How to Type a Family Tree

by Lucy Dale

When you create a family tree, working on a computer to type and store your information can save you a lot of time as well as being more readable and understandable to others. Many word processing programs offer options that allow you to create an easily readable family tree.

Decide which program you are most comfortable working in. Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, which come standard on many computers, work well for typing family trees.

Open a new document in Word or a new workbook if using Excel. In both cases, you can do this by going to the "File" menu and selecting "New."

Go to the "Insert" menu, click "SmartArt," and wait for the "Choose a SmartArt Graphic" window to pop up. This may take a moment depending on the speed of your computer.

Click on "Hierarchy," and then "Hierarchy Design." Click OK or simply press "Return" to put the chart into your document or workbook.

In the window that says "Type Your Text Here," enter each family member's name.

To add a new family member, hit "Return" or "Enter" on your computer. Repeat the previous two steps until you have entered the name of each family member you wish to enter.

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Photo Credits

  • photo_camera family tree image by Judy Ben Joud from