Online Organizational Charts

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Org chart

Traditionally, organizational charts have been printed and distributed on paper. However, creating and distributing org charts online can be much more efficient and useful. A paper chart lets you see the structure of an organization and read the names and titles of the people that work in it, but online org charts are quickly gaining popularity. It's easy to see why.

Online organizational charts offer five major advantages over paper charts:

  1. Creating them online means no software to download and install.
  2. They are easier to view and share.
  3. They are interactive.
  4. They are always up to date.
  5. You can break them up into a collection of smaller charts that are linked together.
Org chart made with SmartDraw

Creating Online Organizational Charts Means Not Having to Install Software

High-quality online org chart programs, such as SmartDraw, allow you to create organizational charts without needing to download and install software. This means instant access on any computer or mobile device. All you need is an internet connection. It doesn't matter what type of machine or operating system you're using, because the program is web-based. It also means that you don't have to worry about device or compatibility issues when sharing your org chart with anyone else.

Make org charts from any browser online

Online Org Charts are Easier to View

As the number of positions in your organization grows beyond fifty or so, it becomes difficult to print your org chart on a single page and still be able to read the text, no matter how tightly you format it. You can print the chart on a larger sheet of paper, or on multiple sheets, but this becomes cumbersome.

The size of your online org chart is not a problem. You can view it at any magnification. Zoom out to view the entire chart. Zoom in to read the details. You can scroll different parts of the chart into view.

Org chart example

Online Organizational Charts are Interactive

Organizational charts are often used as a company reference or directory. If you want to know who the assistant to the VP of Finance is, you can find out from the org chart. But an online org chart makes contacting her much easier. With a printed chart, you can locate her name, but then have to look up her email address. With an online chart, her name can be linked directly to her email address, so that clicking on it in initiates an email to her automatically. Positions can also be hyperlinked to other documents stored on your internal portal or other locations on the web, and show job descriptions or records in the employee database.

Org chart linked to resume

Online Organization Charts are Always Up to Date

People come and go, and organizations change frequently. Using a paper chart means you have to print and distribute new copies with each change. It's much easier to keep an online organization chart up to date. Just update the one copy and it is immediately viewable by everyone in the organization.

Org chart templates

Online Org Charts May Be Broken Into a Collection of Smaller, Linked Charts

A very large chart is cumbersome to view, even online. An org chart showing every employee of a large company like GE is impossibly big and too complex to be useful. A more manageable approach is to break the organization up into smaller organizations, each with a reasonably-sized chart, and then link them together. For example, here is GE's top-level org chart:

GE org chart Original

Each of the presidents heads up a different company or division within GE. Their positions can be linked to a separate org chart for that division or company. For example, the box for Healthcare links to the org chart for the GE Healthcare Company.

The healthcare company chart itself is so large each of these positions links to separate charts for the CIO's organization, the Business Development organization, and so on. Each sub-chart also links back to its parent. This makes it easy for anyone using the org chart to navigate throughout the layers of the organization.

GE org chart in SmartDraw

You Can Still Use Your Online Org Chart with Word or Google Apps

SmartDraw makes it easy to export your org chart to any Office® tool, Google Workspace app, or PDF. You can also save your org chart to any online sharing service like Dropbox®, Google Drive, Box® or OneDrive®.

Export to MS Office

Online Org Chart Templates

Just click on any of these org charts to edit them online in your browser right now. Customize them by adding your own information and more.

See why SmartDraw is the best choice for making org charts.

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