Paul Wherly

Building a Visio Organisation chart (Part 1)

Building a Visio organisation chart

A Visio organisation chart provides a graphical way of seeing the reporting relationships between employees.  Shapes on a page often contain the name, title, and perhaps picture of a person, and then these are connected with lines linking people together.

Visio provides two organisation chart templates.  The first uses a stencil from which shapes can be dragged and dropped to create a structure and another using a wizard and a data source, for example, a Microsoft Excel list.   In this blog post, we are taking a look at the former drag and drop method.

Learn how to create and edit Visio organisation charts in this video backed up by the written steps below and in parts two, three, and four.

Using the Organisation template

Use the organisation template to get the full functionality of drag and drop. The organisation chart template, resides in the business category, as shown in Figure 1.

Visio File New

Figure 1 - Business category

After choosing the business category, find the organisation chart template, as shown in Figure 2, and double click.  Choose to create a new diagram with metric units (Figure 3).

Organisation chart template

Figure 2 - Organisation chart template

Create option Organisation chart

Figure 3 - Units for the drawing

The create option produces a drawing page with a single stencil called Organization Chart Shapes, as shown in Figure 4, and an additional Org chart tab.

Organisation chart drawing page and menu tab

Figure 4 - Organisation chart drawing page

Using shapes from the stencil

To build an organisation chart, drag and drop shapes from the stencil onto the drawing page and to create a connection, drop one shape onto another, as shown in Figure 5.  Figure 6 shows the connections created between the Manager and Executive.

Dragging and dropping shape

Figure 5 - Dragging and dropping shapes

Continue dropping managers onto the Executive shape, as shown in Figure 6, to build a structure.

Connections after drag and drop

Figure 6 - Connections created with drag and drop

There is a quick method to add multiple shapes onto a diagram instead of individually dragging and dropping one shape at a time.  The Multiple shapes icon allows the addition of a set number of shapes in one go, as shown in Figure 7.

Multiple shapes iconMultiple shapes dialog box
Figure 7 - Adding multiple shapes

Drag and drop the multiple shape icon on to a shape on the drawing page and choose the number of shapes to add.  The result can be seen in the final graphic in Figure 8 and is a much quicker method than dragging each shape individually.

Manager and three positions

Figure 8 - Multiple shapes result

Consistent formatting

In-built styles mean that shapes have a consistent format.  The default style is “Belt,” but my preference is for the “Notch” style.  The reason for this is that it positions the name as the first entry and the title underneath.   To apply a style to the diagram, click on the style, as shown in Figure 9.  All shape objects on the drawing page and stencil will reflect the change as shown in Figure 10.

Organisation style notch

Figure 9 - Style of shapes

Notch style on drawing page

Figure 10 - the notch style

This is the first installment of a series of posts on organisation chart creation in Microsoft Viso.  The other blog posts cover Design options for Org charts, Further design options and Linking pages.

To learn about Microsoft Visio, give us a call on 020 8203 1774 and find out how we can help your organisation get better results.  If you are looking for more information on Microsoft Visio try the following blog Microsoft Visio blog.




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