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How to create process flow in PowerPoint?

A process flow diagram in PowerPoint is a visual representation of a process broken down into its major steps and numbered according to the order in which they occur. Major/minor details may be included along with these steps, but this is not always the case. As it relates to visual learners, using a process flow diagram in PowerPoint is an advantageous medium in which information on a specific process can be conveyed as it is broken down into a step-by-step approach.

By inserting a process flow diagram in a presentation, you will provide visual clarity for all and a defined sequence of events as it relates to the specific process you are explaining. With this in mind, it is understandable why they are so widely implemented in both the professional and personal realm. Below, we will examine the two primary ways to create a process flow diagram in PowerPoint, the first of which will be the template method.

SmartArt method

The SmartArt method is the quickest way to insert a flow process diagram in PowerPoint. The step-by-step instructions for the template method are as follows:

  1. Navigate to the toolbar at the top of your screen and single-click the ‘Insert’ tab. 
Insert SmartArt process

2. Single-click the ‘SmartArt’ application, and a pop-up will be launched. 

Insert SmartArt (Windows Powerpoint version)
Insert SmartArt process (online Powerpoint version)

3. On the left-hand column of the pop-up titled ‘Choose a SmartArt Graphic’ single click the category titled ‘Process.’ 

Choose Arrow process

4. Select the process flow diagram that best suits your needs, and click ‘Ok’ on the bottom right to insert it in your PowerPoint.

5. Now that your selected process flow diagram is displayed, you can begin listing the information in the order in which it occurs. Keep in mind; you can do so by typing either directly into the diagram itself or the side panel accessible by single-clicking the arrow on the left side of the diagram.

Edit Flow process
Add new stages process

Scratch method

The scratch method offers those who want to know how to draw a process flow diagram in PowerPoint to create their own. This method, although slightly more tedious, provides the ability to customize the look of the diagram.

  • Navigate to the toolbar at the top of your screen and single-click the ‘Insert’ tab.
  • Single-click the ‘Shapes’ application and select from the drop-down, keeping in mind the following: 
    • Rectangle: Used for process steps
    • Diamond: Used to show decision points
    • Oval: Indicates the start and endpoints of a process 
Add shape

3. Draw the selected shapes by left-clicking and dragging in any direction and fill in the shapes with the appropriate information.

4. To show the order in which these steps occur, you can also insert an arrow between the steps by repeating steps 1 and 2. Keep in mind that these shapes can be customized to your liking. 

Process flow example
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