A Quick Guide: Creating a Flowchart in Microsoft Word

Diagramming tools can prove essential in setting down clear steps for multiple workflows, processes, or decision sequences. Yet, many times, we find ourselves creating diagrams that remain stagnant instead of actively using them to guide us in our processes.

When demands are high and you're looking to swiftly turn your flood of ideas into a cohesive framework, the use of an integrated AI could significantly speed up the process of delivering product requirements, changing the timeline from days to a mere few minutes. It's like having a premade template at your disposal that lets you fill out your content effectively.

With this method, you'll have a functional chart ready for deployment in a substantially shorter time than it would take to build one from scratch in a typical word-processing software. Not to mention, you'll also get the added advantage of seeing all project timelines in one place, allowing you to make informed decisions about ongoing and future projects. Embrace this approach for improved efficiency and productivity.

Preparation for creating a Flowchart

For this walkthrough, we'll be using Microsoft Excel with the latest version. It's of note that the procedure and interface might change if you are employing a different version.
Creating an operational diagram within this tool is straightforward and there are a couple of ways you could go about doing it:

  • Leveraging pre-designed process diagrams available in the tool's features.
  • Building a personalized operational diagram from scratch.
    The starting point is simple: write down your process in a sequential order, from start to end.

Keeping this list ready can speed up the later stages of the creation, as it gives you a clear picture of the number of steps required and their exact placement.
It could lead you down to an endless loop of time-consuming adjustments. Remember, this tool is not designed for mapping ideas instantaneously. To synchronize your work and make a clear step-by-step process to draw a flowchart, you could use a tool such as Leiga. This tool provides the missing features of Microsoft to help you create a clear flowchart with other additional chart features if needed.

If you feel inclined to use a pre-designed graphic, the following instructions should guide your next steps.

Traditional method: Creating a Flowchart Using SmartArt Graphics

1. Establish Your Workspace and Choose an Operational Diagram

First, adjust your workspace for the best possible visibility for your operational diagram. Head to the Layout section, choose Orientation, and switch to Landscape mode.
Next, have your process sequence ready, continue to the Insert Section, and then go to SmartArt. Select Process Diagram, and pick your favorite diagram style.

2. Insert Your Process List

Once you select your preferred process chart, it gets displayed in your workspace. Update it with your pre-prepared process list within the available Text Pane window. Navigate to the SmartArt Design section, and select Text Pane.

3. Modify Your Operational Diagram

The SmartArt Design section is the hub for all fine-tuning. You can change color schemes, enhance symbol styles, and add innovative shapes to finalize your design.

Alternative method: Developing Using Basic Symbols

1. Add Diagram Elements for Each Step

Proceed to the Insert section, select Shapes, navigate to Flowchart, choose a shape, and then place it anywhere within your document.

2. Customize Your Diagram Elements

Though color and size customization usually come later, it's more efficient to format before duplicating them with this tool.
Navigate to the Shape Format section to view your modification options. After setting your preferred element style, copy and paste it as required.

3. Input Text Within Diagram Elements

To input text into the elements, expand them first. Select an element, choose additional elements, and then drag from an element's corner to enlarge. Click on each element and input your corresponding steps.

4. Connect Steps with Arrows

Time to connect your steps. Head to the Insert section, go to Shapes Lines, and choose Arrow.

Modify the arrow in the Diagram Format tab. Make sure it's activated for modifications. After adjusting the arrow, duplicate it for the remaining operational diagram steps using copy and paste.

Creating an operational diagram requires significant time and expertise, which could be better allocated to the actual action plan.

Designing Dynamic Operational Diagrams Effortlessly

Re-imagining your workflow with Leiga can vastly improve your productivity. Formatting tasks, while meticulous, are futile if they don't foster tangible progress in your projects.
Although versatile tools such as Word allow the creation of an array of documents, they tend to fall short in efficiency, especially in the current work environment that necessitates seamless collaboration regardless of physical location.
Assembling a team to create flowcharts in Word is unlikely due to the software's complexity and the daunting multi-step process it entails.
What you need for fruitful task execution and collaboration is a comprehensive productivity platform like Leiga, which facilitates the efficient organization of ideas and tasks.
Experience the convenience of accessing a curated collection of professional flowchart templates, and witness an enhancement in productivity and teamwork.
If the versatility of a whiteboard-like software has caught your attention, feel free to explore the offerings of Leiga's Dashboard. It includes the Widgets feature offers a flexible workspace for constructing flowcharts and schemes swiftly. Reap the benefits of semi-customization elements, which save you the time traditionally spent creating elements from scratch. Whether it's for presentations, brainstorming sessions, or individual projects, adding Widgets to the Dashboard is at your service.
What's more, this product feature enables you to conveniently save and integrate your flowcharts into documents or emails. Here’s a simple guide:
Create your flowchart using Leiga's Dashboard

  1. Open the Dashboard feature after logging into your account
  2. Find the "Add Widget" feature on the top right corner of the page.
  3. Click on the "Project" feature and then you can select from all the available flowcharts

This feature has additional chart features that include

  • Burndown Chart: View the sprint progress and discover potential risks of overdue in time.
  • Burnup Chart: Track what's been completed against the total scope of work and evaluate what the team has accomplished.
  • Cumulative Flow Chart: Displays total number of work items in each state, and reflects flow efficiency.
  • Kanban Widget: Display project or sprint progress and form project reports with other widgets.

A more intuitive and effective method

Using a pre-designed graphic helps save more time and it would make the visualization graphs more intuitive compared with using the basic features created by Microsoft Excel.

The Dashboard and Excel both provide functionalities for creating flowcharts, each with its unique strengths and offerings:

  1. User Interface - The Dashboard's user interface is intuitively designed allowing for a seamless experience in creating, modifying, and managing flowcharts. Excel, on the other hand, has a more complex interface that might require a steeper learning curve for non-technical users.
  2. Flexibility - With the Dashboard, you can enjoy more flexibility when designing your flowchart since its design tools are easier to manipulate compared to Excel's, which is largely spreadsheet-oriented.
  3. Collaboration - Unlike Excel which is more tuned for single-user operation, the Dashboard is built to support team collaboration. Updates can be seen in real-time, enabling team members to work together on flowcharts efficiently and effectively.
  4. Integration - The Dashboard's integration capabilities are superior to Excel's. It can be integrated with a variety of other project management tools, allowing users to incorporate their flowcharts into other parts of their project workflow with little fuss.
  5. Automated Updates - Unlike in Excel where changes need to be manually inputted, the Dashboard updates changes in real-time. This automation of processes saves a lot of time and reduces potential human error.

In summary, while Excel provides basic functionalities for creating flowcharts, the Dashboard offers a more robust, user-friendly, collaborative, and integrated solution, making it the preferred choice for managing project workflows. Get a free trial of using Leiga dashboard features.

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