Org Charts and Microsoft Office


Using Microsoft Office® programs such as Word®, Excel® and PowerPoint® is a common practice for many people. So when it comes time to work with an org chart, it's natural to turn to these familiar tools.

This article deals with ways to work with org charts using the Microsoft Office suite.

SmartArt

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

SmartArt works reasonably well for small charts but quickly becomes unreadable and cumbersome for normal-sized charts. For example:

SmartArt Org chart

This chart contains the same information as the chart below, which was created using SmartDraw. Notice how SmartDraw automatically builds the top row horizontally, but the positions reporting to those managers are listed vertically.

Org chart

Because SmartArt cannot format the lower positions in the chart in columns, it takes up so much horizontal space that the text becomes unreadable. SmartDraw offers much more flexibility and polish than SmartArt. SmartDraw also makes it much easier to move shapes after you have created them. To do this in SmartArt, you must show the text outline and cut and copy the text inside the box to another row.

For anything but the simplest chart, SmartDraw is a much more convenient solution for creating organization charts than trying to develop them with SmartArt tools in Office.

Fortunately, SmartDraw has an easy solution for saving your SmartDraw org chart in Office programs. You can even create a new org chart slide in an existing PowerPoint deck with just a click.

Transfering SmartDraw Org Charts into Office

To use SmartDraw with Office, you begin by creating your chart in SmartDraw. If you need help, here's an org chart tutorial. Once you are satisfied with it, one click on the upper tool bar will transfer the image into Word, Outlook, Excel or PowerPoint.

One click transfer

Transfer to Word

The SmartDraw Transfer to Word button will insert your SmartDraw document as an image at the text insertion point of your open Word document. If Word is not running, The command opens a new Word document and inserts the image at the beginning of it.

Transfer to Word

Transfer to PowerPoint

The SmartDraw Transfer to PowerPoint button will insert your SmartDraw document as a new slide after the currently selected slide of your open PowerPoint presentation. If PowerPoint is not running, the command opens a new presentation and inserts the image as the first slide.

Transfer to PowerPoint

Transfer 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 for your email for this to work. It also adds the native SmartDraw file (.sdr format) as an attachment.

Transfer to Outlook

Transfer to Excel

Like the Transfer to Word command, the Transfer to Excel command inserts an image your SmartDraw document at the currently selected cell of your open Excel spreadsheet. If Excel is not running, the command opens a new spreadsheet and inserts the image in the top left corner.

Transfer to Excel

Using SmartDraw to create your org chart and then transferring it to an Office file will not only save hours of time and effort, but you'll be rewarded with a professional-looking result, as well.

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