PowerPoint (PC)/Using PowerPoint to Make Diagrams

From WSU Technology Knowledge Base
Jump to: navigation, search

Microsoft PowerPoint can be used to create diagrams that you may use in Microsoft Word as well PowerPoint.

The tools for drawing in PowerPoint can be used to create these common kind of diagrams:

  • Venn Diagrams--see here for a discussion of the uses of Venn Diagrams.
  • Flowcharts --see herefor a discussion of the uses of Flowcharts.
  • Concept maps-- see here for a discussion of the uses of Concept maps
    • Also Mind Mapping (see Here)
    • And Brainstorming (see Here)
  • Or any sort of drawing or structure that requires text and lines or arrows, such as syntax trees, circuits, PERT, fish-bone or cause-&-effect diagrams, blueprints, and lots more.

PowerPoint drawing tools features the standard objects and conventions of Unified Modeling Language (UML) to specify, visualize, modify, construct and document the artifacts of an object-oriented software intensive system under development.

See here for a complete list of diagrams that you might do with PowerPoint.

Start with a Blank Slide

Menu for Creating a Blank Slide
The best way to create a drawing is to use a blank slide.

You can create a blank canvas by opening the Slide Layouts Gallery and selecting a blank slide.

If you have started from a new presentation (with a title slide as the default), it will convert the current slide to a blank one.

The blank slide is like a canvas for drawing.

It is laid out as a printable page of 8 1/2 x 11 inches, in a landscape or wide view. You can change the size of the "canvas" by changing the size of the slide layout.

But for most your diagrams this default size should work well.

Basic Drawing Tools in PowerPoint

The Basic Drawing Tools in PowerPoint are available in the menu Insert>Shapes.


Toolbar Drawing Powerpoint PC.png

Tips and Tricks on Using Drawing Tools

Right-Mouse Menu for drawing objects
  • To make a perfect square or perfect circle, hold down the SHIFT key as you draw the object.
  • To make a straight line, hold down the SHIFT key as you draw the line (up-down or sideways).
  • Select the object you wish to edit. Then use the Right-Mouse Menu to select formatting options and to enter the text editor.
  • See the full dialog box for formatting options below: it includes many options for modifying objects.

Note that the object is automatically filled and shadowed. These are features you can change. You can also type text into the object and format that text.


Dialog for Drawing Objects


Using the SmartArt Graphics Gallery

Gallery SmartArt PC.png
PowerPoint has special tools for creating certain types of diagrams, such as Venn Diagrams, Flowcharts, process drawings, hierarchies and so on.


To access these tools, open the Gallery bar and click on SmartArt Graphics.


To Make a Simple Venn Diagram Using SmartArt Graphics

To make a Venn Diagram, use the SmartGraphic category "Relationship."

PC smartart venn.png


To Make a Flow Chart Using SmartArt Graphics

To make a Flow Chart, use the SmartGraphic category "Process."

PC smartart flowchart.png

To Make a Concept Map Using SmartArt Graphics

To make a Concept Map, use the SmartGraphic category "Cycle" or "Process."

PC smartart conceptmap.png

Our Internal Help Pages for PowerPoint PC Include

Other Resources

For help from Microsoft: Click Here!

Our Other Help Pages: