Creating a Flow Chart

Although PowerPoint has an Organisation Chart tool, it is better to use the AutoShapes toolbar if you want to create a flow chart. To create an object using AutoShapes, use the Title Only or Blank AutoLayout when creating a new slide.

Edit the title as required and then click on the Insert drop-down menu and choose Picture and then AutoShapes.  The AutoShapes toolbar appears and you can use this to draw various flow chart shapes and join them together with connectors. 

To draw a flow chart, click on the Flow Chart Symbols icon and select a shape.  Drag out the shape in the area underneath the slide’s title. To speed up your drawing you can copy and paste this shape using CTRL+C and CTRL+V, this also ensures they are all the same size.  When you have created your shapes, drag them into position underneath the slide title.

We can now join the shapes together.  By using the special AutoShapes connectors you can link one box to another so that if any box is moved the connecting line stays joined and adjusts its position accordingly.  The elbow arrow connector in the centre of the block of 9 connectors is probably one of the best to use in flow and organisation charts.

Click on the connector and then hover your mouse over the point on a shape which you want to draw the line from (e.g. midway along the bottom of the top shape in our diagram).  When a coloured spot appears, click on the spot once to connect one end of the connector to it.

Now move your mouse to the top of the shape you want to connect to (or whatever other point you need to connect to) until a similar coloured spot appears.  Click the coloured spot once and the two shapes will be joined with a connector.  If you move any shape the connecting line will grow, shrink and bend (if it is an elbow connector) to keep the two shapes connected.

When you have joined these shapes, click on the toolbar to select another connector (even if it is the same type and the one you last used) and click the points on the two boxes that you want to join together as before.  DO NOT try to click part way along a line to make the join, if more than one shape is going to be connected from the same point of another shape you should click the same coloured spot on the shape that already has a connector and then join this to the other shape, this ensures that all the connected shapes stay connected at the same point and the line will adjust to keep these connections.  Also, if you start attaching your line at the subordinate shape instead of the top shape any arrow on your line will be the wrong way round.

Here is our flow chart with all lines joined.

If you move any box in this chart by clicking and dragging it, all attached lines will adjust themselves to keep the same joins.

To add text to each shape, click your right mouse button on top of a shape and choose Add Text from the menu that appears, a cursor will appear in the box and you can type your text.  Click outside the box when you have finished entering the text.

If you use AutoShapes to draw flow charts and organisation charts instead of the Organisation Chart tool then you can add your own custom animation to make the chart appear gradually with special effects and maybe even sounds.

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