How to Create a Family Tree Chart in Excel – Tutorial

If you are looking forward to becoming your family’s genealogist of all time, creating a family tree should be one of your major steps towards achieving that. It would be sheer fun presenting the whole family tree to your relatives. This is because tracing your roots is more of a detective work as you just get some leads to uncover more information. Carrying out this task can be tedious but at the end, it will be worth the trial.

Microsoft Excel is capable of producing complex family tree charts and can be used for the longest time as new generations come. The following steps should guide you in creating a family tree that will comprise of all aspect of a family.

Step 1: Create a New Spreadsheet

Launch a new Excel document by clicking the start button, and then click on Microsoft Office to select Microsoft Excel. Once all that is done, click File from the menu and click New to select a template to create a family tree. In some versions of Excel, the options are different where a new pane is opened where you choose from various templates categories.

Alternatively, once you have opened a new spreadsheet, click Insert at the top of the menu bar or on the ribbon menu. Then, click Shape to choose the exact shape you want on your family tree sample. You can select between circular, triangular or rectangular shapes.


Step 2: Insert the Shapes in the Spreadsheet


Next, hover the mouse on the shapes and make a selection of the desired shapes that you would like to insert in the family chart. After you have selected, drag the shapes into the Excel spreadsheet. In case you want to alter the shape and make it more better, press Shift and drag the shape down in the Excel worksheet.

Step 3: Enter Text in the Shape

In the lowest shape on the spreadsheet, enter the family name or your own name. Then adjust the color, font size and any other style that you want to be included in the name.


Step 4: Insert more Shapes to the Family Tree

There are few techniques that you can use to add more shapes on the family tree. The easiest is by copying and pasting the shapes. Click on the shape that is already created. Right click on the shape and select copy or alternatively press CTRL + C to copy and CTRL + V to paste repeatedly until you achieve the number of shapes you want.

Arrange the shapes you have created in order depending on the hierarchy you have set. You can chose to typically place two or more shapes above the shape at the bottom which comprises of your name. However this depends on the family you want to create.  For a basic family, it is easier to place the shapes on top of others.

Step 5: Insert Joining Lines

Click again on the Shapes menu to select your ideal line. A zigzag line is mostly used to join or connect two shapes to each other. You can click on the zigzag shape every time you want to connect two shapes. Drag the line on the shape and adjust it to fit between the shapes. Copy and paste the zigzag line every time you add a shape to connect it.

You can choose to give more details on your family tree; birth dates, names, photos, hobbies among other details. This will give you an opportunity to study more about your family members

insert-joining-linesYou can choose to write the details within the shapes or in a cell within the spreadsheet. Excel gives you a chance to get more creative in creating amazing family tree charts.

by Irshad Shaik

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