How to Create a Venn Diagram in Excel or Word

Updated March 23, 2017

A Venn diagram is a commonly used graphic that displays intersecting circles, showing similarities and differences between two or more groups. Similarities are shown by the overlapping parts of the circles and differences are show by the non-overlapping parts. Create a Venn diagram in either Microsoft Word or Excel using a SmartArt graphic. The process is exactly same, no matter if you want to insert it in a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet.

Open a document in Microsoft Word or Excel.

Click the "Insert" tab. In the "Illustrations" group, click "SmartArt." Click the "Relationship" tab. Scroll down and select the icon for "Basic Venn." Click "OK" to insert the Venn diagram.

Click "Text" in the Text pane on the left. Type the text you want to place inside the first circle, which should be the name of the thing you are comparing. Click the next item down to enter text for the next circle. You also can click a circle in the graphic and type the text there.

Add or remove circles from the Venn diagram if you have more or less than 3 circles you want to compare. To add a circle, select the circle nearest to where you want to add one. Click the "Design" tab. In the "Create Graphic" group, click "Add Shape." Click either "Add Shape After" or "Add Shape Before," and a circle will be added to overlap the selected circle. If you need to delete a circle, select it and then press "Delete."

Edit the circles in your diagram by manually moving them around. Click a circle you want to move, then drag it to the proper location. This will change the location and size of the overlapping areas of the circles.

Format the diagram by clicking the graphic, then clicking the "Design" tab. To change the colour combination, click "Change Colors" in the "SmartArt Styles" group and select a theme. Apply a SmartArt Style to change the look of it. Scroll through the styles in the "SmartArt Styles" group and click the one you want. To change the look of a particular circle, right-click the border of the circle. Select "Format Shape." Here you can edit the line colour, line style and fill colour.

Click the "File" tab or "Microsoft Office Button," then "Save as" to save your Venn diagram.


The steps in this article describe how to create a Venn diagram as a SmartArt graphic in Word 2010, Word 2007, Excel 2010 or Excel 2007. You can also use Word 2003 and Excel 2003 to create a Venn diagram. On the Drawing toolbar, click "Diagram or Organizational Chart," then select "Venn" and click "OK." Right-click the diagram and click "Edit Text" to add text. Click "Insert Shape" to add more circles." To change the diagram style, click "AutoFormat" on the Diagram toolbar and select the style you want.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Excel
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About the Author

Amy Dombrower is a journalist and freelance writer living in Chicago. She worked in the newspaper industry for three years and enjoys writing about technology, health, paper crafts and life improvement. Some of her passions are graphic design, movies, music and fitness. Dombrower earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.