How to Create Flow Chart in Excel?
Flow chart in excel is an also known as process chart in excel, it is used to represent different steps involved in a process from start to end, it has predefined shapes to represent every step involved in the process, to use this chart we need to use the predefined templates of smart art in excel.
Flow Chart Excel Examples
Example #1 – Create Flow Chart using Shapes (Step by Step)
Firstly let’s build a flow chart of one of the popular flow chart i.e. organizational hierarchy chart. Below is the flow of communication in the organization.
President > Departmental Heads > Senior Manager > Manager > Team Leaders > Team Members.
This is the typical organization flow chart we usually get to see. In this article, we will learn to create a flow chart in excel using shapes.
- Step 1: Remove gridlines from the worksheet.
- Step 2: Go to Insert > Shapes > FlowChart > Rectangular shape.
- Step 3: Let’s draw this first.
Note: In order to fit column and row ends hold the ALT key and adjust.
- Step 4: Right-click and select EDIT text.
- Step 5: Type the word, President.
- Step 6: This shape not looking great. Under Format change the format of the shape as shown in the below image.
- Step 7: Now the first position in the organization is over. Under him there are 4 departmental heads will come. For this draw straight line arrow.
- Step 8: Now we need to draw one horizontal line for all the departmental heads.
- Step 9: Insert 4 more arrow lines.
- Step 10: Insert 4 more rectangular boxes under each arrow.
Note: I have added 4 departments. You can alter as per your requirement.
- Step 11: Once the department heads boxes drawn. Draw 4 more arrows and 4 more rectangular boxes for Senior Manager.
- Step 12: Under Senior Manager, Team Leader will appear. Draw 4 more arrows and 4 more rectangular boxes for Team Leaders.
- Step 13: Under each team leader 4 executives will come. For this first draw one straight vertical line under each team leader as shown in the below image.
- Step 14: For each vertical straight line draw 4 horizontal arrows. Totally draw 16 horizontal arrows.
- Step 15: Insert 16 text boxes in front of newly drawn horizontal arrows. For first box type Executive 1, for second box type Executive 2, for third box type Executive 3, and for fourth box type Executive 4.
So now our flowchart for an organization is done. A flow of communication is clear with this chart. Each position in the organization in aware whom they should contact to communicate their messages.
Example #2 – Creat Business FlowChart Using Smart Arts (Step by Step)
We have seen the steps for creating a typical excel flowchart using shapes. Using Smart Arts will make the flowchart looks beautiful. Under the Smart Arts flowchart is already pre-defined if we need anything extra we need to make arrangements.
In this example, I will explain the process involved in establishing a new company.
- Step 1: Go to INSERT > Smart Art.
- Step 2: Under the Smart Art select Process. Scroll down and select the Repeating Bending Process.
- Step 3: Now we have a default flowchart.
- Step 4: The advantage here is we have pre-drawn shapes. For the first box type Business Entity Type: Private Limited
- Step 5: The next step is to Registration Process.
- Step 6: Next obtain Company Identification Number (CIN).
- Step 7: The Fourth step is to create a website for your company.
- Step 8: Hire employees from different departments.
- Step 9: Now we have 2 more steps to enter but we don’t have any shapes left. So select any one shape and paste.
- Step 10: Now we have inserted two more boxes. Type purchase software and rules for employees in the new boxes.
Example #3 – Design FlowChart Using Excel Smart Arts (Step by Step)
Now we have all the process in a flowchart. Let’s design the smart art now.
- Step 1: Select the FlowChart Smart Art.
- Step 2: As soon as you select two more tabs will appear in the ribbon. Select Design.
- Step 3: Under design select Change Colors.
- Step 4: Here change the color of the smart art as per your wish.
- Step 5: Change the style of the flowchart under the Design tab.
We need to follow a few steps to create the flowchart in the excel. Following these steps will make the process of creating the Excel flowchart easy.
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- Create a Grid
We need to adjust the size of the gridlines in excel to make the shapes uniform in size. By doing this, the excel worksheet would look like a graph paper, so it becomes easy to draw the shapes.
- Select all the cells by click on the triangle icon at the beginning of the column/row numbers. Keep the cursor on any of the column headers and do Right-click and select the “Column Width” option in excel.
- When the Column Width screen pops up, adjust the number to 2.14 (2.14 is equal to 20 pixels assuming that the default font is Calibri and font size is 11 in excel) and click OK.
- Snap to Grid
This is the option available in the excel to snap the shape to the size of the grid ie., whenever the shape is inserted in the sheet, the size of the shape will be adjusted to that of the height and width of the grid by enabling this option.
- Under the page layout tab in the ribbon, in the “Arrange” section, click on the dropdown below “Align” option then, in the dropdown option, select the “Snap to Grid” option.
- Page Layout
The page layout of the sheet should be adjusted by setting the page break, Margins, Orientations in case you want to take the print out of the flowchart or you want to copy it to other applications like Word because it would be difficult to set the layout once the Excel flowchart is built.
You can set the orientation of the page as either Portrait or Landscape based on the flow of the diagram. Ex: if the flow of the process is horizontal, then you need to set the page for Landscape mode.
Now begin with building the Excel flow chart using the shapes. As I’ve told already, normally the start and end shapes will be Oval Shape. To draw the shapes,
- Select the Shapes dropdown under Insert Tab, in the Illustrations section. The dropdown gives the options of all the shapes available then, select the Shape you need for your excel flowchart and insert shape on the Worksheet.
Here to start with, let’s insert the Oval shape. Select the shape and keep the cursor and drag it using the mouse to the size you would like to see.
In the above figure, you can see the size of the shape is adjusted and set within the gridlines as we have enabled the Snap to Grid option. This will get adjusted while you start drawing the shape. When the shape is expanded or contracted, it will adjust to the next nearest gridline.
- To add text to the shape, do Right click and select “Edit text” Option in the list.
- Insert the text in the shape. You can align the text by using the text alignment options.
Now we need to insert the next shape to proceed with the next step. Insert the next shape right below the “START”. The rectangle shape can be used to show the step where there is only one option to proceed further with and the diamond shape will be used when we have two or more options to proceed further.
The next step is to connect the shapes. To connect the shapes, select the connector lines from the Shapes option and draw between the shapes.
Once the connector is selected, keep the cursor on the shape and you can see the connecting dots in the shape.
Start to draw the line by dragging the mouse from any of the connecting dots and join it with the connecting dot of the other shape. The connecting dots of the next shape can be seen while drawing the line close to the shape.
Keep adding the shapes one after the other as per the steps involved in the process.
As I mentioned earlier, the diamond shape will be used where multiple options are involved. In the above image, you can see the flow of the chart showing the different options associated with the diamond-shaped icon.
Each diagram shows only the step to be followed to complete the process. But for a clear understanding of the process, you can add additional information using the text box.
To add a text box,
- Go to Insert Ribbon tab in excel and click the Text box from the “Text” Section.
- Insert the text box by keeping the cursor in the place and dragging it by using the mouse. Click inside the box to enter the text
- Remove the Outline by selecting the Format Shape (Do right click on the box for option) and select No line from the format properties.
Again, use an oval shape for showing the end of the process.
- To make the chart look better, remove gridlines by unchecking the Gridlines Box in the View tab
Now, this is how your flowchart looks after completing all the steps.
You can format the shape of each step
- Select the shape you like to format and go to Format tab in the ribbon, click on the dropdown option in “Shape Styles” section and select the format.
Example #5 – Using Smart Art Graphic
The flowchart can be created using the readily available Smart Art Graphic in Excel
- Select the Smart Art Graphic in the Illustration Section under the Insert tab.
- Select the diagram as per your requirement and click OK.
- After selecting the diagram, enter the text in the Text box.
Your Flowchart looks like as given below:
You can add the shape to the existing diagram, Move Up/Down the shape in the “Design tab” by selecting the diagram.
Also, you can add shapes to the existing one.
You can download this Flowchart Examples Excel template here – Flowchart Examples Excel Template
Things to Remember
- Use different shapes to give visual effects for creating a flowchart in Excel.
- Give different colors to each tab while creating an excel flowchart just to make it more attractive.
- Use smart arts for easy draw of shapes.
- In the case of more complex flowcharts use shapes do not use smart arts.
This has been a guide to FlowChart in Excel. Here we discuss the steps of creating a flowchart in excel Using Shapes and SmartArt along with practical examples and downloadable excel template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –