How to Create a Family Tree in Microsoft Word – Tutorial

how to make a family tree in word

A   family tree also known as a pedigree chart is an illustrative diagram demonstrating family relationships in a chart format. It is important in establishing lineages in a conventional tree format.  In medicine, the detailed pedigree charts are referred to as genograms. There are hierarchical, matrix and horizontal types of family trees. We will be creating the hierarchical type particularly today using the instrumentality of Microsoft Word application.

In ten clear steps we will be creating a family tree for Tom’s family

Step 1

Start the Microsoft Word application. Go to the office button click on it at the drop down of option; select new, then click on blank document option.


Step 2

Click the insert option on the tool bar. Select the Smart Art button and click. This will open a drop down options box for you to make your choice.


Step 3

Click the “Hierarchy” link in the left column of SmartArt options. Select one of the Hierarchy diagrams, such as “Organization Chart” It is already set up to look like the branches and leaves of a sample of family tree. Click the “OK” button and Microsoft Word will insert a small chart with placeholder text boxes and a text-input box onto the Word page.


Step 4

You have to start your family-line from naming members from as far as you can remember. Let’s take an example for this chart. In the topmost box or shape specify the name of your earliest ancestor – in this case, Tom. Type the name directly into the shape or box on the family tree diagram.


Step 5

Drag down the next shape or box and place it below the previous box. Type in the name of the next family member who was born after Tom. Additionally you can input other relevant details about the members along with their names – date of birth, place of birth etc.


Step 6

In the Review Tab, click on SmartArt tools and Ribbon. Doing so will tell you which ribbon is active. If you click elsewhere, the ribbon will not appear. You’d have to click on the family tree all over again to be able to see the options all over again. When the ribbon appears, you can personalize the tree further. You can also see family tree word.


Step 7

In order to add the name and details of the next family member on the tree, you have to click the “Add Shape” button on the ribbon and choose one of the options, either “Add Shape Before” or “Add Shape Below.” In case you’d like to add more effects, click on the ‘Create Graphic’ section of the ribbon. [Family Tree Builder]


Step 8

Extend the size of the tree to better fit the Word page by clicking a corner of the shape, holding down the cursor and dragging the shape out toward the edge of the page. As you add boxes to the tree, Microsoft Word automatically adjusts the tree smaller so it stays within the size you create on the page. Trees with many branches, leaves and levels may have small type.


Step 9

Format the tree’s appearance by clicking the “Change Colors” button on the ribbon or cycling through the SmartArt Styles section of the ribbon. Choose color to suit your preference.


Step 10

You can add images too. The process is simple. Click on the ‘Insert’ tab followed by a click on the ‘Pictures’ button. A dialog box will appear, browse through your computer and go to the location to select the relevant image, double click it and then drag it into the box which has the family member’s name on it.

 Step 11

Save the file when the family tree is complete by selecting “File” and “Save.”

Here some of the family tree templates in Word

Free Example of Family Tree


Sample Family Tree Template


Simple Family Tree Template


Blank Family Tree Template


Basic Family Tree Template


Complete Family Tree Template


Large Family Tree Template


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