Flowcharts are an essential tool for visually representing complex processes, systems, and ideas. PowerPoint, with its robust functionality, is a popular choice for creating elegant and informative flowcharts.
However, creating a flowchart in PowerPoint can be challenging, especially for beginners. It is essential to understand the best practices and conventions, as well as the necessary steps and features required for creating a graphically sound and efficient flowchart.
In this article, we will cover the step-by-step process of creating a flowchart in PowerPoint.
1. Plan Your Flowchart
The first step towards creating a flowchart in PowerPoint is to determine the goal and scope of the diagram. Flowcharts can vary significantly in size, complexity, and layout, depending on the purpose they serve.
Therefore, it is crucial to outline the critical steps, decision points, and branching paths of the process, system, or idea you want to represent. You can use a piece of paper or a whiteboard to sketch out the flowchart and refine it until you have a clear and logical diagram.
Once you have a clear idea of the flowchart’s structure, you can start creating it in PowerPoint.
2. Open PowerPoint and Set Up the Slide
The next step is to open PowerPoint and create a new slide for the flowchart. Choose the Blank Presentation template or any other template that has a white background.
Set the slide orientation to Landscape and the size to Widescreen (16:9) or Standard (4:3), depending on your preference. You can also add a title and subtitle to the slide if you wish. However, it is essential to ensure that the text does not interfere with the flowchart’s visual elements.
3. Add the Flowchart Shapes
The core of any flowchart is the shapes that represent the processes, decisions, and connectors. PowerPoint has a wide variety of built-in flowchart shapes that you can use to create your diagram. To access the shapes, go to the Insert tab and click on the Shapes button.
In the dropdown menu, select the Shapes tab, and you will see a list of different shapes. You can choose the Rectangle, Oval, Diamond, and other shapes that best represent the process or decision you want to include in the flowchart. Drag the shape onto the slide and resize it and place it where you want it. You can also customize the shape’s colour, outline, and font size to match your branding or style guide.
4. Connect the Flowchart Shapes
Once you have added the shapes, you need to connect them to show the flow of the process, system, or idea. PowerPoint has several options for connectors, including straight lines, elbow lines, and curved lines. To add a connector, go back to the Shapes dropdown menu and select the Line or Connector option.
Drag the line or connector onto the slide and connect it to the relevant shapes. Use the yellow handles on the shapes and connectors to adjust the length and position of the lines if necessary.
5. Add Flowchart Text
To make the flowchart more informative and readable, you can add text to the shapes, connectors, and the slide itself.
Each shape should have a brief, descriptive title that summarizes the process, decision, or outcome. You can also add descriptive text within the shape to provide more details.
To add text, click on the shape and start typing. You can also format the text, such as changing the font style, size, and colour, to match your branding or style guide.
6. Fine-Tune the Flowchart Design
After adding the shapes, connectors, and text, you need to fine-tune the flowchart’s design to make it look more polished and professional.
You can adjust the colour scheme, layout, and spacing to make the flowchart more visually appealing and easier to read. You can also add a background colour, gradient, or image to the slide to provide contrast and make the flowchart stand out.
Additionally, you can use PowerPoint’s alignment and distribution tools to ensure that the shapes and text are properly aligned and spaced.
7. Save and Share the Flowchart
After creating the flowchart, you need to save it and share it with others, either as a PowerPoint slide or as a PDF file. To save the file, go to the File tab and click on Save As. Choose the location and file name and select either the PowerPoint or PDF format.
To share the flowchart, you can either send the file as an attachment via email or upload it to a cloud storage service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, and share the link.
Creating a flowchart in PowerPoint requires careful planning, attention to detail, and adherence to best practices and conventions.
By following the seven steps we have outlined in this article, you can create a graphically sound and efficient flowchart that effectively communicates the process, system, or idea you want to represent. Remember to keep the flowchart simple and concise, use clear and legible text, and ensure that the design is consistent and professional.
With practice and experience, you can become an expert in creating flowcharts in PowerPoint and use this valuable skill to enhance your professional and personal projects.