How to Create a Family Tree in Microsoft PowerPoint

A family tree is a great way to visualize your family connections and relationships. With PowerPoint’s SmartArt graphics and shapes, you can easily create a beautiful and informative family tree.


Family trees are useful for genealogy research, school projects, family gatherings, and more. They allow you to map out multiple generations of ancestors and descendants.

PowerPoint provides several easy tools to build family trees:

  • SmartArt graphics with hierarchy structures
  • Shapes and connectors to link family members
  • Text boxes to add details

In this guide, you’ll learn step-by-step how to make a family tree diagram in PowerPoint.

Step 1: Insert a Hierarchy SmartArt Graphic

To start your family tree:

  1. Open a new PowerPoint presentation
  2. On the Insert tab, click SmartArt in the Illustrations group
  3. Select the Hierarchy category
  4. Choose an organizational chart layout you like

The most common layouts used for family trees are the horizontal and vertical hierarchy charts. But you can pick any hierarchy layout that fits your needs.

Insert SmartArt for family tree

Your chosen SmartArt graphic will appear on the slide, ready for you to enter names.

Step 2: Enter Family Member Names

Click inside the SmartArt boxes to add your family members’ names:

  • Start with the oldest ancestors at the top
  • Work your way down through children and grandchildren
  • You can add or delete boxes as needed

To add additional spouses at any level, right-click the name and select Add Shape After.

Enter family tree names

Enter names for as many generations as you like. The SmartArt graphic will grow to fit them.

Step 3: Format the Layout

Once your data is entered, you can format the overall layout:

  • Resize the tree to an appropriate size for your slide
  • Change orientation from left/right to top/bottom (or vice versa)
  • Modify hierarchy levels as needed
  • Apply a SmartArt Style for colors and effects

Use the SmartArt and Format tabs to access these formatting options.

Format family tree

Formatting improves clarity and makes your diagram more visually appealing.

Step 4: Add Connectors Between Spouses

To link spouse boxes with a line:

  1. On the Insert tab, click Shapes
  2. Select a connector shape like the elbow arrow
  3. Click and drag from one spouse to the other

Right-click the connector to change formatting like line color, dash type, and arrow style.

Add spouse connector

Connectors help distinguish between multiple marriages or unions in the tree.

Step 5: Insert Text Boxes for Details

To annotate family members with dates, locations, or other details:

  1. Click Text Box on the Insert tab
  2. Draw a text box next to the person
  3. Type or paste the text
  4. Resize and format the box as needed

Text boxes supplement your diagram with helpful information.

Add text box

With text boxes, you can create a thorough, well-documented family tree.

Advanced Tips

  • Show marriages by merging spouse boxes into one
  • Use symbols like hearts or rings to represent marriages
  • Add images or photos of people using PowerPoint’s picture tools
  • Use color or shading to highlight certain family lines

With creative formatting, connectors, text boxes, images, and SmartArt, you can build all kinds of family trees and diagrams in PowerPoint.


Mapping your ancestors and descendants is easy with PowerPoint’s diagramming tools. Follow the steps to insert a hierarchy layout, enter names, format, and supplement with connectors and text boxes.

Whether for a school project, family reunion, genealogy research, or other uses, PowerPoint provides everything you need to make family trees and diagrams. Use the techniques in this guide to visualize your family connections.