.
What’s your favorite flowcharting tool?
Microsoft Word and Excel are equally good for creating flowcharts, and you can use SmartArt graphics with both. Which one do you prefer to do flowcharts? Tell us in the comments below which flowchart software you like best and why.
How to Create a Flowchart in Word and Excel
How to Create a Flowchart in Word and Excel