How to create flowcharts with Microsoft Word 2010 and 2013 [Guide]

Flowcharts are planning tools that represent an algorithm or process. They are commonly used by software developers, and system analysts to design systems. MS Word 2010/2013 has a good variety of flowchart options.

To set up a flowchart with MS Word 2010, click the Insert tab and then select the Shapes option. That should open up a variety of shapes and arrows that are ideal for flowcharts. Note there is a flowchart subheading with a variety of suitable shapes under it. If you move the cursor over one of the flowchart shapes, some extra details are provided.

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Click process and alternative process shapes to put them in the document. Then you should hold the left mouse button and drag the shape to expand it to a suitable size as in the shot below. By default, the shape color is usually plain blue; however, you can edit that by right-clicking it, selecting Shape Fill and an alternative color. Selecting Gradient and one of the numerous color variations adds shading to the flowchart shapes.

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To keep the shapes of equal size, right-click on them, select Copy and then press Ctrl + V to paste it in the document. Drag and place the new shape to a suitable position in the flowchart. To complete the basic outline of the flowchart, you should add some line or block arrows between the various shapes as below.

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Next you should add the flowchart text to the various boxes. Right-click the boxes, select Add text from the menu and enter some suitable text. You can format the text by right-clicking it which opens a mini text formatting toolbar with various options.

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To add further pizzazz to the flowchart, you should select one of the shapes and the Format tab. Click Shape Effects to open a variety of alternative formatting options for the flowchart. For example, select 3D Rotation to rotate the boxes. To get a preview of the shape effect options, hover the cursor over them. In the shot below, I have added 3D rotate and bevel effects to the flowchart.

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If you still have to further edit a shape, select it and then click Edit Shape option from the formatting tab. Click Edit Points to add a border with square points that you can drag to alternative positions to alter the shape. Then you can transform the default flowchart shapes to a variety of custom alternatives.

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Those are the primary options MS Word 2010/2013 include for flowcharts. With those options, you can set up colorful flowcharts that show systems, data flows or algorithms.

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