Using Flowcharts in Office®

Many people are familiar with Microsoft Office® programs such as Word®, Excel® and PowerPoint®. So when it comes time to create or work on a flowchart, it's natural to turn to these familiar tools.

There are a variety of ways to work with flowcharts using the Microsoft Office suite, which we'll cover in this article.


You can create a simple flowchart using the SmartArt tool in Word®, Excel® or PowerPoint®. Just select SmartArt from the Insert Ribbon.

SmartArt only works for linear flowcharts.

Flowchart in SmartArt

A soon as you need a decision you are out of luck!

Bad flowchart in SmartArt

To build a real flowchart with decisions and normal flowchart shapes you need a third party application like SmartDraw.

Flowchart with SmartDraw

Transfer a SmartDraw Flowchart into an Office Document

To use SmartDraw with Microsoft Office, you begin by creating your chart in SmartDraw. If you need help making your flowchart, click this link for a flowchart tutorial. When you finish creating your diagram, one click on the upper tool bar will transfer the image into Word®, Outlook®, Excel® or PowerPoint®.

Flowchart Office Integration

Transfer a Flowchart to Word®

The SmartDraw Transfer to Word® button will insert your SmartDraw flowchart as an image in your Word document. Just place your cursor at the point where you want the flowchart image to appear. When you click the Doc icon as shown, SmartDraw does the rest. If Word is not running, the command opens a new Word document and inserts the image at the beginning of it.

Flowchart Transfer to Word

Transfer a Flowchart to PowerPoint®

Using the SmartDraw Transfer to PowerPoint® button will insert your SmartDraw diagram as a new slide in an existing PowerPoint® file. All you need to do is open your slide deck and move to the position you want to create your new slide. Click the PPT icon in SmartDraw and a new slide with an image of your diagram is created. If PowerPoint® is not running, the command opens a new presentation and inserts the image as the first slide.

Flowchart Transfer to PowerPoint

Transfer a Flowchart to Outlook

The SmartDraw Email Command creates a new Outlook® email and inserts the image of your document into it. You must be using HTML format in your email for this to work. It also attaches a copy of the SmartDraw file (.sdr format) automatically.

Flowchart Transfer to Outlook

Transfer a Flowchart to Excel®

The Transfer to Excel® command works in the same way as the Transfer to Word® command described above. It inserts an image of your SmartDraw diagram at the currently selected cell in your open Excel® spreadsheet. If Excel is not running, the command will open a new spreadsheet and insert the image in the top left corner.

Flowchart Transfer to Excel

Using SmartDraw to build your flowchart and then transferring it to an Office® file will save hours of time and effort. Plus, you'll be rewarded with a professional-looking result.

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