In this article:

How to Make Organizational Charts in Google Sheets

May 8, 2024

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An organizational chart is a type of chart that visualizes the relationship between different items. This is different from other types of charts that we have, as organizational charts visualize qualitative information instead of quantitative information. 

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create an organizational chart in Google Sheets, more commonly known as an org chart. 

How to format the data for an organizational chart

You will only need two required columns and an optional column:

  • The first column is for an entry in an organizational chart. A node will be generated for each entry. 
  • The second column specifies to whom or what the entry in the first column belongs, also called the parent.
  • The third column is an optional column where you can add a description that will appear when you hover your cursor over the node. This is called a tooltip.

If you have multiple levels of hierarchy instead of only two levels, you can simply add additional rows for those entries. For our tutorial we will replicate the following sample organizational chart from LumenLearning:

Sample organizational chart. Image source

The information is converted to the spreadsheet:

The information stored into the two-column data format for Google Sheets. 

By default, there is no need for a header row for organizational charts. For our tutorial, however, we will include one so that we can learn the extra step we need to do when there is a header row. 

How to make an organizational chart 

Step 1: Select the data, then go to Insert in the main menu and select Chart in the drop-down box. 

Insert option in main menu, Chart option highlighted. The data to be converted to a chart is selected before selecting the shown option. 

Step 2: Go to the Chart editor sidebar that will appear on the right side, then the Setup tab (which is selected by default), then look for the drop-down box below the Chart type label. A range of options will appear. Select the Organizational chart, located under the Other header.

Organizational chart option highlighted in the chart type setting in the chart editor sidebar.

Here is our initial organizational chart:

Initial organizational chart. Notice the Parent and Entry, our header rows, constitute a separate  organization. Also, the chart is originally cut in the center. 

As you can see, our headers Entry and Parent appeared as separate entries to the organizational chart. This is because headers are not required in organizational charts. There is an easy fix. On the lower portion of the Chart editor sidebar, Setup tab (the same tab where the Chart type option is placed), there is an option Use row 1 as headers. Tick that option.

Additional chart options. The option “use row 1 as headers” ticked.

The organizational chart now looks like this:

The header row is no longer mistakenly processed as parts of the organizational chart. Note that the chart is still cut in the center. 

We still need to adjust the chart a bit. Click and drag one of the small blue boxes on the border of the chart until the whole chart appears. 

The small blue boxes on the edges of the chart are where you can click to change the dimensions of the chart. This appears to all charts created in Google Sheets.

The final organizational chart is shown below.

The final organizational chart.

When you hover your cursor over a node, its accompanying description will appear as a floating text.

The description attached to a node appears when the chart is selected and the cursor hovered over that node.

You can select a node as well, and it will change color.

The node changes color when selected as well, but the description will not appear even if you hover the cursor over it.

How to change the size of the text of the organizational chart

Unlike the capabilities of Microsoft Excel, there are few options to customize an organizational chart in Google Sheets. However, you can change the size of the text. Here are the steps:

Step 1: On the Chart editor sidebar, click Customize tab, then click Org.

Chart editor sidebar, Customize tab selected, Org options displayed.

Step 2: Click the drop-down box under the label Size. There are three options: Small, Medium, and Large. Select the option you prefer.

You have now changed the size of the organizational chart. As a guide, the below images show what the organizational chart will look like depending on the Size option you choose. The size of the charts have remained the same so that you can compare the size of the text. 


Medium (default option)


How to change the color of the nodes of the org chart

If you have noticed, selecting a node changes its color. We can change that along with the original color as well. Here are the steps:

Step 1: On the Chart editor sidebar, click Customize tab, then click Org.

Chart editor sidebar, Customize tab selected, Org options displayed.

We can change the color of the node and its color when it is selected. Click the palette below each label, then select the color you want to use:

Color palette for the node color. The color is already selected.

Here is the result:

The same organizational chart, with better color choice. 

Key takeaway

While there is less flexibility in the design of the organizational chart in Google Sheets, the process of creating an organizational chart in Google Sheets is easier compared to that of Excel. If you don’t need fancy styles while making an organizational chart, you may preferGoogle Sheets. 

Sample sheet

Org chart sample sheet 

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