How to Make a Flowchart in Google Drive

By Kathryn Hatashita-Lee

Google Drive's extensive list of shapes enables you to compile a flowchart showing the various steps in the sequence of actions. Insert symbols such as ovals, rectangles and diamonds on your Google document, presentation or drawing to help illustrate possible solutions to your viewers. Create your custom flowchart as a visual tool for quality control, for example. Google Drive offers you the convenience of sharing your flowchart across multiple devices for a collaborative effort in decision-making.

Step 1

Click the "Create" button on the Drive sidebar and select "Document," "Presentation" or "Drawing" to open this format. If you selected the Document format, click the "Insert" menu and then select "Drawing" to open the blank window.

Step 2

Click the "Shape" arrow button on the toolbar and point over "Shapes" to display the thumbnails arranged in three sections. Point over the lower section that features the flowchart symbols. Examples include rectangle "Flowchart: Process," diamond "Flowchart: Decision" and triangle "Flowchart: Extract."

Step 3

Select the preferred flowchart symbol thumbnail, such as "Flowchart: Connector" with the oval icon. The cursor changes to a "+" symbol.

Step 4

Click and drag the cursor to set the inserted shape with a blue frame and sizing handles. Click the shape to display this frame if it is not visible. Select a sizing handle and drag to change the shape’s dimensions. Click inside the shape and drag the shape to reposition it on the page.

Step 5

Click inside the shape and enter the text. Type "Start" inside the oval for this example. Click the shape and then click “Fill Color” on the toolbar and select the preferred color sample for the shape.

Step 6

Insert more shapes to denote each step. For example, select "Flowchart: Process" with the rectangle icon or "Flowchart: Data" with the parallelogram icon. The toolbar's Select Line arrow button includes pre-designed lines, such as the arrow symbol, to denote a flow line between the symbols and to show the direction for this process flow.

Step 7

Click the "File" menu and select "Rename" to open the Rename Document box. Enter the file title in the field and then click "OK" to update. For example, include today's date in the flowchart title to help you track different saved versions of this flowchart.

Tips & Warnings

  • As an alternative, insert a Google Docs template from the Template Gallery. Examples include "Flowchart Stencils / Template" and "Flow Chart Template." Click "Preview" to view the enlarged version and then click "Use This Template" to create the copy. Customize your flowchart with the menu and toolbar options. My Drive will display your flowchart thumbnail for quick access. (See Resources.)
  • Take the time to list the key phrases and the symbols on paper before you compile the digital flowchart. For example, select an orientation from left to right or from top to bottom.
  • As you compile your flowchart, create a legend of common symbols to help your viewer understand what the symbols denote. This legend will also help you insert consistent symbols for the actions in the sequence.
  • Type "Yes" and "No" on either side of the Flowchart: Decision diamond to indicate other process flows.
  • Information in this article applies to Google Drive. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.