How to Create a Flow Chart in MS Word

Updated February 21, 2017

While many of Microsoft Word's templates centre on text-heavy documents such as proposals, newsletters and procedures, non-word options are also available. Organise your office, family chore board or other process by creating a flow chart. Flow charts, made up of simple shapes, let you visually demonstrate the way something should be done from start to finish. Create your own flow chart within minutes with a few clicks in Word.

Open Microsoft Word, which automatically defaults to a blank portrait-oriented page on the screen. To change your flow chart to landscape orientation, click the "Page Layout" tab at the top of the screen and click the "Orientation" button directly below it. The page changes to landscape.

Type the name of the flow chart at the top of the page, such as "Weather Closing Phone Tree." Highlight the words, click the "Home" tab at the top of the screen and change their appearance using the options in the "Font" section of the ribbon/toolbar, such as font style and text colour.

Click the "Insert" tab at the top of the screen. Click the "SmartArt" button on the ribbon/toolbar below it, which opens the "Choose a SmartArt graphic" window.

Scroll through the different flow chart options, including vertical hexagons, triangles of different sizes and boxes and arrows in a horizontal line. The flow chart options in the "Process" section of the window may be especially applicable to a flow chart.

Double-click a SmartArt shape group and it appears on the Word window. Enlarge the flow chart to fit the page by grabbing a corner and dragging it toward one of the edges of the Word workspace.

Click one of the "[Text]" words within the SmartArt flow chart shape and type the shape's information, such as a worker's name. Repeat this to fill the rest of the flow chart with labels for each shape.

Recolor the flow chart (optional) by double-clicking anywhere on it to bring up a new "SmartArt Tools" toolbar. Click the "Change Colors" button on the toolbar and hover your cursor over the options in the drop-down menu. As you hover over each group of colours, the flow chart changes. Click a colour group to commit the change.

Click the "File" tab, click "Save As," give the flow chart a name and save it to your computer.

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About the Author

Fionia LeChat is a technical writer whose major skill sets include the MS Office Suite (Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Publisher), Photoshop, Paint, desktop publishing, design and graphics. LeChat has a Master of Science in technical writing, a Master of Arts in public relations and communications and a Bachelor of Arts in writing/English.