Flowchart in Excel (Different Types Explained Workflow)

In this article, you will learn about how to create different types of flowchart in Excel. Here, you will know how to create a basic and simple flowchart, then the making of an interactive flowchart, swimlane flowchart, and even how to save the flowchart as template in Excel.

The flowcharts help in organizing and presenting information in a structured manner. You may need to use flowcharts for collaboration and communication. Flowcharts provide a visual representation of each, and every step involved in a process. Through this, you will easily understand the complex workflows. It divides a complicated process into smaller, and more manageable steps.

Basically, with flowcharts, you can easily identify the errors. So, for error identification and troubleshooting, the flowchart is a must.

With a flowchart, you can find the inefficient step of your work and you can change/remove that step. Also, you can find alternative and fruitful steps for the job. So, you can improve the overall efficiency of your work. Actually, for decision-making purposes, a flowchart can be the best option.

Flowchart in Excel

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What Is Flowchart?

A flowchart is a visual diagram that shows the steps needed to solve a problem or complete a task. It uses different shapes and symbols to represent actions, decisions, and input/output. Flowcharts help understand complex processes, find issues, and explain procedures to others.

Shapes Used in Flowchart

We have to use different shapes to make the flowchart. In Excel, there are a section preserving the symbols of flowchart. From the Insert tab >> under Illustrations group >> go to Shapes >> you will find the shapes for flowchart. When you will hover your cursor on any shape then you will get the information of that shape.

Shapes Used in Flowchart

  • The flowchart starts with a beginning symbol and ends with an ending symbol. Which is the terminator.
  • Actions or tasks, basically any processes are represented by rectangles.
  • Decisions are shown as diamonds and involve making choices.
  • Isosceles trapezoid denotes Manual Operation.
  • Connectors indicate continuation on another page or section. It is represented by a small circle or rectangle with a letter or number.
  • Input/output is represented by parallelograms.
  • Arrows connect the symbols and show the flow of the process. You will get this from the Lines section.

Similarly, there are so many shapes for explaining the flowchart.

How to Make Flowchart in Excel:

1. Using Shapes to Create a Flowchart

  • From Insert tab >> under Illustrations group >> go to Shapes >> from Flowchart section >> select Terminator >> drag your cursor to the target place and insert the Terminator.
  • Similarly, insert the wanted shapes in the right place as per your requirement. Here, firstly I have inserted Terminator >> then Decision >> Process >> Terminator.

Inserting Shapes for flowchart

  • Now, again from the Insert tab >> under Illustrations group >> go to Shapes >> from Lines section >> select Line Arrow >> drag your cursor to show the flow and place the Line Arrow there.
  • When you need to change the direction use Line with the Line Arrow. Below, I have used a Line to show the flow from Progress to End.

Inserting lines for showing the direction of flow

  • To make understand the decision, from the Insert tab >> under Text group >> select Text Box >> insert the box and write Yes/No.

Inserting Text Box

  • Now, if you want to change the shape color then follow this step.
  • Select the shape >> go to Shape Format (Contextual tab) >> from Shape Styles >> choose Shape Fill >> set your preferred color.

Changing Fill Color of Shapes

  • You can change the Font color too. Select the text inside the shape >> from Home tab >> under Alignment group >> make Middle and Center alignment >> under Font group >> select Font Color >> change the color.

Changing Font Style

Below, we have attached the final look of our flowchart.

Creating a Simple Flowchart in Excel

2. Use of SmartArt for Making Flowchart

  • From Insert tab >> click on SmartArt >> then you will get a dialog box named Choose a SmartArt Graphic >> from Process section >> select an art >> press OK.

Use of SmartArt for Making Flowchart

  • Then, double-click on shape >> write the steps in shapes.

Using SmartArt as Flowchart

  • Here, to change the shape color, click on shape >> from the contextual tab Format >> go to Shape Styles >> choose Shape Fill >> change the color.

Changing the format of SmartArt

Note: Use Format Painter to copy the same color or format for every shapes.

Read More: How to Create a Flowchart in Excel

Creating Interactive Flowchart in Excel

  • From the Insert tab >> under the Illustration group >> go to Shapes >> drag the shapes in worksheet. Here, you have to keep multiple decision-making options with alternate solution to make it interactive. Below, I have attached an example.


Draw Swimlane Flowchart in Excel

  • Swimlane flowcharts are flowcharts with different sections consisting of single or multiple steps of the flowchart. These sections usually specify the work distribution among individuals, places, or stages.
  • Here, we need to merge cells to show steps in a particular section.
  • To do so, select cells >> from the Home tab >> go to Alignment group >> click Merge & Center >> choose Middle and Center alignment.
  • See the following pattern. Now, divide your work into sections >> Create your own swimlane flowchart.

Merging Cells

  • Below, I have attached the steps of my project. Keep the steps maintaining the sections. From Insert tab >> go to Shapes >> use the shapes of the Flowchart segment to draw the flowchart.


Read More: How to Create a Swimlane Flowchart in Excel

How to Save Excel Flowchart as a Template

  • From Top Ribbon >> go to File tab >> click Export >> Change File Type >> Save As.

How to Save Excel Flowchart as Template

  • Set the location >> make the save as type Excel Template >> press Save.

Saving Workbook as Template in Excel

Note: For using this created template, open Excel file >> from File tab >> click More templates >> choose Personal >> then you will get the created one >> select that.

Things to Remember

You have to make your own flowchart. Where you need to use different shapes. Flowchart has its own language so use the shapes after knowing about that. The better option is hovering your cursor on the shape and getting the information, then according to the type use that shape in the perfect place.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Should You Use A Flowchart?

Flowcharts are visual tools that help to simplify complex processes, make decisions, improve communication, identify errors, and optimize workflows.

2. How do I delete steps from a flowchart in Excel?

Select the shape you want to delete and click on the DELETE button on your keyboard.

3. How do I import a flowchart from Excel into Word?

Select the entire flowchart by pressing the CTRL key >> press CTRL+C to copy them >> go to the Microsoft Word file >> press CTRL+V.


I hope you get a clear concept of how to make a flowchart in Excel. Also, you get to know the details of different types of flowcharts. Hopefully, this increases your knowledge, and you can use it in your daily life.

Still, if you have queries then feel free to comment below. Also, if you want to give any suggestions that will be more appreciable. So, don’t hesitate to give your valuable thoughts.

Flowchart in Excel: Knowledge Hub

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Musiha Mahfuza Mukta
Musiha Mahfuza Mukta

Musiha Mahfuza Mukta is a marine engineer who loves exploring Excel and VBA programming. To her, programming is a time-saving tool for dealing with data, files, and the internet. She's skilled in Rhino3D, Maxsurf, C++, MS Office, AutoCAD, and Excel & VBA, going beyond the basics. With a B.Sc in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering from BUET, she's shifted gears and now works as a content developer. In this role, she creates techy content exclusively focused on Excel... Read Full Bio

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