How to Make an Organizational Chart in Excel

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Organization charts use Office's SmartArt.

An organization chart displays the management structure of your company using a graphic. Each level in your management hierarchy is represented by a row of boxes. The levels are stacked one on top of the other like a pyramid. Lines between the levels show relationships between the groups represented by the individual boxes. Excel creates organizational charts using Microsoft Office's SmartArt hierarchy diagrams.


Step 1

Open Excel to a new workbook. Choose the "Insert" tab, and in the Illustrations group, select "SmartArt."

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Step 2

Choose "Hierarchy" in the Choose a SmartArt Graphic gallery. Then select the organization chart layout and click "OK."


Step 3

Select a box and type in your text by clicking the [Text] label in the box and either pasting or typing the information to display in this box.

Step 4

Add more boxes to complete your organization chart. Click the box closest to where you want to add the box and choose from the following: "Add Shape Before" adds the box on the same hierarchy level, but just before the box you've clicked; "Add Shape After" also stays on the same hierarchy, but adds the box after; "Add Shape Below" adds a box one level down and "Add Shape Above" adds a box one level up.


Step 5

Add assistants, as appropriate, by clicking box on the hierarchy and selecting "Add Assistant."

Step 6

Modify the relationships among the boxes by denoting them with the appropriate line. Click the "Format Shape" found on the shortcut palette. Select "Line Style," and then select either a dashed or solid option.


Step 7

Define the correct layout of the boxes on chart. Select "Standard" to display the boxes as hierarchical levels. Choose "Both" to display reporting relationships, with boxes on either side of a vertical line. Select "Left Hanging" to display the reporting relationship with all boxes on the left side of the line, which is ideal if you are displaying multiple divisions on one chart.


Step 8

Modify the colors of the boxes to further clarify your hierarchy. Select the SmartArt graphic, and then select "SmartArt Tools" from the Design tab. From the SmartArt Style groups, select "Change Colors." Then select the colors to use for your organization chart.

Step 9

Save the chart by choosing the "Save" icon and naming the file.


Microsoft Organizational Chart was installed with older versions of Excel to facilitate the creation of organizational charts. It is still available to download from Microsoft for use with later versions of Excel, but it is no longer necessary since SmartArt Graphics was added to the later versions.