Flowcharts are a very good way to get a new idea explained in a presentation. Office 2007 has some great new tools for creating a visual appealing flowchart which can be used from Excel, Word or PowerPoint. Here we will take a look at creating a simple flowchart in Word 2007.
For the sake of this article I am going to start at the top of the document on the right side under the title. Then click Insert then Shapes on the Ribbon to select a shape from the Flowchart section. You can can then draw an outline for the size of this object on the document. You then will see how it will look right away.
To link the shapes on your flow chart there is a multitude of options. Here I am going to use an arrow. To efficiently create the flow chart, it is best to get the basic design first before worrying about the graphic effects. You can always add the effects later.
I choose a quick format for the first shapes, drawn the arrow, and am ready to set up more sections. I just copy and paste the first box and drag it to the appropriate position.
After getting accustomed to selecting shapes and adjusting their positions it’s probably a good idea to start adding text. To add text to the chart simply Right Click on a box and select Add Text from the menu and begin typing away.
The mini formatting toolbar is still available with any text you enter into the chart which comes in handy if you are use to it. If you are not a fan and want to stop it, you can make the mini formatting toolbar stop popping up.
Once you have the basic outline of the flowchart complete, it’s time to add some “pizzazz” to everything. This is done using the Format tab on the Ribbon. Here are a few shots of what you can do. This is the different colors you can make the shapes.
Here are Shadow and 3D effects. The cool thing with Office 2007 is you can just hover the mouse over the different effects and get a preview of how it will look in the document. This saves a lot of time rather than relying on a trial and error approach.
Another feature is inserting Smart Art. This allows you to insert nice pre-designed graphic layouts. You do not need to be graphic design expert to insert professional looking content.
A handy window opens up where you can insert text into the chart which in this case is Radial Cycle. You will see the text as it would appear in the smart art at the same time it’s entered.
A good way to help the graphics in your chart stand out better is to change the background color of the document. This is done from Page Layout and Page Background sections on the Ribbon.
This is a simple flowchart made with the steps and different options shown above.
Now you should have a basic grasp on how to create a flow chart and begin experimenting with the different options available in 2007. Have fun, experiment, and please leave feedback on how you impressed your boss! There has to be a better way to organize those TPS Reports!
Programmer by day, geek by night, The Geek, also known as Lowell Heddings, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on Google+ if you'd like.
- Published 08/25/08