How to Draw AON Network Diagram on Excel

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The article will show you how to draw AON (Activity-on-Node) network diagram in Excel. The AON diagrams are often important to show the workflow briefly and efficiently. One can easily understand if you demonstrate any project overview or any system with AON diagram. And fortunately, Excel has effective materials to build an AON network diagram. In this article, I’ll show you how to use these features to draw an AON network diagram for 3 different conditions. Following the processes of these examples, you can create AON network diagrams for your own projects.


How to Draw AON Network Diagram on Excel: 3 Examples with Procedures

Here, I’m going to show you the first template I made to draw an AON network diagram. The acronym ST stands for Start Time, RT for Run Time and ET for End Time.

how to draw aon network diagram on excel


1. Drawing AON Network Diagram with CopyPaste Feature

Here, I’ll show you how to draw an AON network diagram which shows 3 activities and the variation of their completion duration for two different types of time. Suppose, the employees can start Activity 1 either at the first hour or at the second hour of the office. If they start it at the first hour, they can complete it within 4 hours which means this activity will end at the 5th hour. Similarly, the employees take 5 hours to complete Activity 1 if they start it at the second hour. There will be variations for the other activities too. Let’s go through the procedure below for a better understanding.

Steps:

  • First, make an Excel data entry chart like the following picture. You may create network blocks if you need. Here, I used borders and also decreased the column width and increased the row height a little bit.

Drawing AON Network Diagram with CopyPaste Feature on Excel

  • After that, I used the Freeze Panes feature to make the data look convenient. If you have more network blocks, it will be good for you to use the Freeze Panes. To add Freeze Panes, select any cell from a column where your Freeze Pane will start and go to View >> Freeze Panes.

  • Next, copy the first block (Activity Block) by selecting the range B4:D6 and pressing CTRL+C.
  • Then Paste it as a Linked Picture on the other side of the Freeze Pane.

  • After that, you will see that the array B4:D6 is stored as an absolute reference and also as an image.

Drawing AON Network Diagram with CopyPaste Feature on Excel

  • If you make a change in any cell of the B4:D6 range, it will automatically change the cell value of the linked picture.

  • Similarly, copy the Activity 1, 2 and 3 blocks and paste them as linked pictures.

Drawing AON Network Diagram with CopyPaste Feature on Excel

  • Later, we will use some line arrows to show the flow chart of the activities. To use it, go to Insert >> Illustrations >> Shapes >> Line Arrow.

  • Draw an arrow using the mouse like the following image.

  • You can change the color and shape of the line arrow if you want. For that purpose, right click on the arrow and then go to Style and select a suitable Theme Style for you.

  • Thereafter, complete the AON network diagram by drawing those lines like the picture below.

Finally, insert the activity data and you will see these data automatically appear in the linked picture. The advantage of using linked pictures is that we can easily apply the shapes (Line Arrow). It’s convenient to create an AON network diagram template with linked pictures and insert data in the main block whenever needed.

Drawing AON Network Diagram with CopyPaste Feature on Excel

Thus you can draw an AON network diagram on Excel using the CopyPaste feature.

Read More: How to Draw AOA Network Diagram in Excel


2. Using Icons to Draw AON Network Diagram for Sports Event

Microsoft Excel has some built-in icons which we can use to draw various types of AON network diagrams. I’m just showing here a simple example. Say, your school has a sports event week and four games will be played by the students at different times. So, we have the following schedule for the event and I’ll show you how you can present this schedule in an AON network diagram.

Using Icons to Draw AON Network Diagram on Excel for Sports Event

Steps:

  • First, go to the Insert tab and then select Illustrations >> Icons.

  • Next, in the icons search bar, search for sports and you will get various types of sports icons.
  • As our first game is Rugby, select the Rugby icon and click on Insert.

  • Thereafter, you will see that the Rugby icon appears in your Excel sheet.

Using Icons to Draw AON Network Diagram on Excel for Sports Event

  • Let’s use a Text Box to show the duration of the sports event.
  • In case you don’t know how to apply a Text Box, go to Insert >> Text Box and select any cell on your Excel sheet. Then type necessary things you need and place it at the right place.

  • Thereafter, insert the other sports icons and text boxes.

Using Icons to Draw AON Network Diagram on Excel for Sports Event

  • After that, use the line arrows like below to draw this AON network diagram. The application of line arrows is described in Section 1.

Using Icons to Draw AON Network Diagram on Excel for Sports Event

Thus you can draw an AON network diagram on Excel using icons.

Read More: How to Draw CPM Network Diagram in Excel


3. Applying Excel Icons to Draw AON Network Diagram for Router Transmission Process

In this section, I’ll show you very briefly the steps of the data transmission process in a Wifi router. In short, data comes from the server to your ISP modem first, then the router receives it. The router then transmits data to the appliances like smartphone, laptop, desktop etc. Let’s make an AON network diagram using these activities in the following section.

Steps:

  • First, go to the Insert tab and then select Illustrations >> Icons.

Applying Excel Icons to Draw AON Network Diagram to Show Router Transmission Process

  • In the Icons search bar, search for the Server icon, select it and Insert it in your Excel sheet.

Applying Excel Icons to Draw AON Network Diagram to Show Router Transmission Process

  • After that, insert the Modem, Router, Smartphone, Laptop and Desktop one by one. Arrange them in a convenient way.
  • Next, use the line arrows to draw this activity network You can find the detailed application of line arrows regarding this article in Section 1.
  • Thereafter, use some text boxes to briefly illustrate the data transmission process.

Thus, we can draw an AON network diagram to illustrate the data transmission process in a router.


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Conclusion

In the end, we can consider that you will learn the basic tricks of how to draw an AON network diagram on Excel after reading this article. If you have any better suggestions or questions or feedback regarding this article, please share them in the comment box. This will help me enrich my upcoming articles.


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Meraz Al Nahian
Meraz Al Nahian

Md. Meraz Al Nahian has worked with the ExcelDemy project for over 1.5 years. He wrote 140+ articles for ExcelDemy. He also solved a lot of user problems and worked on dashboards. He is interested in data analysis, advanced Excel, statistics, and dashboards. He also likes to explore various Excel and VBA applications. He completed his graduation in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology (BUET). He enjoys exploring Excel-related features to gain efficiency... Read Full Bio

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