Updated by Tina Sieber in October 2017.
Creating a flowchart might be a very easy task for some. And if you follow our article, you can make a gorgeous one in Microsoft Word. Even Excel lets you create flowcharts. But what if you’d rather use a flowchart template?
These templates for Microsoft Office let you create a flowchart quickly in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. Whether for a business purpose or a personal one, you will be off to a great start with these handy and easily editable options.
Why Use a Flowchart?
If you need to document or explain a process or procedure, there is no better way than with a visual. Rather than explaining steps in a document, a flowchart gives a clear picture that is easy to follow. It can be used in most any business industry, as well as your personal life.
In addition, it can aid in communication between groups. As described in the small business section of Chron.com, a Houston-based newspaper:
“The primary benefit of a flowchart is that it bridges the vocabulary gap that occurs between diverse groups that work together…”
For Microsoft Word
A basic process flowchart is used most often and normally what people think of when you say “flowchart.” This template from MyWordTemplates.org gives you a complete process flow that you simply edit to fit your needs.
It is suitable for most any type of process flow.
If you want a flowchart that displays a process, but also divides the steps into categories, then you need a swim lane (or swimlane) flowchart. As you can see in the screenshot below, the categories appear between parallel lines (lanes).
This type of flowchart, also from MyWordTemplates.org, is commonly used for business processes that involve more than one department.
For Microsoft Excel
If you prefer to use Excel to create your flowchart, then check out this template titled Example Flow Chart Template on the Template.net website. (Note: There is no preview link to the template, so just scroll down the page until you see the title mentioned.)
Like the Word template, you will see a basic flow that is easy to edit.
The next option is a set of templates downloadable right from within Excel. Click File > New from your menu. Then, in the search box enter the word Flowchart. You will then see the option simply titled Flowcharts. Select it and click Create to download the set.
The awesome thing about this set is that you get eight different templates in one workbook.
Website and Cash Templates
These two templates are very similar as they each use a downward flow. They then expand and branch off into smaller pieces.
Decision Tree Template
The decision tree template also uses a downward flow but expands outward for each “yes” decision point. Each “yes” point offers up one final decision.
Procedure and Process Templates
The procedure and process templates are both simple and clean flowcharts. You can use these to show most any type of workflow that involves decision-making.
For a basic project workflow, the project flowchart template is a simple-to-understand option. But you can adjust the flowchart easily for larger projects.
The workflow template is probably the simplest of the set. It shows a straightforward and downward workflow.
Mind Map Template
More of a diagram than a flowchart, the mind map template provides an easy-to-use method for brainstorming by yourself or with a group.
For Microsoft PowerPoint
Maybe you would like to create your flowchart in PowerPoint for a presentation or because of simple preference.
This template from SlideHunter.com includes three different formats, each on its own slide. Even though they are called “data flow” templates, you can use them for process flows as well.
The first flowchart format is a useful one for a decision-making process. Just pop your question into the red circle.
The second format is ideal for situations where many pieces must be obtained or completed before a process can begin. You can also reverse it to start with the red circle and expand it from there.
The third flowchart format is helpful when you want to show a simple process without a decision-based premise.
Another SlideHunter.com template for PowerPoint with two options is this process diagram. The only difference between the two slides is that one uses colors while the other is gray. You can also check out the third slide for the clipart used, making it easy to copy and paste into another slide if needed.
Editing the Templates
Since each template is used in a Microsoft Office application, you can make your changes to all of them using the same actions.
- You can change the color by selecting the shape, right-clicking to open the popup, and then choosing your color from the Fill option.
- You can edit the text by clicking on and then inside the shapes.
- You can remove objects by selecting them and clicking the Delete button.
- You can add similar objects by selecting them and using a copy/paste action.
- You can add new objects by clicking Insert > Shapes and then making your selection.
- You can move an object by selecting it and when the four-sided arrow appears, drag it to the new spot.
One item to note about the Word and PowerPoint templates is that the connectors will not automatically follow if you move a shape. So, just keep in mind that you will need to move them manually if you rearrange the flowchart.
If you choose to use Excel instead, the connectors will follow when you move the shapes. This makes it easy to change the look without losing the flow.
Flowcharts Are Easy to Create With Templates
Microsoft Visio is a wonderful tool for creating diagrams as that is its primary purpose.
However, if you only have the basics of Microsoft Office with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, then these templates are for you. There is no reason to create a flowchart from scratch, especially if you need one in a hurry. Pick your application, download one of these terrific templates, and start charting that flow!
Which Microsoft Office application do you prefer for creating flowcharts? Is one easier for you than another? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.