Create Family Trees Using PowerPoint Organization Chart

Visualize your family tree in a PowerPoint slide

Woman at table looking at genealogical tree

Tom Merton/Getty Images

If you don't have access to family tree making software or a genealogy website that supports building ancestry trees, make a family tree in PowerPoint. PowerPoint contains built-in tools to help you create a family tree that includes text, images, videos, audio, charts, and other elements that make your family tree come to life.

Instructions in this article apply to PowerPoint 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; and PowerPoint for Office 365.

Change the Slide Layout

Before you start building your family tree, start with a clean slate. To follow along with this tutorial, start with a blank PowerPoint template and set it up so it's ready for your family details.

Here's how to open a blank template and change the slide layout:

  1. Select File > New to view the list of PowerPoint templates.

  2. Select Blank Presentation to open a new presentation that contains a single slide.

    A screenshot showing how to open a blank template in PowerPoint
  3. Select Home.

  4. Select Layout.

  5. Select Title and Content.

    A screenshot showing how to change the slide layout in PowerPoint
  6. Your presentation contains a single slide that contains placeholders for a title, bullet text, and an image.

Insert a SmartArt Graphic Chart

SmartArt Graphics make it easy to work with complex graphics without the need to design them from scratch. In this tutorial, you'll use a SmartArt Graphic to add an organization chart to a slide and edit it for the family tree.

  1. Select Insert a SmartArt Graphic to open the Choose a SmartArt Graphic dialog box.

    A screenshot showing how to create a SmartArt Graphic in PowerPoint
  2. Select Hierarchy and choose Organization Chart.

    A screenshot showing how to choose a SmartArt Graphic in PowerPoint for a family tree
  3. Select OK to close the dialog box and add the Organization Chart SmartArt Grahic to the slide.

Add Family Members to the Chart

Your presentation contains the basic building blocks for your family tree. To add names to the family tree, select a shape and enter the information for the family member.

A screenshot showing how to edit text in a shape in PowerPoint

When the default SmartArt Graphic organization chart doesn't have enough shapes to fit your family, add a new shape to add a new member to the family tree chart.

  1. Select the shape to which you want to add another shape.

  2. Select SmartArt Tools Design and select Add Shape.

    A screenshot showing how to add a new shape to a SmartArt Graphic in PowerPoint

    Select the Add Shape down arrow to select exactly where you want your new shape to be added in the chart. Select Add Assistant to add a spouse for the selected member.

  3. Continue to add new shapes as necessary to complete the family tree.

    If the SmartArt Graphic shapes aren't in the right places, drag the shapes to move them.

  4. Add text to the shapes to complete your family tree.

Link to a New Branch of the Family Tree

Your family tree may contain many branches and you may want to show each branch on a separate slide. Or, you may want to show more information about a family member on a separate slide.

When your family tree branches off in different directions, keep it all together by hyperlinking to the part of the presentation that isn't included in the current slide.

  1. Select the shape that will link to another slide.

  2. Select Insert.

  3. Select Link or Hyperlink to open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

  4. Select Place in This Document.

  5. Choose the slide you want the link to point to.

    A screenshot showing how to insert a hyperlink to a slide in PowerPoint
  6. Select OK.

Customize Your Family Tree Chart

Your family tree PowerPoint slideshow doesn't have to be boring. Create a unique background to spice it up. Add text to the slides, import videos and audio files, change the color of the shapes, pick different shapes for different people, adjust the color of the names of the family members, and more.

To change the color of the SmartArt Graphic shapes, select SmartArt Tools Design > Change Colors to get started with selecting a new colorful design.

A screenshot showing how to change the colors in a SmartArt Graphic in PowerPoint