Network Diagram in Excel (Creation Process)

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In this article, you will learn how to create a network diagram in Excel. This covers the fundamental network diagram as well as the project network diagram.

It assists project managers in understanding the priority of tasks and the order in which they should be completed.

The project managers can plan and track the project’s progress using the diagram. It also assists them in allocating resources, identifying potential issues, and making decisions.

Network Diagram in Excel

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What is Network Diagram?

The network diagram is basically a chart composed of boxes and arrows. Here, the boxes represent the activities performed, and arrows show the sequence one after another according to a pre-developed schedule.

It also shows the interrelationship of activities at different stages of the project. Moreover, a network diagram helps determine the completion period of the task. Whether it was done early or late, you can easily find that information in a single network diagram.

How to Create Network Diagram in Excel

  • Firstly, use the options from the Home tab, to create the initial activity charts.

Making Initial Activity Chart

  • Secondly, select the activity charts and copy them.
  • Thirdly, paste them as a Linked Picture, which is under the Paste Special menu.

Paste Special Linked Picture Option

  • After that, use Arrow Line from the Shapes option under the Insert tab to connect the activities.

Inserting Line Arrow Between Activities

  • Finally, after following the above steps, you should create a network diagram in Excel.

Final Output of Network Diagram

How to Draw Project Network Diagram with SmartAnt in Excel

  • Firstly, from the Insert tab, select SmartArt.
  • Secondly, select Horizontal Hierarchy and press OK.

Using Smart Art to Create Project Network Diagram

  • Afterward, type the project network diagram details in the text box.
  • You can change the order by using the Promote and Demote buttons.
  • After typing everything, click outside of the type box.

Typing Text Values and changing order

  • Finally, after doing some coloring, the project network diagram is complete.

Final Output of Project Network Diagram

Things to Remember

  • Align and arrange the elements of a network diagram in Excel. This will make it easier to maintain a diagram and its readability.
  • Link data to make a diagram dynamic in Excel.
  • Keep the outline of the diagram simple. This will aid in an easier understanding of a diagram.
  • You should back up your data regularly to avoid data loss.
  • Excel can do a lot of things, however, you should not use it for everything. Therefore, for complex diagrams, you can use the Microsoft Visio application.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is there a way to import data into a network diagram from other sources?

You can import data into Excel and then link those into the network diagram. But there is no direct way to do this.

2. Does Excel have network diagram templates?

No, there is no template available. However, you can download various formats from the internet. Our site also has some templates.

3. How to automatically update network diagram data when there are changes?

You need to link the network diagram data to the source data. So, when there is any change in the source data, the network diagram data will change automatically. Moreover, if you want to add nodes or fields to the network diagram, then you will need to use VBA.


In this article, we have presented the network diagram in Excel. The discussion includes the development of the basic network diagram as well as one variation on it.

If you have any questions or suggestions about this, please feel free to comment below, and the ExcelDemy team will try to solve the issue as soon as possible. Thanks for reading, and keep excelling!

Network Diagram in Excel: Knowledge Hub

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Rafiul Haq
Rafiul Haq

Rafiul Haq worked as an Excel and VBA Content Developer in Exceldemy for over two years and published almost 200 articles for the website. He is passionate about exploring new aspects of Excel and VBA. He received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical and Production Engineering (MPE) from the Islamic University of Technology. Rafiul furthered his education by obtaining an MBA in Finance from the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) at the University of Dhaka. Apart from creating... Read Full Bio

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