Diagram Illustration


Although PowerPoint is usually reserved for slideshows and presentations, it can also be used as a flowchart creation tool. Follow this guide to edit and make flowcharts in Microsoft PowerPoint 2013.

How to make a flowchart in PowerPoint

While we know that creating a flowchart in Lucidchart and then inserting it into your Microsoft Office applications using the Add-Ins is the most efficient method to include flowcharts in presentations, it’s still possible to make a flowchart in PowerPoint directly. Even though it’s not ideal, we’ll still show you how to make a flowchart in PowerPoint with this helpful guide. We've provided a guide to flowchart templates in PowerPoint for additional reference.

1. Open a blank presentation in PowerPoint


2. Add shapes

There are two ways to add shapes to your flowchart in Powerpoint by going to the Insert tab within the Ribbon and selecting SmartArt or Shapes. SmartArt graphics are pre-made collections of shapes within a gallery. Meanwhile, the Shapes tool provides a basic selection of shaped objects that can be inserted and edited onto a slide.

Adding symbols via SmartArt in PowerPoint

When you select SmartArt from the Insert tab, a gallery box will pop up. Click Process for flowchart-specific options from the left panel in the dialog box, then click the SmartArt selection you want to use. A preview of that flowchart graphic will appear in the right panel, along with an explanation of its logic. Click OK to insert. Remember that not every option is classified as a flowchart shape, so feel free to use whatever SmartArt graphic best represents your charting needs.

To replace your graphic with SmartArt, select it and press Delete. You can then click the SmartArt Graphics (Insert > SmartArt) and choose a different chart type. If you prefer to change the layout of a SmartArt graphic, select the shape(es) and select a new style from the Design tab within the Ribbon menu. At any time, the SmartArt chart layout can be edited without losing any text.

How to Make a Flowchart in PowerPoint - Graphics Menu

Continue to add flowchart shapes from the Design tab and connect them with lines until your flowchart is ready. You may find that unlike the vast Lucidchart shape library and shape import features, some SmartArt Graphics don’t support unlimited shape addition. For those that do, select the shape nearest to where you want to add a new shape. You may need to select the entire chart, depending on which type you’ve inserted. Then choose an action, like Add a Shape, from the Design tab.

Adding symbols via Shapes in PowerPoint

Click the flowchart shape you want to add from the gallery of shapes and lines, then click and drag it to the size you want on the page to place it. Continue to add shapes and connect them with lines until you’ve created your flowchart.

How to Make a Flowchart in PowerPoint - Shapes Menu

3. Add text

To add text to a SmartArt graphic, click on the filler text and begin typing. The shapes and font size will automatically resize based on how much context you add.

To add text inside a Shape, double-click the object and start typing. Font options can be edited from the toolbox that pops up when you double-click a shape.

How to Make a Flowchart in PowerPoint - Add Text to SmartArt Shapes

4. Add lines

To draw lines between shapes, click Insert > Shapes and select a line style. Then click and drag on the page to add a line.


5. Format shapes and lines

For simple edits, try right-clicking on an object. A menu will appear with popular editing options, like wrapping text or sending an item to the front or back.

To edit style, fill, or outline, click the graphical menu that appears when you right-click a shape.

To edit text layout—including position, text wrapping, and size—click the Layout Options icon that appears when you right-click a text box and pick your preferred layout. Click See More to view the rest of the options.

How to Make a Flowchart in PowerPoint - Change SmartArt Layout

To move a shape (whether it’s a stand-alone object or part of a SmartArt graphic), click and drag. Drag from an edge or corner to resize, and click and drag the handle icon to rotate.

To move lines, click and drag them. Drag from the end points to resize.

To move or format multiple shapes and lines, click on a shape, press the Shift key, and select the remaining shapes by clicking on them. Or click and drag your mouse around each shape you want to select. Once the objects are selected, you can move them with arrow keys or your mouse. You can also add formatting, such as a different color fill, and it will apply to the entire selection of shapes. Deselect by clicking on another part of the page.


Format lines and shapes from the ribbon

For a comprehensive menu of editing and styling choices, click a shape or SmartArt graphic (or select multiple shapes by holding Shift as you click each object).

If you select a shape:

You’ll see a new tab, Format, appear in the ribbon. Click here for a host of formatting options, including the ability to insert shapes, style shapes, modify text, arrange page elements, and adjust shape size.

If you select a SmartArt graphic:

You’ll see two new tabs, Format and Design, appear in the ribbon. Click here for a variety of formatting and design options, including the ability to switch the layout style, change colors, alter SmartArt Styles, and reset graphics.

How to Make a Flowchart in PowerPoint - Format SmartArt

How to import a Lucidchart diagram into PowerPoint

Making a flowchart directly in PowerPoint requires a lot of formatting prior to adding shapes and requires additional steps to update or build onto existing diagrams created in Excel. When trying to add a diagram into Excel, Lucidchart is the modern solution.

  1. Download the MS PowerPoint Lucidchart Add-On if you haven’t already.
  2. Create a flowchart in Lucidchart. Use this guide to learn how to make a flowchart in Lucidchart if you need help getting started.
  3. Open your PowerPoint presentation, go to your Add-Ins and select Lucidchart within the Insert tab.
  4. Select your flowchart from your documents to insert into PowerPoint.

You can build beautiful, intricate diagrams in Lucidchart and add them to PowerPoint or edit them in real-time later in half the steps, clicks, and time.