How to Make a Flowchart in Excel

Written by tricia goss Google
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  • Introduction

    How to Make a Flowchart in Excel

    Excel is a good Office application to use if you want your files to include visual aids. You can make charts, graphs and pivot tables in Excel to show (rather than tell) the information you want to get across. You can also use Excel to create flowcharts, which show a progression or how something operates. Adding a flowchart to an existing Excel spreadsheet can provide further impact. Or you can make a flowchart in a new worksheet as an independent file.

    (Tricia Goss)

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    Make the "Drawing" toolbar available in Excel 2003 by going to the "View" menu and pointing to "Toolbars." Click on "Drawing"; the "Drawing" toolbar will appear at the bottom of the window. In Excel 2007, go to the "Insert' tab of the ribbon and find the "Illustrations" section.

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    Click on "AutoShapes" in Excel 2003 and point to "Flowchart." Click on the first shape you want to use and click onto the worksheet to place it in the appropriate area. In Excel 2007, click the "Shapes" button and choose the shape you want to use first from the "Flowchart" gallery. Click onto the worksheet and place the shape there. For the best results, begin your flowchart near the top of the worksheet, but leave a few rows in case you decide to add text above it.

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    Add more shapes to your flowchart in the same manner. You need to have one shape for each step in the process. The position of the shape will depend on when the step takes place, as well as how you determine whether to take the step. For instance, if Step One is a yes or no question, you might put "Yes" in a shape that is down and to the right of the first shape and "No" down and to the left. Right-click each shape and click on "Add Text" to add the information needed.

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    Add connectors between the shapes. In Excel 2003, click the "AutoShapes" button and click on "Connectors." Choose a connector and click on the first shape. Drag into place, linking the two shapes. In Excel 2007, choose a connector from the "Shapes" drop-down menu. Connect all of the appropriate shapes.

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    Format the shapes for more interest and effect. Right-click a shape and choose "Format Shape" (or "Format AutoShape"). On the "Font" tab, you can choose a different font, change the font size or colour or add effects. On the "Alignment" tab, you can centre your text. On the "Colors and Lines" tab, you can fill the shape with a colour or other fill effect. When you are finished making changes, clck "OK."

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    Save your worksheet. You can use the keyboard shotcut "Ctrl+S." Print it out if desired.

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