How to Create a Fishbone Diagram in Word

Here is a step-by-step guide to tell you how to create a fishbone diagram in Microsoft Word when you have no access to professional diagram makers.

The following instructions will lead you to create a basic fishbone diagram (cause-and-effect diagram) in Word and then we will share an efficient and powerful diagram maker -- EdrawMax -- which is easier, faster and more productive than Word in creating fishbone diagrams.

How would you like to create your fishbone diagram?

How to Create a Fishbone Diagram in Word

a. Choose a Suitable Template

As there is no ready-made fishbone diagram template in Word, you can find your desired and suitable templates in Google Images or in our template website.

b. Add Shapes

After selecting the suitable fishbone diagram template, now you have to start from scratch and build the main structure of the fishbone.

Go to Insert tab, click Shape, choose the corresponding shapes in the drop-down list and add them onto the page. Almost every basic shapes that can be used in your fishbone diagram will be found in the drop-down list.

choose shapes from the shape gallery in Word

The rectangle that adjoins the arrow is the symbol of the effect. These blank boxes on the both sides of the arrow represent the potential causes.

c. Add Lines

Go to Insert tab or select a shape, go to Format tab, choose Lines from the shape gallery and add the additional lines into the diagram.

choose line from the shape gallery in Word

After adding lines, the main structure of the fishbone diagram will be outlined.

add lines on the fishbone diagram in Word

d. Add Text

To add text on the structure of the fishbone diagram, there are 2 different ways:

To add text on the boxes, you can click the shapes and type text on them directly.

To add text around the lines, you need to insert text boxes around the additional lines and then type text in the text boxes.

add text on the fishbone diagram in Word

e. Format a Fishbone Diagram

Frankly speaking, the default colors and fonts in the diagram may not satisfy your requirements all the time. So most of the users would like to customize the fishbone diagrams and adjust visual effects by changing the styles of shapes and text, font styles, alignment, etc.

You can modify the shape styles and WordArt styles in Format tab and change the font styles and alignment in Home tab.

Format tab in Word

How to Create a Fishbone Diagram in EdrawMax

Making a fishbone diagram in Word will make you spend much more time in drawing the main structure. It also requires plenty of additional steps to build a complete diagram.

Therefore, using the professional diagramming tool -- EdrawMax – to create fishbone diagrams can be very efficient. No more need to consume extra time in doing preparation and with plentiful ready-made templates and various symbols for different kinds of diagrams, EdrawMax can help you create high-quality fishbone diagrams with less time.

Abundant fishbone diagram templates in EdrawMax

The steps of creating a fishbone diagram in EdrawMax:

  1. Enable EdrawMax and select a desired fishbone diagram template in the Management gallery called Cause and Effect Diagram.
  2. Double-click the template to enter into the drawing interface and you will see the symbol library will pop up on the left side so that you can select anything that you like and add it into the diagram.
  3. Modify and customize the template to make your own fishbone diagram with easy-to-use drawing tools and abundant symbols.
  4. Save and export the fishbone diagram in Excel format or other common file types.
Make a fishbone diagram with the template in EdrawMax

How to Save an EdrawMax diagram as Word File

When you finish making a data flow diagram in EdrawMax, you can choose to save or export the EdrawMax document in Word format.

Go to File tab, click Export > Export to Word, and the system will automatically save and download the created fishbone diagram as a Word file. So you can get a fishbone diagram in Word format. All the Microsoft Office files exported from EdrawMax are editable.

Besides, you can also export the finished EdrawMax diagrams in many other common file types, such as graphics, PDF, PowerPoint, Excel, HTML and SVG. It will be much more convenient for you to share and transmit your designs and diagrams with colleagues and friends if they don’t use EdrawMax.

Export a fishbone diagram in EdrawMax
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