How to Make an Organizational Chart in Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

An organizational chart is a diagram that visually depicts the structure and relationships within a company or organization. It shows the hierarchical relationships between individuals and departments, making it easier to understand reporting structures and communication flow.

Organizational charts are useful for both internal administrative purposes as well as communicating key information to external stakeholders. They help new employees understand the organization and can be included in presentations, reports, and other documents.

There are a few easy ways to make an org chart, depending on your preferences and needs:

Make an Organizational Chart in Word

Microsoft Word has a built-in feature called SmartArt that allows you to choose from various org chart layouts and designs.

Here is how to make an org chart in Word:

  • Open a new Word document and go to the “Insert” tab
  • Click on “SmartArt” in the Illustrations group
  • Select the “Hierarchy” category on the left side of the dialog box
  • Choose an organizational chart layout that fits your needs (e.g. Organization Chart, Name and Title Organization Chart, etc.)
  • Click “OK” to insert the template into your document

Once inserted, you can add boxes for new positions by clicking on existing boxes and selecting “Add Shape” in the Design tab. You can customize the hierarchy by dragging the boxes into position and using the Promote/Demote buttons.

The text pane on the left side also makes it simple to add new positions, rename boxes, rearrange the org chart, and apply formatting.

Make an Organizational Chart in Excel

Excel doesn’t have diagramming features, but you can still use SmartArt to create an org chart:

  • Open a new Excel workbook and go to the “Insert” tab
  • Click on “SmartArt” in the Illustrations group
  • Browse the hierarchy options and select an org chart layout
  • Click “OK” to insert it into the spreadsheet

After picking your structure, type names, positions, and other data into the text pane. Use the Promote/Demote buttons to show the flow of authority and rearrange whenever things change.

You can also build the org chart manually using shapes and connector lines instead of SmartArt. This gives you more flexibility but requires more manual formatting.

Make an Organizational Chart in PowerPoint

The process for making an org chart in PowerPoint is nearly identical to Word:

  • Open a new PowerPoint presentation
  • Navigate to the “Insert” tab and click “SmartArt”
  • Browse the hierarchy options and pick an org chart template
  • Insert it onto the slide

PowerPoint has the same customization options as Word after insertion. You can add new positions, edit the text, rearrange the flow, and apply styling through the various tabs and panes.

Organizational Chart Design Tips

  • Keep it simple. Don’t overload it with excessive details. Only include what is necessary to depict the structure and relationships.
  • Structure it logically. Arrange positions in a logical order that flows from top leadership down.
  • Make it clear. Use a layout that clearly shows who reports to whom. Add lines, colors, and grouping where helpful.
  • Update it routinely. When changes occur, update the org chart so it remains current. Out-of-date charts spread confusion.

Common Organizational Chart Types

There are a few common types of org chart structures, including:

  • Hierarchical – Typical pyramid structure with senior leaders on top
  • Matrix – Shows dual reporting relationships (by product and function)
  • Flat – Shows all staff on a single level with minimal hierarchy
  • Divisional – Groups staff by business units or other divisions

The needs of your organization will dictate the best format to visually depict the corporate structure.

Advantages of Organizational Charts

There are many benefits of creating and maintaining org charts for your company or organization:

  • Communicates the corporate structure at a glance
  • Shows the chain of command and reporting relationships
  • Helps coordinate tasks and activities
  • Defines individual roles and responsibilities
  • Depicts relative status of each position
  • Facilitates growth planning and reorganization

In summary, org charts are simple yet powerful tools for structuring organizations. Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all provide easy ways to create and customize organizational charts to meet your specific needs.