How to Make an Organizational Chart in PowerPoint

by David Weedmark

PowerPoint 2013 has a full gallery of shapes and connector lines that are useful for drawing an organizational chart. Use the chart in your next PowerPoint presentation or export it as an image to use in another document.

Insert a Shape

Create a new blank PowerPoint slide. Click the Insert menu and select the Shapes icon. Choose a shape to use for the top position in the organizational chart. Drag the cursor over the top of the slide to draw the shape.

Design the First Position Shape

Format the Fill and Outline color for the shape.

Right-click the shape or select the shape and click the Drawing Tools Format tab to change the Fill and Outline colors. Alternatively, use a Style to select a color scheme that suits your PowerPoint template.

Add a Label to the First Shape

Add a label to the shape.

Right-click the shape and select Edit Text. A cursor appears in the shape. You can type a label immediately or click the Home menu to choose a Font, Font Size and Font Color. Text inside a shape is aligned in the center of the shape by default.

Copy and Paste More Shapes

Create additional shapes

Select the shape and press Ctrl-C to copy it. Press Ctrl-V to paste a copy in the slide. Click the text to rename the second position and drag it below the first shape. Repeat this until you have all the positions accounted for. When you drag the shapes into position -- ideally in a pyramid design -- guide lines appear around the shapes to help you space the shapes evenly apart.

Choose a Connector Line

Select a line connector.

Click the Insert menu and then the Shape icon to choose a Line to connect the shapes with. An Elbow Connector or an Elbow Connector Arrow works well with most org charts.

Connect Lines to the Shapes

Connect the line to two shapes.

Hover the cursor over a shape after selecting a Connector and then click any of the Red Anchors that appear on the border to secure it to that shape. Hover the cursor over the next shape and then click one of that shape's Red Anchors. The connector is now attached to both shapes so if you move the shapes, the connector remains attached. Right-click the Connector and select Outline to change its Color and Line Weight.

Add Optional Transparencies

Make shapes semi-transparent in the Format Shape menu.

Change the appearance of any positions in the org chart that aren't relevant to your audience by making them semi-transparent. Select a shape, right click it and select Format Shape. In the menu that opens on the right, drag the Transparency Sliders for the Fill and the Line to make them semi-transparent. In the sample chart, a Colonel and a Captain are not relevant to the Privates at the bottom of the chart; those shapes are set at 60-percent transparent.

Save the Chart

Save the chart as a JPG file.

Click the File tab, select Save As and then choose a location to save the PowerPoint presentation. If you want to save just the one slide containing your org chart as an image file, click the Save as Type menu and select JPG or another image format.

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About the Author

A published author and professional speaker, David Weedmark has advised businesses and governments on technology, media and marketing for more than 20 years. He has taught computer science at Algonquin College, has started three successful businesses, and has written hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines throughout Canada and the United States.

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