How to Create an Org Chart in Word

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In the world of business, there’s a slew of reasons why you may need an org chart. But while you can use different types of presentation software or specialty applications to create them, you might not have these at your disposal.

You could simply use a database to capture your company’s structure, but those don’t usually have the visual flair of an org chart. Fortunately, you can create an org chart easily in Microsoft Word. If you’d like to go that route, here’s what you need to know.

What Is an Org Chart?

As defined by the Cambridge Dictionary, an org chart — also known as an organizational chart — is “a diagram that shows the structure of an organization and the relationships between the different people, departments, or jobs within that organization.”

Usually, an org chart uses a structure that looks like an upside-down tree. The primary company leader, such as the owner or CEO, sits at the top. Beneath them are other C-suite members or department heads, followed by supervisors. Finally, there are individual contributors.

The goal of an org chart is to show the hierarchical layout of a company. Essentially, it showcases who reports to whom, outlining the various layers of an organization in a highly visual way.

Does Word Have Org Chart Templates?

Word doesn’t have built-in org chart templates. However, there are some downloadable templates available, including a simple organizational chart available from Microsoft that can work well for smaller businesses.

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You can also find downloadable org chart templates for Word through third parties. With these, it’s critical to exercise caution. Downloading anything from an unfamiliar source can be risky, so keep your privacy top of mind. While many available templates are legitimate and safe, some may contain malware or viruses. Only move forward with a download if it’s from a trusted source, and make sure it undergoes an antivirus scan.

How to Make Org Charts in Word

For creating custom or larger org charts, the simplest approach involves using Word’s SmartArt graphics tools. Where they’re located may vary depending on your edition of Word, but they’re typically found on the Insert tab in the Illustrations section.

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Click on SmartArt and then choose Hierarchy to see your options. Choose a general design that you find appealing, and click OK. From there, you can click on the presented boxes and change their text. You can also use the text pane that pops up to make changes.

The text pane allows you to change the text, add new lines, and promote or demote entries. Promoting and demoting — which you access by right-clicking the text box you want to move — shifts the position of that specific thread, allowing you to create a wider variety of org charts that represent more position placements.

In the text pane, you also have the ability to change the color, style and layout of the text boxes. This can make the information easier to track visually. You can assign a specific color to various organizational layers, such as one for C-suite members and another for managers.

Finally, on the main Word document, you can drag and drop the boxes if you prefer to adjust the layout that way. When using that approach, the connecting lines readjust themselves based on the text box’s position.

In many cases, you’ll want to set the page to landscape for an org chart, as they’re often wider than they are long. However, that isn’t required, and you can choose the approach that works best for your organization.

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