Ultimate Tutorial on How to Create a Flowchart in Excel

Last updated on July 14, 2023 by

Flowcharts are visual diagrams composed of shapes connected by arrows, representing workflows, processes, or decision-making procedures. While Excel can be used for flowchart creation, it has limitations in terms of collaboration and real-time updates. Hence, in this guide, you will explore the purpose of flowcharts and delve into the basic shapes used in flowcharts. Furthermore, we will discuss the limitations of creating flowchart in Excel and give an alternative tool for your seamless and efficient flowchart creation experience. Read further to learn more.

Fundamentals of Creating Flowchart Template Excel

  1. How to Create a Flowchart in Excel Easily
  2. Tips to Make Flowchart in Excel Appealing
  3. Alternative Method for Creating Flowchart in Excel

How to Create a Flowchart in Excel Easily

We all know what flow charts typically look like. They were normally visuals composed of shapes, which may be in circle, oval, rectangle, square, or diamond. These shapes are mostly interconnected by arrows to demonstrate a step-by-step process, plans, and workflows. In other words, flowchart just simply makes the process easier to read and understand. 

There are a lot of ways on how to make a flowchart. You can even just draw it with a pen and paper. But for its more flexible usage, you have to create it digitally. In that sense, let us help you make ones using Microsoft Excel. But before that, let’s explore the things to remember in making flowcharts with this spreadsheet software first. Let’s dive in.

Flowcharts in Excel: How They Work Together

flowchart in excel smartart

Microsoft Excel is a widely used spreadsheet software known for its ability to organize and format data. With the right code or formula, users can instantly have the answers or organizations they need. But beyond its traditional functionalities, with Excel you can also create flowcharts. In fact, it has a shape gallery that you can utilize. Interestingly, it offers two methods of making a flowcharts which are by manually organizing shapes and arrows or through SmartArt feature. Here, you can use its flowchart templates which are categorized into a List, Process, Cycle, Hierarchy, and more.

With Excel’s flowchart tools, you can customize your flowchart changing its colors, adding text and more shapes. This flexibility allows you to create a flowchart that suits your specific needs and preferences. Additionally, flowcharts created in Excel are easily imported into other Microsoft Office applications, such as Word.

4 Essential Symbols to Make Flowchart

flowchart in excel shape 1

Before we jump to the steps on how to flow chart template Excel, did you know that every shape and element used on flowcharts has their own purposes as well? If not, read below the type of shapes and their corresponding uses.

  • Oval: This symbol represents the start and end of a process, which meant to indicate the beginning and completion points of a flowchart.
  • Rectangle: The rectangle symbolizes a step or activity in the process to do specific task, action, or operation.
  • Arrow: The arrow is to indicate the directional flow of the process to guide the viewer along the flowcharting path and shows the sequence of steps or actions.
  • Diamond: The diamond symbolizes a decision point in the process. It represents a choice or condition that needs to be evaluated, leading to different paths or outcomes based on the decision made.

2 Methods on How to Create Flowchart in Excel

After knowing the SmartArt and the fundamental elements of flowchart, let’s now proceed on how to make flowchart in Excel using these two methods.

Method 1: Inserting Shapes Manually
  • Open Microsoft Excel on your computer.
  • Next, create a new worksheet in Excel where you’ll create your flowchart.

flowchart excel blankwork

  • Then, on the “Insert” tab, click on the “Shapes” button, and select oval shape to represent the start point of your flowchart and drag on the worksheet to draw it.

flowchart excel oval

  • After that, double-click on the shape to enter text to add label for the start point of the flowchart. 

flowchart excel text

  • Next, from the “Shapes” menu, select between diamond or rectangular. And click and drag on the worksheet to draw the shape. Repeat this step for each step or action in your flowchart, placing the shapes in sequential order.

flowchart excel rectangle

  • From the “Shapes” menu, select Arrows to connect the shapes in the desired order. Ensure the arrows follow the flow of the process to the shapes you add.

flowchart excel arrow

  • Once again, double-click on each shape to enter text and labels for the steps, actions, or decision points.
  • Select “Shape Format” to format the shapes and arrows to adjust properties like size, color, and style and enhance visual clarity.

flowchart excel edit

  • Once you’re satisfied with your flowchart, save the Excel worksheet to preserve your work.
Method 2: Using SmartArt
  • Open Microsoft Excel on your computer.
  • Click the “Blank workbook” to create a new worksheet.

flowchart excel start

  • Next, navigate to the Insert tab and click SmartArt and select from the list of SmartArt Graphic below and hit OK. 

flowchart excel graphic

  • After that, double-click the shapes to add labels on them. From here, you will see the format box for text so you can edit your text color, size, alignment, and fonts accordingly.

flowchart excel sample

  • Meanwhile, if you want to change the color of your flowchart, just go to the Change Colors tab.

flowchart excel changecolor

  • Finally, to save your flowchart, just click “File” and select “Save”.

Tips to Make Flowchart in Excel Appealing

There are several customization options available for the flowchart in Excel. Here are some of them:

  • Play around its Color Scheme: Modify the flowchart’s color palette from the “SmartArt Tools Design” tab. This enables you to align the visual style of the flowchart with your preferred aesthetics or corporate branding.
  • Expand Shape Count: If additional shapes are required in the flowchart, select the shape to which you wish to connect a new shape. This facilitates the expansion of the flowchart as necessary.
  • Modify Layout: Rearranging the flowchart’s layout provides the ability to reposition and organize the shapes within the flowchart for improved visual appeal and organization.
  • Format Individual Shapes: Customize the appearance (color, outline color, and size size) of individual shapes in the flowchart will reflect your creativity.

While Excel offers a quick and straightforward method for creating flowcharts, it does have its limitations. These limitations include a lack of collaboration features and certain functionalities that are common in dedicated flowchart design tools like GitMind. To overcome these limitations, let’s explore GitMind as an alternative tool for creating flowcharts.

Alternative Method for Creating Flowchart in Excel

GitMind is a user-friendly alternative to Microsoft Excel for creating flowcharts. It offers a wide range of customizable templates suitable for various purposes like analysis, lane, and organization. It also allows you to create instructional charts to simplify procedures visually. With its intuitive interface, you can easily connect shapes, add arrows, and customize colors, fonts, and opacity of the text. Moreover, the platform provides features like alignment, thickness, and color adjustments for a creative flowchart. Additionally, it has advanced features like adding of hyperlink and image to add more engagement and visual elements to the flowcharts. And of course, what makes this flowchart maker excellent than flowchart making in Excel is that you can collaborate with your team real-time.

To use GitMind, here’s the easy-to-follow step you should do:

  • Open GitMind and navigate to the Flowchart tab, and click on “New Flowchart”.

flowchart gitmind

  • Choose shapes from the Basic Flowchart dropdown menu.

flowchart gitmind shape

  • Next, under the Common Line tab select the arrows to establish connections between them.

flowchart gitmind line

  • On the right side, click on “Text” to insert text and customize its colors, fonts, and opacity.

flowchart gitmind text

  • Once you are satisfied with your flowchart, save or share it as needed.


In summary, to simplify the process of creating flowchart in Excel, it is recommended to consider using a dedicated flowchart-maker like GitMind. Plus, it is important to keep in mind the importance of creativity and informativeness when designing your flowchart. By incorporating these elements into your flowchart creation, you can ensure that your flowchart is engaging and effective in conveying information. So, explore the possibilities of using GitMind as a flowchart-maker to optimize your workflow and create visually appealing and impactful flowcharts.

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Posted by: on to Tips and Resources. Last updated on July 14, 2023

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