How to Draw a Genogram in Microsoft Word 2007

By Amy Dombrower

Updated February 10, 2017

Create a complex genogram using Microsoft Word 2007.
i family tree image by Judy Ben Joud from

A genogram is similar to a family tree diagram, except it shows more detailed information regarding the relationships between people. Genograms are sometimes used by doctors, psychologists and social workers to determine the factors and family history patterns that may have contributed to a patient’s situation. Genograms not only show familial relationships and the basic information for each person, but can contain additional information about individuals, such as illnesses, behaviors, occupations and living situations. You can create your own genogram by using the drawing tools in Microsoft Word 2007.

Open a blank document in Microsoft Word 2007.

Click the “Insert” tab. Click “Text Box” in the Text group. Select “Draw Text Box” in the drop-down menu.

Click where you want to add the first person in the genogram. Drag your cursor to draw a custom-size text box for the person’s name and any other pertinent information, such as date of birth and death.

Click inside the box and type the text. Click the “Home” tab and format the text using the Font group.

Click the text box until you see the cursor change to crosshairs with arrows. Drag the box to the position you want it.

Select the text box and click the “Format” tab. In the “Text Box Styles” group, format the look of the text box and remove the box border if you want.

Continue making new text boxes for different individuals and pieces of information you want to include.

Click the “Insert” tab. Under Illustrations, click “Shapes.” Click “New Drawing Canvas” from the drop-down menu. Now you can begin adding shapes and lines to connect the genogram.

Click inside the drawing canvas. Click the “Format” tab. In the Insert Shapes group, click the small arrow in the bottom corner to view all shapes.

Choose a shape you want to use to represent each person. For instance, choose a square for men and circle for women. Select a shape and click in the drawing canvas. Click and drag to draw the shape. With the crosshairs cursor, move the shape to a new position.

Continue adding new shapes until you’ve represented each person on the genogram.

Add lines and connectors to create the relationships between people. Go back to the Insert Shapes group on the Format tab. Select a straight line or elbow connector

Click and drag to draw the line as you want it. To connect a line between two shapes, click the first shape where you want to attach the line. Click where you want to attach the connector to the second shape.

Continue adding lines and shapes until you’ve completed the genogram.

Click the “Microsoft Office Button.” Click “Save as” to save the document.

Items you will need

  • Microsoft Word 2007

  • Genogram data