How to Create Excel Family Tree Template: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a family tree in Excel can be a fun way to visualize your ancestry. It’s a relatively simple process that involves inserting shapes to represent family members and connecting them with lines to show relationships. In just a few steps, you’ll have a personalized family tree that can be easily updated and shared with relatives.

Step by Step Tutorial: Create Excel Family Tree Template

Before diving into the step-by-step tutorial, it’s important to understand that creating a family tree in Excel involves using the program’s drawing tools to manually add shapes and lines. Each shape will represent a family member, and the lines will show the connections between them. By the end of this process, you’ll have a clear visual representation of your family’s genealogy.

Step 1: Open a New Excel Workbook

Open Excel and start with a blank workbook to create your family tree from scratch.

When you open a new Excel workbook, you’ll start with a clean slate. This blank canvas is the perfect starting point for your family tree. Think of it as the ground on which you’ll plant your family’s roots.

Step 2: Insert Shapes

Go to the ‘Insert’ tab, click on ‘Shapes,’ and select the shape you want to use for your family members.

In Excel, there are various shapes to choose from. For a family tree, rectangles or ovals are commonly used to represent individuals. Choose a shape that you like and that will clearly display the names and any other information you want to include.

Step 3: Add Family Member Details

Click on the shape and type the name and any other details, like birthdates or locations, for each family member.

You can include as much or as little information as you want for each person in your family tree. Typically, names are the starting point, but adding birthdates and locations can provide more context for future generations exploring their ancestry.

Step 4: Connect the Shapes with Lines

Use the ‘Insert’ tab to add lines connecting the shapes according to family relationships.

Lines are the branches of your family tree. They show how individuals are connected, such as who is married to whom, and who are the offspring. Make sure the lines are clear and accurate to prevent any confusion about relationships.

Step 5: Format Your Family Tree

Customize the appearance of your family tree by changing the color, size, and style of the shapes and lines.

This is where your creativity comes into play. Choose colors and styles that make your family tree visually appealing and easy to read. You can even add photos or other graphics to personalize it further.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a finished Excel family tree template that’s ready to be filled out with your family’s information. It’s a living document that can be updated as your family grows and changes over time.

Tips for Creating Excel Family Tree Template

  • Use different shapes or colors to distinguish between maternal and paternal sides of the family.
  • If you’re unsure about certain relationships, use dotted lines to indicate uncertainty.
  • Save your family tree as a template so you can easily create new versions for different branches of your family.
  • Consider adding a legend to explain any symbols or color-coding you’ve used.
  • Keep a backup of the file in case of accidental changes or data loss.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I print my Excel family tree?

To print your family tree, go to ‘File,’ then ‘Print.’ You may need to adjust the print settings to ensure the whole tree is visible on one page.

Printing an Excel family tree can be a bit tricky due to size constraints. Make sure to preview the printout first and adjust the scaling options as needed to get the best result.

Can I add photos to my Excel family tree?

Yes, you can add photos by inserting them as pictures onto your workbook and placing them near the corresponding shapes.

Adding photos can make your family tree more personal and engaging. Just keep in mind that the file size will increase with each photo you add, which could impact printing or sharing.

Is it possible to share my Excel family tree with family members who don’t have Excel?

Yes, you can save your family tree as a PDF or take a screenshot and share it in a more universal format.

Sharing your family tree with family members who don’t have Excel is thoughtful and inclusive. It allows everyone to participate in the family history, regardless of the software they have.

How can I add more generations to my Excel family tree?

You can add more generations by inserting additional shapes and lines as needed to represent new family members.

As your family grows, your family tree will need to expand. You can easily add new branches to include recent births or newly discovered relatives from the past.

What if I make a mistake while creating my family tree?

Excel allows you to undo recent changes, or you can manually adjust any mistakes by moving or editing the shapes and lines.

Mistakes are bound to happen, especially when dealing with a lot of information. Thankfully, Excel’s flexibility means you can quickly correct any errors and keep your family tree accurate.


  1. Open a new Excel workbook.
  2. Insert shapes for family members.
  3. Add family member details to each shape.
  4. Connect the shapes with lines according to family relationships.
  5. Format your family tree for a polished look.


Mapping out your lineage with an Excel family tree template is not just a methodical exercise; it’s an act of preserving history and storytelling. It’s a way to connect with your roots, understand where you come from, and pass that knowledge on to future generations. Whether you’re a genealogy enthusiast, a parent wanting to educate your kids about their ancestors, or simply curious about your family’s past, crafting a family tree can be a deeply rewarding experience.

Remember, the key to an excellent family tree is accuracy and clarity. Take your time with each step, double-check your information, and express your family’s unique story through the design. And don’t forget to save your work regularly—after all, you wouldn’t want your digital family heirloom to get lost in the technological shuffle.

As you embark on this journey of discovery, you may encounter surprises, mysteries, and a newfound appreciation for those who came before you. So go ahead and dive into the past; your Excel family tree awaits. Who knows what fascinating branches you might uncover?

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