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Organisation Charts and Flow Charts

You can easily create and amend organisation charts and flow charts using Word's autoshapes toolbar.  The autoshapes toolbar appears when you create a drawing frame.  To create a drawing frame, click on the Insert drop-down menu and choose Picture and then New Drawing.  A drawing frame appears in your document, drag the corners and sides out until it is big enough to hold your chart (make sure you do not drag it outside your page margins.

The AutoShapes toolbar contains icons for drawing various types of organisation and flow charts.

To draw an organisation chart, click on the Basic Shapes icon and select a rectangle.  Drag out the shape of a rectangle within your drawing frame, to speed up your drawing you can copy and paste this shape using CTRL+C and CTRL+V to produce as many boxes as you will need, this also ensures they are all the same size.  Whe you have created your boxes, drag them into position in your drawing frame.

We can now join the boxes 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 an organisation chart.

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

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

When you have joined these boxes, 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 the subordinate (lower level) box is also going to be connected to the top box you should click the same point at the bottom of the top box that you selected before and then join this to the other subordinate box, this ensures that all the subordinate boxes and connected to the top box and the line will adjust to keep this connection.  Also, if you start attaching your line at the subordinate box instead of the top box any arrow on your line will be the wrong way round.

Here is our organisation 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 box, click your right mouse button on top of a box 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.

When you have finished your organisation chart or flow chart you can click outside the drawing frame and continue with your document.  To edit the diagram again, double-click your left mouse button inside the drawing frame and you will be able to edit the autoshapes.