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Flow charts in Word


Flow charts in Word

Creating a flow chart in Word is possible and what's more you can get it looking good. What is more you are creating your flow chart in a program that most people can use. If you are using Word 2010 or 2013 you can easily convert it to a PDF.

What the we're going to do is create a flow chart to explain the process of getting up in the morning on a work day.

  • Start Word and click on blank document to display a blank document.
  • Before we start drawing we'll turn on the grid, this will help us line things up. From the Ribon click on View then on Gridlines.
  • From the Ribbon area at the top of the screen click on Insert then click on the drop down list for shapes.
  • In the Flow chart section click on the Terminator shape. (The shape looks like a sausage and should be the forth shape in from the right.)
  • Click once at the top - middle of the page to add a Terminator shape.
  • Notice little boxes around the edges and in the corners of the shape. You can use this to resize the box so that you can read the text properly.
  • Type the text "Alarm". (This indicates that your alarm has gone off and you need to get up).
  • Look to the top of the screen and note that there is a new tab called Format in a section called drawing tools to the right of the ribbon. (This is a contextual selector. Everything you need to create your flow chart should be on this tab in the ribbon).
  • On the left of the ribbon should be your shapes. Click on the drop down menu and then in the process section click on the process shape. (There should be a little tool tip that appears above the shape letting you know which one it should be).
  • Click once underneath the start terminator shape. Type the text "Wake up". This is a process something that is going to happen whatever.
  • Now we need to connect the two shapes so now have a look to the top left of the screen and click on the shapes drop down list. In the lines section click on the arrow.
  • Click and hold the mouse at the bottom of the terminator and drag down to the top of the process shape. (Hold down the shift key as you are dragging down and that will ensure the arrow is kept straight.
  • If you want to ensure that all 3 shapes are aligned then click on the top terminator shape then hold down the shift key and click on the other two shapes.
  • Look to the top right of the screen and you'll see an Align drop down menu click on it then click on Align Centre.
  • Now we have to make a decision to get up or not to get up. Choose the diamond decision shape from the flow chart section and place it below the process shape.
  • Enter the text "Get up?". (The decision box contains the question but not the answers).
  • Now the diamond decision shape may not be large enough to contain all the text so you can use the resize handles to adjust the size of the decision shape. (If you hold down the shift key it will keep the diamond in proportion. If you hold down the Ctrl "Control" key you can resize the shape from the central position.)
  • Now draw a couple of connectors from the left and right side of decision shape. Remember to hold down the shift key to keep the connectors aligned horizontally.
  • Now we need to add some text over the lines giving the choice of getting up or not. Look to the top again up to the Ribbon and find then click on the "Text Box" button. If you can't see the text box then click on any shape. Ensure that you're on the Format tab then look up to the top left and you should find the text box button.
  • Let's take the No decision first so draw a small text box above the arrow coming out from the right of the diamond shape. Type the word "No" within the box and adjust to fit.
  • Now to get rid of any border or fill. Ensure that the text box is selected then from the Ribbon at the top click on the shape outline drop down list then click no outline.
  • Do the same with the Shape fill.
  • Now instead of redrawing that text box we'll copy it - watch out it can be a little fiddley.
  • First move to the border of the text box until you see your mouse pointer turn into a four pointed arrow.
  • Hold down the Ctrl "Control" key then drag a copy of the text box so that it sits above the arrow coming out of the left of the decision.
  • Double click on the No and type Yes.
  • Use the copying technique create a terminator to finish the process for the Yes arrow. Copy the first terminator as it should now be the right shape so that the text can be easily viewed.
  • Line it up and Enter the text "Work!.
  • Do the same for the No arrow but this time enter the text "Sleep".

There you have it. Granted there may need to be a little jiggling around and if you are serious about creating flow charts then check out Microsoft Visio.

If you want to know more about our Microsoft Word 2013 beginners training course then please ask.



There are no exercise files for this training video all you need is a copy of Microsoft Word.