How to Create a Flow Chart in Microsoft Word

Melanie Gross
Sep 7, 2011

Flowcharts are excellent for presentations and organizing ideas. They can also be a pain to make. The boss tells you to make a flowchart and you dread it. Maybe you don’t dread it, but if you do, this article is for you. This will detail exactly how to create a flowchart in Word 2007 and demystify the process so that it is something that will be easy to do. With this tutorial and a little bit of practice, creating flow-charts will be something you can do with ease.

Start with a blank Word document. Place your title at the top. Generally you will want to center it. Click Insert then Shapes on the Ribbon and select a shape in the Flowchart section of the shape menu. Word 2010 users switch to Insert and select a shape from the Shapes menu under Illustrations.

You then use the plus-shaped cursor to position and choose the size of the shape. It will be apparent how it looks once you let go of the mouse button. You can alter the position by left clicking the shape and moving it.

There are numerous options for linking the shapes on the flow chart. In this demonstration, an arrow will be used. You want to get the basic design established before concerning yourself with graphic effects.

Here is where you can choose the arrow. You can create a new shape to link the arrow to or you can copy the shape you started with. Here the shape is copied.

flowchart lines

Just copy and paste and drag the shape to the desired position. Familiarize yourself with the different shapes and position adjustments. All you have to do is select shapes, size and position them, copy them if needed and link them together. Take 20 minutes or so and just play around until you feel comfortable with it. Now it is time to start adding text. Right click a given box and select Add Text then start typing. Adjust the font if necessary.

flowchart word

When the chart is outlined and the text is added, you can begin working with some graphic effects to make the flowchart attractive. Go to the format tab on the Ribbon. Word 2010 users only need to select a shape to automatically get the Format tab in their software.


Click on the shape in the flowchart and then select a color from the Format color chart, click on the color and the shape takes on that color.

Shadow and 3D effects can be added. From the Format tab on the Ribbon, find the 3D effects and click on a shape then click on “3D effects” and select effects from the dropdown menu. Click on the effect and the shape takes on that effect.

Use the Format tab to add shadow effects and change shapes and other effects. You can also use Smart Art. These are pre-designed graphic layouts that allow you to insert professional looking content without being a graphic designer. Select Smart Art from the Insert tab on the Ribbon and pick a design.


Here is what you can come up with after entering the text and changing the colors on the template design.


There is much more that you can do. This gives a basic idea of the procedure for those with no experience making flowcharts in Microsoft Word. You will be a pro in no time.


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  1. DD said on May 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm

    How do you get a lot of heirarch in your tree diagrams on the page all at once and not let the page look crowded or “demented”. Is there something you should do at the beginning of creating the flowchart diagram ? In my case I opted to use a tree heirarchy because I had over 23 items to depict.

  2. sohail said on December 9, 2012 at 2:24 am

    not provide the information related to the topic

  3. Malisa said on August 2, 2012 at 9:40 pm

    How do you rotate shapes in Word 2010? I am building a flowchart and have been trying to figure out how I can rotate the shapes, I have tried everything I know. I’m sure there is a simple solution but I have not been able to figure it out. Thanks for your help!

  4. Paul(us) said on September 7, 2011 at 11:37 am

    Today I have noticed that Kingsoft Office Suite 2012 is freeware and main question is of i can do the same with this suit? Next to that what are your thoughts about this clone?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on September 7, 2011 at 11:48 am

      I read somewhere that it is based on OpenOffice and that it has been sold in China. It should have similar capabilities as OpenOffice, but I never used it before.

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