How to create a printable genogram

Updated February 21, 2017

A genogram, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is defined as a diagram depicting historical behaviour patterns, such as divorce and suicide, of a family over many generations. While it is similar to a family tree, a genogram requires more information from your family. To get started on the project, a printable genogram can be helpful.

Research your family history and relationships. Write down the information you know and gather from talking to other family members. Include such information as marriages, divorces, births and even things like strained relationships.

Go online and download a free genogram template (see Resources).

Click on the image in the template and then right-click on the image with your mouse. Select "Format Picture" from the menu. Click on the "Layout" tab and select "Behind text" before clicking "OK" at the bottom of the box.

Insert family names by clicking "Insert" in Microsoft Word and then "Picture" and then "WordArt." Type the name of the family member you'd like to place in the genogram and change the style and colour of text for the look you'd like. Repeat this step for as many family members as will fit on the genogram template.

Fill in additional family members into the generic genogram template by printing out the template and writing in your family names and symbols as depicted in the key at the bottom right-hand corner of the template.


Additional symbols can produce a more comprehensive and descriptive genogram (see Resources).

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About the Author

Laila Alvarez has been writing professionally since 2002. She has written for Houston Community Newspapers and "L.A. Zoo View," "North O.C. Magazine," "Perpetual Phlegm" and other magazines, newspapers and websites. Alvarez has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from California State University-Fullerton.