How to Create a Tree-Diagram in MS Word

You can use tree diagrams to represent a series of events visually. 

Tree diagrams help to depict many outcomes for a sequence of potential events. Each potential path looks like a different branch of a tree. That is why it is called a tree diagram. You can effectively use tree diagrams for defining probabilities of events.

2 Methods to create a tree diagram in Microsoft Word:

You can create tree diagrams using:

  • Free Shapes
  • Pre-built SmartArt Diagrams

We will show you both methods in easy, step-by-step instructions.

Let us begin.


Method #1: Use Free Shapes

This is a simple method to create any type of tree diagram.

Step #1: Open an MS Word Document

Open a new document or an existing one.

Navigate to the page where you want to create a tree diagram.

Step #2: Draw shapes

Click on the Insert tab in the top menu bar to change the ribbon.

In the section Illustrations, click on the Shapes icon.

This opens the Shapes menu.

Under the section Rectangles, click on the Rectangle: Rounded Corners icon.

Tip: Hover over each icon to reveal its name.

When you click on an icon, the window will close, and your cursor will change to a cross.

Position the cross at the top of the page.

Click and drag diagonally downwards to form a rectangle.

Use the handles on the edges, indicated in red below, to reposition and resize the shape.

Note: You can use any other free shape more suitable for your tree diagram.

Step #3: Make copies of the shape

Click on the shape to select it.

Type CTRL and C on your keyboard to copy the shape.

Type CTRL and V on your keyboard to paste a copy of the shape.

Use the handles on the edges, indicated in red below, to reposition and resize the new shape.

Repeat CTRL and V to make as many copies as necessary for your tree diagram.

Step #4: Name your tree diagram

Click on one of the rectangles to select it.

Drag it to the top of the page.

Use the handles on the edges to resize it.

Right-click inside the rectangle to open a menu.

Click on Add Text.

A cursor appears in the center of the rectangle.

Add a suitable title for your tree diagram.

Use a suitable font and resize it.

Step #5: Organize the tree diagram

Click on one of the rectangles to select it.

Drag it to a suitable position.

Use the handles on the edges, indicated in red below, to reshape each if necessary.

Repeat for the other rectangles to form a suitable tree diagram.

Step #6: Add text

Click on a rectangle to select it.

Right-click inside the rectangle to open a menu.

Click on Add Text.

A cursor appears in the center of the rectangle.

Add a suitable text for the rectangle.

Use a suitable font and resize the font if you wish.

Use the handles to resize the rectangle.

Repeat for all the rectangles.

Step #7: Add connections

Click on the Insert tab in the top menu bar to change the ribbon.

In the section Illustrations, click on the Shapes icon.

This opens the Shapes menu.

Under the section Lines, click on the Line Arrow icon.

Tip: Hover over each icon to reveal its name.

When you click on an icon, the window will close, and your cursor will change to a cross.

Position the cross under a rectangle.

Click and drag to form a connection with another rectangle.

Use the handles on the edges, indicated in red below, to reposition and resize the line.

The menu ribbon will change to Shape Format.

In the section Insert Shapes, click on the Line Arrow icon.

Tip: Hover over each icon to reveal its name.

When you click on an icon, the window will close, and your cursor will change to a cross.

Create suitable connections for your tree diagram.


Method #2: Use Pre-built SmartArt Diagrams

This method uses pre-built images from SmartArt to create tree diagrams.

Step #1: Open an MS Word Document

Open a new document or an existing one.

Navigate to the page where you want to introduce the tree diagram.

Step #2: Name your tree diagram

Click on the Insert tab in the top menu bar to change the ribbon.

In the section Illustrations, click on the Shapes icon.

This opens the Shapes menu.

Under the section Rectangles, click on the Rectangle: Rounded Corners icon.

Tip: Hover over each icon to reveal its name.

When you click on an icon, the window will close, and your cursor will change to a cross.

Position the cross at the top of the page.

Click and drag diagonally downwards to form a rectangle.

Use the handles to reposition and resize the shape.

Click on the rectangle to select it.

Right-click inside the rectangle to open a menu.

Click on Add Text.

A cursor appears in the center of the rectangle.

Add a suitable title for your tree diagram.

Use a suitable font and resize it.

Step #3: Insert a pre-built diagram

Click on the Insert tab in the top menu bar to change the ribbon.

In the section Illustrations, click on the SmartArt icon.

This opens a menu for SmartArt Graphics.

The left pane lists the names of the graphic groups available.

The central pane shows the graphics available in the group chosen in the left pane.

The right pane shows an image of the graphics chosen in the central pane.

Click on the Hierarchy group in the left pane.

The central pane shows many graphics suitable for tree diagrams.

For this example, we select the Horizontal Hierarchy graphic.

Note: You can select any other graphic more suitable for your tree diagram.

Click on the Horizontal Hierarchy graphic in the central pane.

Click on the OK button to close the menu.

A pre-built graphic of the Horizontal Hierarchy appears on the page.

Step #4: Add shapes

Right-click on the shape in the diagram, after which you want to add more shapes.

In the menu that opens, hover the mouse cursor on Add Shape.

Another menu opens with four choices:

  • Add Shape After — Adds a new shape positioned after the selected shape
  • Add Shape Before — Adds a new shape positioned before the selected shape
  • Add Shape Above — Adds a new shape positioned above the selected shape
  • Add Shape Below — Adds a new shape positioned below the selected shape

Click on the appropriate choices to add more shapes.

Step #5: Add text

Click on an empty space in the tree diagram to select it.

Click on the left arrow at the left edge of the diagram.

This opens the Type your text here dialog box.

Replace all the [Text] with appropriate text for your tree diagram.

The tree diagram is now complete.


Conclusion

We have shown you two easy methods to create tree diagrams in MS Word. Use the method you find most suitable.

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