How to Do a Genogram in PowerPoint

by Tricia Goss

More than just a family tree, a genogram can be used to illustrate numerous traits within and across three or more generations of a family. You can use shapes, lines and text to display each relative's place in your family tree and identifying information, such as names and birth dates, as well as similarities in traits. For instance, you can highlight physical characteristics, occupations, family values or religious beliefs.

1

Start PowerPoint and click the slide on which you want to create a genogram. Select the "Insert" tab and click "Shapes" in the Illustrations group. Select a rectangle to represent the first male you want to add to the slide. Click on the slide where you want to add the square. Select a circle from the Shapes gallery and click on the slide where you want to add a female. Add each family member, using squares for the males and circles for the females, with each generation on its own level on the page.

2

Click on the shape that identifies you. Click the "Format" tab under Drawing Tools. Click "Shape Outline," choose "Weight" and click on "More Lines." Click the "Compound Type" button and select a double line to indicate that the shape signifies you.

3

Add names, birth dates and dates of death, if applicable. Select the "Insert" tab and click "Text Box" in the Text group. Draw a text box under each shape and type in the information.

4

Place an "X" inside the shape of any family member who is deceased. Select the "Insert" menu and click "Shapes." Select "Multiply" under Equation Shapes and draw an "X" inside of the desired shape.

5

Show a marital relationship by drawing a connecting line coming down from each partner and meeting horizontally. Select the "Insert" menu and click "Shapes." Click on "Elbow Connector" in the Lines group. Click on the bottom of the shape of the first spouse. Draw the line down, across and back up to connect to the second spouse.

6

Draw vertical lines down from the horizontal line to connect to children, with the oldest child on the left and the youngest on the right. Indicate twins with a triangular line connecting the children's shapes to the marital line. Connect adopted children with a dotted line. Draw a smaller, solid-colored circle to show a miscarriage.

7

Make a key for the traits you want to depict on the genogram. Draw a text box near a corner of the slide and list three to five characteristics. Add a symbol to depict each one. Select the "Insert" menu, click "Symbol" and choose the symbol you want to use. Add the symbols to each person's shape to depict the corresponding trait.

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About the Author

Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for OfficeUsers.org. She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.

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