Microsoft PowerPoint provides built-in tools for creating and arranging different types of flowcharts. Here’s how they work.
Making a Flowchart in PowerPoint
Since you’re going to be working with shapes, you might find it helpful to have PowerPoint show a grid you can use to size and line up objects.
To show the grid, check the box next to “Gridlines” in the “Show” section of the “View” tab.
Gridlines will now appear on your slides.
Next, select “Shapes” in the “Illustrations” section of the “Insert” tab.
This will bring down a menu with many different shapes to choose from. We will primarily be focusing on the shapes in the “Flowchart” section near the bottom and the connectors in the “Lines” group near the top.
Before we continue, it’s important to understand the intended purpose of the shapes. You may want to consider reading this comprehensive list that details the meaning of flowchart shapes, but here’s a quick overview of the basics:
- Rectangle: This shape is used for process steps.
- Diamond: The diamond is used to show decision points.
- Oval: The oval is used as the terminator shape, indicating start and end points of a process.
Additionally, you can hover over the shape to see an information box stating the shape’s purpose.
Let’s go ahead and insert our first shape. Back at the shapes menu, select the shape you’d like to insert in the flowchart. Since this is our first shape to insert in the flowchart, we’ll use the oval shape to indicate the starting point.
Once you select the shape, you’ll notice your mouse turns into a crosshair. To draw your shape, just click and drag.
Afterward, you’ll notice a new “Format” tab appears where you can format your shape, the outline, color, and more.
To insert text inside the shape, click the shape and start typing.
Let’s insert another shape and then connect the two shapes. We’ll insert a rectangle to indicate another part of the process. Repeat the above steps to insert the shape.
To connect the two shapes, head back to the shape menu, and select the connector you would like to use. We’ll use a simple line arrow for this example.
Once you select the arrow, click the center handle on the first shape and then, while still holding down your mouse button, drag to the center handle on the next shape.
Like the other shapes, you can also format the arrow with different line widths, colors, and so on.
As a tip, if you plan on using the same line format for the entirety of the flowchart, right-click the line after you’ve formatted it and select “Set as Default Line.” You may also do this for any shapes you insert, as well.
The beauty of using the connector arrows is that they become tied to the handles on the shapes. When you move the shapes around on your slide, the arrows adjust accordingly.