July 15, 2020

Create an Organizational Chart in PowerPoint

An organizational chart, or org chart, illustrates the internal structure of a company, institution or project. The content and layout of an org chart can vary. Departments, positions, employees and partners can be visualized using boxes to illustrate hierarchies and relationships.

But don’t let this traditional layout prevent you from thinking “outside of the box.” An org chart can also include photos, names, contact details, icons, links and email addresses.

What is important, is that your organizational chart has different levels. These can be hierarchical levels or divisions that have a connection with each other, as in a flat organization. Lines of varying designs can be used to show the relationship between levels. These are often defined by solid or dashed lines.

What are the benefits of org charts?

An organizational chart visualizes a company’s structure and internal hierarchies. It can also be used for one department to clearly define roles and responsibilities.

Org chart is the abbreviation of organizational chart. It’s also called an organigram, organization chart and hierarchy chart.

A company’s internal structure can be confusing. A well-designed org chart clearly delineates this and ensures that both customers and employees can always find the person they’re looking for.


Creating an org chart directly in PowerPoint

An org chart can be created using various computer programs. In Windows Office applications, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, you can use SmartArt graphics. Other software solutions, such as Visio or Lucidchart, can also be used. Lucidchart is cloud-based and eliminates any limitations you may experience with PowerPoint.

Keep reading to find a step-by-step guide on creating an organizational chart in PowerPoint.


Organizational charts in Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office 365 and other modern office products allow you to create org charts in PowerPoint. To do this, you first need to create a SmartArt graphic. SmartArt already provides a layout that can be used for an org chart.

In addition to traditional Office programs, such as Excel, PowerPoint and Word, there are other programs that belong to the Microsoft Office family. One such program is Microsoft Visio. This program can be used to create organizational charts and is available in a standard version and a professional version. If you don’t have Microsoft Visio, simply use SmartArt to generate org charts in PowerPoint, Excel, Word and Outlook.


Create an organizational chart in PowerPoint

Organizational charts can be used to clearly display hierarchical structures and relationships within a company, such as company managers and employees. PowerPoint allows you to create a diagram in just a few steps, using SmartArt.  If you haven’t yet created a SmartArt graphic, follow these step-by-step instructions.

Creating a SmartArt graphic requires basic PowerPoint knowledge and an understanding of the difference between tabs and groups. SmartArt can be found on the Insert tab in the Illustrations group. Clicking on SmartArt gives you the choice between a variety of graphics. To create an org chart, select Hierarchy and then double-click a hierarchy layout.

Once you’ve selected the layout and confirmed with OK, you can insert your own text. To do this, click on the SmartArt graphic and enter the text in the provided fields. You can add additional fields should you need more space. Text can only be entered in fields marked [Text].

You can also copy/paste text from another source. If you can’t see the text field, simply click the control arrow on the edge of the graphic.


Organizational charts in PowerPoint: step-by-step instructions

Even Office beginners can create org charts in PowerPoint. In contrast to other programs, PowerPoint features are somewhat limited when creating a diagram. However, these limitations can be supplemented with additional software, such as Lucidchart.


Step 1: Insert a SmartArt graphic

First, create a new file in Microsoft PowerPoint. In the new file, go to the Insert tab and click on SmartArt.


Select the graphic you want in the SmartArt window. To create an org chart, select Hierarchy and then select the preferred layout. Confirm your selection by clicking OK.


Step 2: Insert text into your organizational chart

Text can be added to the SmartArt graphic by clicking on the shape or field. Remember, your org chart is there to clarify, not confuse. So, make sure you select the right layout to include all relevant structures, positions and people in your chart. Each form or field should represent a department, a manager, an employee or a company position. Job descriptions can also be inserted into fields.

To insert your text, click on [Text] and enter your caption. You can show and hide the text area at any time by clicking the control arrows on the edge of the SmartArt PowerPoint graphic.


Step 3: Insert additional fields (shapes)

A SmartArt graphic usually doesn’t have enough fields to create an org chart. You’ll probably need to add shapes to make the chart more descriptive. To do this, select your SmartArt graphic. Go to SmartArt Tools on the Design tab in the Create Graphic group and click the arrow under Add Shape.

Click Add Shape in the tab. The button allows you to insert a field to the org chart wherever you want.

For example, you can add a level right under the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) that shows which department reports to him/her. Other departments or employees can be placed under this level. These subordinate levels can be added by selecting Add Shape Below. More senior levels can be added by selecting Add Shape Above.


Step 4: Adjust hierarchies

You can always adapt the layout of your org chart to reflect changes in company structure, or department and employee hierarchies. To do this, you must first click on the shape you want to move.

Once the shape has been selected, simply drag it to the desired position.


Step 5: Format your org chart

You can also change how your org chart looks at any time. You can try out different layout designs, colors and fonts. You’ll find the corresponding controls, such as Layouts, or Change Colors in the SmartArt Styles group, on the Design tab.


Alternative #1: Create an organizational chart with Lucidchart

If you want to create an organization chart in PowerPoint, you can use the program Lucidchart as an add-in to expand on the functions in PowerPoint. A trial version of the program is available free of charge. Further information can be found here: https://www.lucidchart.com/pages/how-to-make-an-org-chart


Lucidchart: what’s required?

Besides a modern PowerPoint program version from Microsoft, the add-in itself is required. You’ll need to create a free account with Lucidchart. Once you’ve installed the add-in, open a new document in PowerPoint. In the shape library of the organizational chart, click on “+ shapes” to activate other shapes available from the add-in.


Lucidchart shape library

The reason for using Lucidchart is to add new org chart shapes. Once the shape library has been activated, the desired shapes can be dragged and dropped into the workspace. Once you have inserted the shapes, click a gear symbol next to a shape. The shape itself can then be edited in the workspace. Organizational chart shapes can also be combined with each other using the add-in. Any type of hierarchy can be created and clearly displayed. Organizational chart shapes can be connected by moving the mouse over the shape and clicking on the red dot that appears. The shape can then be dragged to the desired position.


Import data

Organizational chart data can be imported directly using the add-in. To do this, you will need to purchase Lucidchart. If you have a paid account, you only need to provide the data. The paid version of Lucidchart takes care of the data import and creating the chart. To ensure the data is imported successfully, it should be organized in table form and saved in CSV format. Fields such as employee ID, name, department, role in the company, e-mail, phone, supervisor ID and other information can be added. Once you have your data in table form and saved as a CSV file, click The Import Data button which can be found under the org chart shapes.


Alternative #2: Create an organizational chart with Microsoft Visio

Microsoft Visio also makes it easy to create org charts. In Visio 2016, click File > New > Business > Organization Chart, and then click Create.



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