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Creating Organizational Charts in SmartDraw 7


October 27th 2004
February 25th 2009

SmartDraw creates some of the best organizational charts I have seen. The new version 7 provides even more possibilities. In fact, SmartDraw now has a special Org Chart edition that you can download and use free for 30 days.

The new version also adds an Org Chart Builder, which we'll discuss later in this page...

Organizational charts are also known as organization charts or org charts. They are essentially tree or hierarchical layouts that help understand the relationships between higher and lower levels. Such charts are normally used to present the divisions between personnel, departments, or even as family trees and mind maps.

For the rest of this tutorial, I'm assuming you have SmartDraw 7 or higher installed. This tutorial will work with both the trial and full versions of SmartDraw.

  1. Launch SmartDraw. If you are presented with the "Welcome to SmartDraw" dialog box, choose the "New..." option. Alternatively, choose File | New within SmartDraw.

  2. Choose the Org Charts template category and select any org chart style from the display thumbnails. I wanted to do something different, so I chose one of the Inverted Trees.

  3. You'll next see a blank organizational chart open within SmartDraw with a helpful left pane that includes symbols, an Org Chart wizard and shape sets.

  4. Click any option in the wizard to get guided assistance on accomplishing a task.

  5. Save your drawing.


Doing more with Org Charts

Visit the SmartDraw site for a detailed tutorial on creating org charts including an introduction to org chart terminology. Click the Tutorials link to get there.

Jason Hardy of SmartDraw adds that "the Org Chart edition has received a huge face lift in SmartDraw 7, including the Org Chart builder that will auto-generate an org chart from a raw data file".

Importing Org Charts from Data Files

In addition to drawing a chart manually, you can import a data file and have SmartDraw built your tree automatically. Simply click on the Import Data tab of the Org Chart Wizard, click on the Org Chart Builder button, and open your data file.

You can import two types of data files:

  1. A tab-indented text file
  2. An ID-formatted text file (where hierarchy is indicated by supervisor names or ID numbers)

Once you have a file open in the Org Chart Import dialog, you can set the parameters SmartDraw will use to build your tree.


Related Links

Learn more about using SmartDraw content within PowerPoint in another Indezine article...

Read an interview with Paul Stannard, the CEO of SmartDraw.com elsewhere on this site...


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