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How to Create A Flow Chart in InDesign

Updated March 23, 2017

InDesign is part of Adobe's Creative Suite and is primarily a page design program, used for laying out documents, such as magazines, newsletter pages, brochures and flyers. InDesign does not have complex drawing capabilities---Adobe reserves those for Illustrator. However, InDesign has some basic drawing tools you can use to create shapes. You can create a simple flowchart using the text, line and shape tools.

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  1. Determine how you want to lay out the flowchart. It helps to make a paper sketch ahead of time, so you know what you need to do once you begin using InDesign.

  2. Open a blank document in Adobe InDesign.

  3. Create the first box or circular shape, whichever you choose, of the flowchart. In the toolbox, select the "Rectangle" tool. To access the "Ellipse" or "Polygon" tools, hold down the "Rectangle" icon in the toolbar.

  4. Click and drag your cursor on the document to create the shape. Press "Shift" while dragging to constrain the proportions. For the purpose of the flowchart, just make the shape large enough to contain the text.

  5. Create a text box inside the shape. Select the "Type" tool to begin.

  6. Click and drag to define the size of the text box. You can always change the size of it later.

  7. Click inside the box with the "Type" tool. Type the text needed for the first box. Edit the text as needed using the text attributes toolbar at the top of the screen.

  8. Select the "Line" tool to create lines to join each shape. Click and drag to create the line path.

  9. Repeat these steps to add additional shapes, lines and text for the flow chart.

  10. Select "File, Save as" to save the file.

  11. Tip

    Select any text, line or object to edit its attributes. Use the colour palette at the bottom of the toolbar to change stroke and fill colour, and use tools at the top of the InDesign window to change attributes, such as stroke width, font and font size.

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About the Author

Amy Dombrower

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.

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