How to Make a Flowchart in Word

Even though Microsoft Word is a word processor, not a diagramming program, it gives users the ability to add flowchart shapes. Follow this guide to create and style simple flowcharts in Microsoft Word 2013. If you’re not sure how a standard flowchart looks—from which symbols to use to what information to include—see our guide on how to make a flowchart.

For a simpler diagramming solution, try Lucidchart. It was built specifically to handle flowcharts, along with more specialized types of diagrams. Unlike Word, it’s ideal for print and digital publishing. Plus, collaboration is fast, seamless, and completely free for an unlimited number of users.

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Make a Flowchart in Word:

ADD CANVAS AREAS

1.

First, open a blank document in Word.

2.

While you can add shapes directly to a page in Word, you may want to contain them within a Drawing Canvas instead. A canvas acts as a container for your flowchart, so instead of moving each element individually, you can position a chart with a single click. Canvases can also be styled to add polish to your flowchart.

3.

To insert a canvas, click the Insert tab and select Shapes. Scroll to the bottom of the panel and click the menu item labeled New Drawing Canvas.


ADD SHAPES

1.

To simplify flowchart creation, you might want to adjust your menu display settings. Do this by clicking the Ribbon Display Options icon in the top-right corner and choosing the option you want. This creates a cleaner-looking canvas in which to work.

2.

Click the Insert tab and from the Illustrations group, select SmartArt or Shapes. SmartArt graphics have logic associated with them, and the styling is predetermined (but customizable). Shapes are stand-alone graphics that can be inserted into a body of text or onto a blank page, then styled as needed.

If you choose SmartArt:

  • A dialog will appear, prompting you to choose a SmartArt graphic from the gallery. The left side of the dialog contains various graphic categories; select Process for flowchart shapes. Then select the chart you’d like to use. A preview of that graphic will appear in the right panel, along with an explanation of its logic. Click OK. Keep in mind that only some of the displayed options can be classified as flowchart shapes.

  • how to make a flowchart in word
  • To replace your SmartArt, click the SmartArt Graphics (Insert > SmartArt) while your current graphic is selected, then choose a different chart type. Filler text appears when you switch chart types, even if you replaced the filler words with text of your own. This means that you should settle on a chart type before editing text. In contrast, the layout of a chart can be changed without losing any text (Design > Layout).

  • Continue to add shapes and connect them with lines until your flowchart is ready. 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, or select the entire chart, depending on which type of chart you’ve inserted. Then choose an action, like Add a Shape, from Design > SmartArt Tools.

If you choose Shapes:

  • A gallery will appear with a variety of shapes, including lines, arrows, and geometric shapes. Remember that only some of the displayed options are standard flowchart shapes. Click the shape you want to add, then click on the page to make it appear. The element will appear exactly where you place your cursor. You can also click and drag to instantly set the dimensions of the shape.

  • Continue to add shapes and connect them with lines until you’ve created your flowchart.

ADD LINES

1.

To connect shapes with lines, click Insert > Shapes and click the desired line style. Then click and drag on the page to draw a line.


ADD TEXT

1.

To add text inside a SmartArt graphic, click on the filler text and add your own words. The text boxes will automatically resize based on how much text you add.

2.

To add text inside a shape, double-click it and start typing. Font options can be edited from the dialog that appears right next to the shape.

3.

If you’re not sure whether an element supports text insertion, double-click it and start typing. Words will appear if they’re supported.


ADD A GRID

1.

Grids can help you easily align shapes and create consistent height and width for your shapes. To enable a grid, click the View tab and select the Gridlines check box.

2.

To customize your grid, open the Grid and Guides screen (Format > Align > Grid settings). Here, you can turn on useful features like snapping objects to grid and snapping objects to other shapes.


STYLE SHAPES AND LINES FROM THE PAGE

1.

For quick edits, try right-clicking on an element. A menu will appear with popular editing options, like sending an item forward or backward or picking a color fill.

2.

To edit text layout—including position, text wrapping, and size—click the Layout Options icon (it hovers next to the shape or graphic) and pick your preferred layout. Click See More for the full menu.

3.

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

4.

To move shapes (whether they’re stand-alone elements or part of a SmartArt graphic), click and drag them. Drag from an edge or corner to resize, and click and drag the handle icon to rotate.

5.

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

6.

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. Alternatively, you can click and drag your mouse around each shape you want to select. Once the objecs 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.


STYLE SHAPES AND LINES FROM THE RIBBON

1.

For a comprehensive menu of editing and styling options, click a shape or SmartArt graphic (or several, by pressing Shift while you click each shape).

If you select a shape:

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

If you select a SmartArt graphic:

  • You’ll see 2 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.

These options will appear any time you select a shape or SmartArt graphic.


Make a Flowchart in Word with Lucidchart's Word 2013 Integration:

ADD SHAPES

1.

First, open a blank document in Word.

2.

Click on the Apps for Office button in the Insert tab of the ribbon.

3.

Select Lucidchart and install it. This application is free to download and use.

4.

Once the Lucidchart app is installed, click on the Apps for Office button to view a task pane that shows a list of your existing Lucidchart documents. Select the desired diagram and insert it into the document.

5.

To edit an existing diagram or create a new one, click on the Edit or Create buttons to open Lucidchart in a web browser.


Make a Flowchart in Lucidchart:

For flowchart creation, Lucidchart is easier to use than Word. Objects intuitively snap to each other, and publishing for print or digital viewing takes one click. If you’d like to include a flowchart in a Word document, simply make it in Lucidchart and insert as an image.

ADD SHAPES

1.

First, enter the demo environment or sign up for an account. If you sign up for an account, access the editor by clicking Create Document.

2.

Make sure you have the correct shape libraries open by clicking the More Shapes button and selecting your desired shapes. In new documents, standard flowchart shapes will automatically appear in the left toolbox.

3.

When you’re ready to begin, just drag a shape from the toolbox on the left and drop it onto the canvas.


ADD LINES

1.

Hover along the border of an object. When crosshairs appear, click and drag to draw a line. As you release the mouse, you’ll be automatically prompted to add the next shape. You can also draw a line by right-clicking and choosing Draw Line, or pressing L on your keyboard.


ADD TEXT

1.

To add text, drag out the T icon from the toolbox, place it, and begin typing. To add text inside a shape, double-click the shape and start typing.


STYLE FROM THE CANVAS

1.

For quick edits, right-click a shape or line. A menu will appear with popular editing options, like sending an item to the front or back, drawing a line, or switching the shape.

2.

To move a shape, click and drag. Drag from an edge or corner to resize, and click and drag the handle icon to rotate.

3.

To move multiple shapes, select them by holding down Shift as you click each object, then drag as needed.

4.

Lines are designed to snap to connection points along the object’s border. Click and drag the end of the line along the border to change where it connects, or drag it to the center of the object to force the line to dynamically change position when the shape is moved.


STYLE FROM THE PROPERTIES BAR AND GRAPHIC PANEL

1.

To modify text, including alignment and font size, select text and choose options from the properties bar at the top of the page.

2.

To alter graphical qualities like fill color and gradients, select the element you want to modify and choose options from the graphic panel on the right side of the page.

3.

To modify lines and shapes, select the element you want to change and choose options from the properties bar. Add text to any part of a line by double-clicking and typing on the line.


ADD TO WORD

1.

To embed your flowchart into Microsoft Word, click File > Download As. Select the image file type you prefer, indicate which areas of the document you want to download, then hit the download button.

2.

Open a blank document in Word. Then click the Insert tab and select Pictures. Find the image you downloaded and click Insert.


USEFUL FEATURES IN LUCIDCHART

Our program has a whole host of convenient features that you won’t find in other diagramming programs. Instead of clunky shape insertion, Lucidchart lets you drag and drop shapes. Users can draw lines right from the canvas, and they instantly connect to the nearest point. You can even upload images or insert them from Google without leaving our application! Lucidchart makes it easy to align flowchart symbols, apply professional-looking themes, and share your flowchart online.

With Lucidchart, you get professional tools to easily make and share streamlined flowcharts. Why not give it a try? We offer completely free accounts, as well as free trials for our premium levels.

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