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How to Create a Genogram in Microsoft Word

Updated April 17, 2017

A genogram is a family tree chart with additional information pointing out noteworthy events and characteristics of the chart's members. Creating a genogram in Word is a project that helps you remember highlights in your family history. One benefit of using Word to make a genogram as opposed to a more graphics-oriented program is the ability to add additional words or images in the pages before or after those displaying the genogram. Those viewing your genogram can refer to that information for details about particular people on the chart.

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  1. Click the "Insert" tab, then click the "Shapes" button. Click the rectangle icon from the gallery that appears, then drag on the page to draw a square, which represents the male ancestor highest up on the tree. This is the oldest male ancestor.

  2. Click the "Insert" tab's "Text box" button, then drag above the square to create a text box to hold the male's birth and death dates. Release the mouse, then type those dates in the text box.

  3. Use the previous instructions to draw a text box below the male ancestor for the ancestor's name. Type the name in the text box.

  4. Use the instructions from Step 1 to draw a circle for the wife or partner of the male ancestor from whom children came.

  5. Click the straight-line icon from the "Shapes" gallery, then click below the male ancestor's box and drag to draw a short line straight down. Repeat this step for the ancestor's wife, then draw a horizontal line linking the two vertical lines you just drew. This line represents the generation that begins with the children of the male and female ancestor.

  6. Use the instructions from Step 5 to draw short vertical lines down from the horizontal you just drew, for each of the children of the male and female ancestors. Then draw the circles and squares representing the children, as you did the male and female in Steps 1 through 4.

  7. Repeat the previous step for each generation of the genogram, then use Step 2's instructions to create a new text box. Drag the box near the circle or square of an ancestor about whom you'd like to attach a comment. For example, if your great uncle Joe earned the Congressional Medal of Honor, write that in the text box.

  8. Complete the previous step for each person about whom you would like to add a note to finish the genogram.

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About the Author

Darrin Koltow wrote about computer software until graphics programs reawakened his lifelong passion of becoming a master designer and draftsman. He has now committed to acquiring the training for a position designing characters, creatures and environments for video games, movies and other entertainment media.

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