Word has evolved from strictly a word processor into a program capable of graphics,
tables, databases, e-mailing, and more. But until the latest version, working
with a combination of shapes and text could drive most users crazy. The diagram
feature in Office XP includes a variety of options that let users incorporate
diagrams into Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access, and Publisher documents. In this
article you will learn how to insert an organization chart into a Word document.
But you can use the same basic techniques to insert any diagram into any of
the other Office XP programs.
Clicking Insert, Diagram causes the Diagram Gallery window to appear, as in Figure
1. From this dialog box you choose the type of diagram you need.
Figure 1: Diagram Gallery window
Below are the types of diagrams you can create, along with a brief description
||Shows the relationship between people or objects
in a hierarchical manner
||Describes a continuous process, such as the Water
||Shows the relationship between items and a core
||Illustrates objects arranged on top of a foundation
||Shows common and unique characteristics between
||Shows the steps that lead toward a specified goal
In addition to the menu option, the Insert Diagram or Organization Chart button
is available on the Drawing toolbar. Once you have inserted a diagram, the Diagram
Inserting an Organization Chart
Figure 2 shows an organization chart that was just inserted into a blank
Figure 2: A new organization chart
Note the Organization Chart toolbar near the top and the four shapes that are
contained in the chart. The top shape is selected (there are handles surrounding
it) and three shapes are below and therefore subordinate in the hierarchical
arrangement. Clicking one of the shapes lets you type text inside. You can choose
any fonts or sizes just as when you enter any text. However, Word adjusts the
size of the shape, wraps text, and changes the size of the font to ensure that
all of the elements fit within the chart’s box. You can drag the corners of
the box to increase the size of the chart, if you want large fonts, or need
many shapes in one row. Another way to make a wide chart is to change the page
to landscape orientation, as has been done in this example. In Figure 3,
Acme Corporation’s organization chart has been entered, with a president at
the top and three vice-presidents subordinate to the president.
Figure 3: A sample organization chart
To build your organization chart, you click the Insert Shape button. Once you
select a shape already in the chart, you have the option to add a Subordinate
(a shape below the selected shape), a Coworker (a shape on the same level as the
selected shape), or an Assistant (connected to the shape and off to the side,
rather than subordinate). In Figure 4, four shapes have been added to Acme
Corporation’s organization chart — a Coworker, an Assistant, and two Subordinates.
Figure 4: Four shapes added to an organization chart
You can continue adding shapes to the chart — just make sure that you select
the appropriate shape before clicking the Insert Shape button, as the
selected shape determines where the inserted shape will go.
You are not limited to the appearance of shapes that appear by default. To
change the color of the shape, click the Fill Color button. Other useful buttons
on the Drawing toolbar include those listed in the table below:
|Draw, Change AutoShape
||Lets you pick a shape other than
the Rounded Rectangle
||Changes the color of the border
of the shape
||Changes the color of the text within
||Lets you choose from a variety of
thicknesses and types for the border of the shape
||Includes many types of lines, such
as rounded dots, square dots, dashes, and combinations of dashes and dots
||Lets you change the appearance of
the selected connector lines
||Places a shadow behind the selected
||Converts the selected shape into
one of a variety of three-dimensional shapes
The Select button on the Organization Chart toolbar helps you to make changes
to several elements in your chart at one time. The Level option automatically
selects all of the shapes at the same level as the currently selected shape.
For example, if one of the vice-presidents is selected, the Level option selects
all of the four shapes subordinate to the president. The Branch option selects
all of the shapes subordinate to the currently selected shape. The other two
options — All Assistants and All Connecting Lines — are self-explanatory.
When a shape is selected and you see a small yellow diamond near its upper
left border, you can drag it to alter the “roundness” of the shape.
Scheming for a New Look
Two more buttons let you change the overall appearance of your organization chart.
The example chart shown in this article uses the Standard layout. Clicking the
Layout button lets you hang subordinate shapes to the right or left. This causes
the subordinate shapes to appear one below the other, rather than side to side.
If your chart has a lot of empty space, use the Fit Organization Chart to Contents
button so that the border surrounds the chart more closely. Alternatively you
can Expand the Organization Chart to proportionally increase the size of all
of the shapes to fill the existing border. But for total control of the size
of your chart, use either of the above options to get your contents close to
the border and then click the Scale Organization Chart button. Dragging the
handles that appear change both the overall chart size as well as the size of
the shapes within the chart, proportionally. The corner handles keep the existing
height-to-width ratio, while the side handles let you stretch or shrink either
the height or the width individually.
By far the most dramatic option on the Organization Chart toolbar is the AutoFormat
button. Clicking this button displays the Organization Chart Style Gallery —
a set of sixteen preset design schemes illustrated in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Organization Chart Style Gallery
Whenever you click one of the design schemes, the preview window shows what
the effect will be if you apply that scheme. Once you have applied a scheme,
you can still change the colors, fills, and shapes of individual elements; but
when you apply a scheme, all of the special settings you previously made are
replaced by the scheme.
To Wrap or Not to Wrap
If you include an organization chart within a document full of text, you should
use the Text Wrapping button. This button determines the positioning of the chart
in relation to the text; that is, whether the text should jump from above the
chart to below the chart, wrap on the right, left, or both sides of the chart,
or appear in front, behind, or through the chart. You can also decide if the wrapping
should occur close to the text or squared around the text. You can even set the
points around which the text should wrap.
Sometimes you may have trouble moving the chart around existing text. This
may happen when the chart is locked, or anchored to a particular paragraph.
You can “unanchor” the text by right-clicking away from a shape or connecting
line and clicking the Format Organization Chart option. In the dialog box that
opens, click the Layout tab, and then click the Advanced button. Finally, click
the Picture Position tab and make sure the Move object with text and the Lock
anchor boxes are unchecked. Then you will be able to drag the chart to any position
on the page.