A family tree is a descriptive diagram that represents family relationships in the form of a chart. It is useful for establishing lineages in a traditional tree format that is easy to understand, even for children. Creating a family tree in Microsoft Word can be a great way to kickstart your journey in genealogy. The powerful diagramming tools and hierarchical approach of Word make these trees perfect for beginners. Read on to know about the steps that can help you make a family tree in word.
Step 1: Select the Blank Document
- Open the ‘Microsoft Word’ application on your computer.
- If you are using the latest Microsoft Office, you will be given many different options. Choose “Blank Document” to begin.
- If you are using a version older than Word 2013, click the Office/File button on the top-left corner and click “New”. Select the option of “Blank Document”.
Step 2: Select the SmartArt Option
The basic structure of the family tree will be made by using this special tool in the Word.
- Click the “Insert” tab on the main menu.
- Select the “SmartArt” option. This will open a dialogue box with several different options to make your family tree.
Step 3: Select the Hierarchy Option
- Click the “Hierarchy” tab on the left-hand menu. This will give you some hierarchical charts to choose from.
- Select the option of “Picture Organizational Chart”. The structure of this chart is quite similar to that of a family tree.
- Click “OK” to insert the chart on the blank document.
Step 4: Enter the Names of Family Members
The inserted family tree will have three generations. You can take them as your grandparents, parents, and yourself.
- Click the topmost box and enter the name of your grandfather.
- Then, click the box underneath the top box and type in the name of your father.
- Now, move to the box representing 3rd generation and enter your name.
Step 5: Add New Family Members
For adding a new box, you need to select a box that is already there at that level. For example, if you want to add a box for your mother, you will have to select the box of your father.
- Select the box representing the father in the family.
- Click on the “Add Shape” button on the top left of the screen. This will add the new box to the tree.
- Click on the new box and type in the name of your mother.
Step 6: Add Details of Family Members
It is incredibly easy to add information, like birthday and place of birth, to your family tree in Microsoft Word.
- Click the family member for which you want to add the information.
- Type the new details and the Word will keep adjusting the font on its own.
- If this doesn’t happen, select the newly-added information, click the Home tab on the main menu, and reduce the font.
Step 7: Add Pictures of Family Members
This is a really fun addition to any family tree and will enhance its visual appearance.
- Click the image icon on a family member and wait for the dialogue box to appear.
- Select the option of “From a File” in the dialogue box.
- Navigate through your computer’s data to find the picture of your choice and select it.
- Click “OK” to add an image to your family tree.
Step 8: Use Colors to Represent Gender
Using different colors for different genders can be an excellent way to increase the readability of your family tree.
- Select and right-click the box of a family member.
- Click the “Fill” option on the menu that appears.
- Choose the color of your choice and bring a new dimension to the tree.
Step 9: Add New Generations
- Select the family member on the chart from where you want to add a new generation.
- Click on the “Add Shape” drop-down menu on the top left of the screen.
- Select the option of “Add Assistant” from the menu. This will create a new level in the family tree.
Step 10: Change Orientation to Landscape
When the family tree starts growing, it can be difficult to see it (completely) in standard settings. Therefore, you will need to make some changes to the layout.
- Select the “Layout (or Page Layout)” from the main menu.
- Click “Orientation” and a drop-down menu will appear.
- Change the orientation from “Portrait” to “Landscape”.
Step 11: Adjust the Size of the Family Tree
It is important to change the size of your tree if it’s going beyond the layout of the page. This method allows you to do this on the go.
- Select the family tree.
- Click on any of its corners and drag the entire tree outwards or inwards. This will trigger the Word to automatically adjust the family tree according to the new height.
Step 12: Save the Family Tree
Once your family tree is complete, don’t forget to save it or all your hard work will be wasted.
- Click the Office/File button top-left corner to open a drop-down menu.
- Click “Save” from the menu to save the document. Alternatively, you can press “Ctrl+s” for this purpose.
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