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.

1 insert grid

Gridlines will now appear on your slides.

2 grid lines

Next, select “Shapes” in the “Illustrations” section of the “Insert” tab.

insert shapes

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.

Different shapes and lines

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.

shape example

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.

oval shape

Once you select the shape, you’ll notice your mouse turns into a crosshair. To draw your shape, just click and drag.

drawing a shape

Afterward, you’ll notice a new “Format” tab appears where you can format your shape, the outline, color, and more.

7 format shapes

To insert text inside the shape, click the shape and start typing.

typing text into a shape

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.

creating a new 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.

line arrow

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.

connecting two shapes with an arrow

Like the other shapes, you can also format the arrow with different line widths, colors, and so on.

11 format arrow shape

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.

set as default

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.

Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall Gunnell is a writer with experience in the technology industry. He worked at Synology, a manufacturer of network-attached storage solutions. Marshall also serves as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview, providing detailed reviews of storage technology.
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