How do I draw a flow chart in Word?

I want to do a very simple flow chart:

  1. four boxes, with a modicum of text in each one;

  2. the boxes stacked on top of each other in a column of four;

  3. with three down arrows linking the four boxes.

Nice little simple hierarchy.

I’m sure there’s a simple way to do that in Word for Mac 2011, but I don’t know how?

If you only need to do this once, go here, and sign up for a free trial of Lucid Chart.
If you need to do this on a regular basis, use something like Dia.

NeoOffice has a drawing package, too.

I’d never use Word to draw with. It’s just not the right tool.

Select Insert, then select SmartArt, then click on the flowchart. (Unless Word for Mac is different from Word.)

I couldn’t find a way to edit the templates on the Smart Art, Muffin.

So instead I just made four single-cell tables, shrank their margins so they only look like boxes in the centre of the page, and drew arrows between them using “Insert Shape”.

Glad you found a solution.

To edit SmartArt, you can add boxes by using the insert function found on the left side of the menu ribbon (Word – Insert – SmartArt – Insert either subordinate, coworker or assistant). To remove a box, press DEL. To edit text in a box, double click in the middle of the box and type away.

Well, bugger me. Thank you!

Is flowchart an add-in? I don’t have that in my smartart.

Most Word add-in tools and features are best left to the marketing materials.

The fundamental tool is a pretty good one. It’s the cheap ‘swiss army knife’ add-ons, helpers, wizards and features that crap up its image.

Use a good, simple tool of any kind that’s meant for drawing simple graphics or flowcharts, and embed it in the document. Don’t try to use a word processor to draw pictures.

I do all figures in Powerpoint (or Matlab), then copy and paste-special as a metafile.

If the instructions I gave to Northern Piper don’t work, perhaps you have a more recent version. Try Insert – SmartArt – then select the type of flow chart from the list of icons, for example, Hierarchy. To move add, delete or move boxes about, use the Create Graphics menu on the left side of the menu ribbon.

You could also make text boxes and then put the arrows in. Then group each arrow with each text box, and eventually group the whole thing.

PowerPoint is much better suited to doing flow charts - even a simple one like this. I know it’s possible to do one in Word, but PPT works better.

Yes, but I’m doing a Word document.

It’s easy to copy Powerpoint objects/images/etc into a Word doc. And it’s much easier to do figures in Powerpoint than Word.

It is a mistake to try and use a single tool to do a multi-tool job. Word’s “art” features are primitive, buggy and tend to bloat the document and make it very fragile and version-sensitive.

Importing illustrations and art and photos done in tools that do those things best is a far more sensible, stable, professional approach. It is also considerably easier in the long run; using Word features as a short cut will prove to be time-consuming and frustrating.

how do you import? (Remember, techno-peasant on this end.)


Any will work.

Linking is possible within the various Office programs.

I’ve setup several Letters at work that link to Excel tables. Anytime you open the letter in Word it gets the most up to date table information from the spreadsheet.

I haven’t tried linking a power point graphic into Word. But, I suspect its possible.

I’m a big fan of old time cut and paste: literally cut out a piece of paper and physically paste (wax actually) it onto a page of paper, and then scan it in. Why? I seldom need complex graphics, so having to re-learn a graphics program is a bit of an embuggerance.

you young whipper snapper. what’s wrong with double sided adhesive tape the way god intended it?

If I have to insert something like a flowchart-like diagram into a Word document, I draw it in Powerpoint, then paste it into Word as a JPEG. I must have done this a million times. Probably there are more efficient ways of doing this but I’m past the point of being interested in changing simple tools that work well! :slight_smile: