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How to Quickly Make a Family Tree Presentation in PowerPoint

Here’s a fun project for yourself or your child: create your family tree! And if you want a cool-looking family tree, a family tree template for PowerPoint is a great place to start. 

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A family tree template for PowerPoint like this one from GraphicRiver can be the best place to start.

Whether for your personal pleasure or for a school project, creating a family tree is a rewarding activity. 

In this tutorial, you will learn how to make a family tree presentation in PowerPoint. I will show you two ways to create your very own family tree:

  1. by using a PowerPoint feature called SmartArt
  2. by using shapes and lines in PowerPoint

I'll also share some family tree templates for PowerPoint that'll give you a head start on the project.

Why Use PowerPoint to Make a Family Tree?

Many graphic creation tools are available today, but PowerPoint is ideal for making a family tree.

First, PowerPoint’s robust features let you create any type of family tree. You can create a completely text-based family tree, or you can add photos and icons. You can even animate the family tree and share it with family members and friends online.

Another reason to use PowerPoint for your family tree is its ease of use. Even if you’re a beginner, you can quickly learn how to use its most basic features.

And finally, PowerPoint has many templates for you to get started with. This means that even if you’re not a graphic designer, you can come up with an impressive-looking family tree.

Find a Great PowerPoint Template in Elements

A terrific source for family tree PowerPoint templates is Elements. For a flat subscription fee, Elements grants you unlimited downloads of PowerPoint templates.

Not only that, but you also get unlimited downloads of other creative assets you need to make your family tree stand out:

  • family tree templates for PowerPoint
  • fonts
  • icons
  • stock photos
  • and more

You also get unlimited access to other assets you need to make other creative materials, such as web page templates and soundtracks for your videos.

family tree template powerpointfamily tree template powerpointfamily tree template powerpoint
Give your family tree presentation slide a professional look by creating it on a premium PowerPoint template.

For the one-off project GraphicRiver is an alternative source of PowerPoint templates. You pay only for each use of a template or other creative asset. It suits any budget.

Now that you know where to source professionally-designed PowerPoint templates, let’s go ahead and make a family tree!

How to Make a Family Tree in PowerPoint, Step by Step

You may be wondering: how do you make a family tree on PowerPoint? If that's your question, keep reading for a step-by-step tutorial to guide you through the process.

For this tutorial, I’m going to use the Bamboo PowerPoint template, because I was born in a tropical country.

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In this tutorial, I'm creating my family tree slide on the Bamboo PowerPoint template.

Bamboo is one of the PowerPoint templates available from Envato Elements. It comes with five color variations and 30 unique slide layouts, for a grand total of 150 slide templates. It also includes hand-drawn infographics, which are resizable and editable.

You can use any template you wish for your family tree—even a template that isn’t specifically designed for creating family trees. If you follow the steps I show below, you’ll be able to create your very own family tree.

The following screenshots were taken from Microsoft PowerPoint for Mac version 16.51. If you’re on a different version of PowerPoint, then the interface may look different.

Let's get started:

Prepare the Template

The first step is to prepare the template by downloading and copying it and deleting the slides you don't need.

1. Download the Template

The first step is to download the template of your choice and save it on your computer. From the template page on Elements, click Download. Follow the rest of the instructions to save the template files to your computer.

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It’s a good idea to duplicate the template, and work on the copy. That way, you’ll always have the original template files if you want to revert to them later for any reason.

how to make a family tree in powerpoint - duplicate the templatehow to make a family tree in powerpoint - duplicate the templatehow to make a family tree in powerpoint - duplicate the template

2. Select Your Slide Layout

Switch to Slide Sorter view to see the slides at a glance.

how to do family tree in powerpoint - slide sorter viewhow to do family tree in powerpoint - slide sorter viewhow to do family tree in powerpoint - slide sorter view

Delete the slides you won’t be using. Feel free to also delete any other slide elements you don’t need, such as extraneous text boxes and images.

This is what the original slide template looks like:

how to create a family tree in powerpoint - slide templatehow to create a family tree in powerpoint - slide templatehow to create a family tree in powerpoint - slide template

And here it is after I’ve deleted the items I won’t be needing:

how do you make a family tree on powerpoint - slidehow do you make a family tree on powerpoint - slidehow do you make a family tree on powerpoint - slide

Now that we've got a prepared “canvas,” we can create the family tree itself.

Method One: SmartArt

The first method I’m going to show you uses PowerPoint SmartArt.

1. Launch SmartArt

Go to Insert > SmartArt > Hierarchy.

family tree template powerpoint - smartart hierarchyfamily tree template powerpoint - smartart hierarchyfamily tree template powerpoint - smartart hierarchy

By default, an Organization Chart is inserted on the slide. We can work on this chart to begin with and then switch to a different style later on.

family tree powerpoint - smartart organization chartfamily tree powerpoint - smartart organization chartfamily tree powerpoint - smartart organization chart

2. Delete All but One of the SmartArt Shapes

I find it easiest to delete all but the top shape of the SmartArt. To do this, select a shape, then click the Delete button.

how to make a family tree in powerpoint - smartart shapehow to make a family tree in powerpoint - smartart shapehow to make a family tree in powerpoint - smartart shape

The shape that’s left is our starting point. In this case, it’s the shape that stands for me.

3. Add Shapes and Text to Build Out Your Family Tree

To add text, double-check inside the shape and type a name.

how to do family tree in powerpoint - smartart texthow to do family tree in powerpoint - smartart texthow to do family tree in powerpoint - smartart text

Now, let’s add two shapes below the first one, one for each parent. To add a shape, right-click on the first shape, then click Add Shape > Add Shape Below.

how to create a family tree in powerpoint - smartart add shapehow to create a family tree in powerpoint - smartart add shapehow to create a family tree in powerpoint - smartart add shape

Type the names of a person inside each shape. If you can’t double-click inside a shape, you’ll have to click on the arrow to expand the SmartArt Text tab. Type the desired text there, and it'll appear inside the chart.

how do you make a family tree on powerpoint - smartart text tabhow do you make a family tree on powerpoint - smartart text tabhow do you make a family tree on powerpoint - smartart text tab

You can also use the arrows in the SmartArt Text tab to delete, add, and move shapes in the chart.

Keep going until you've got all the shapes you need. Add the names to each shape.

family tree template powerpoint - SmartArtfamily tree template powerpoint - SmartArtfamily tree template powerpoint - SmartArt

4. Modify the Colors, Fonts, and Slide Objects

When you've got all the shapes and text you need, go ahead and change the colors and fonts of the family tree. Select the shape you wish to modify, then click on the Home tab. From the ribbon, change the font and shape fill color.

family tree powerpoint - smartart change fonts and colorsfamily tree powerpoint - smartart change fonts and colorsfamily tree powerpoint - smartart change fonts and colors

At this point, we can also edit the other items on the slide, such as the title and the slide graphic background.

Here’s my family tree, all done!

how to make a family tree in powerpoint - smartarthow to make a family tree in powerpoint - smartarthow to make a family tree in powerpoint - smartart

By the way, when your family tree is all built out, you can change the SmartArt style. It'll retain all the content you’ve already added. 

how to do family tree in powerpoint - change smartart stylehow to do family tree in powerpoint - change smartart stylehow to do family tree in powerpoint - change smartart style

For example, I may want to switch to a style with images, like this:

how to create a family tree in powerpoint - smartart with pictureshow to create a family tree in powerpoint - smartart with pictureshow to create a family tree in powerpoint - smartart with pictures

You can learn more about using SmartArt here.

If you want to have more granular control over how your family tree looks, there’s another method you can use.

Method Two. Shapes and Lines

Another way to make a family tree slide in PowerPoint is by inserting shapes, text, and lines. This is a little bit more work than SmartArt, but it also gives you more control over every single element of the family tree.

Follow the same steps earlier for downloading and duplicating your PowerPoint template. And then, create your family tree by adding shapes, text, and lines.

1. Add a Shape and Text

From the Home tab, click on the Shapes button, then select a shape you wish to use.

how do you make a family tree on powerpoint - insert shapehow do you make a family tree on powerpoint - insert shapehow do you make a family tree on powerpoint - insert shape

Double-click in the shape to type the name. Use the font setting buttons to format the text.

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2. Build Out the Family Tree

Copy and paste the first shape to build the rest of the elements of the family tree. You may wish to use PowerPoint’s built-in guides. Go to View > Guides > Guides. You may also choose View > Guides > Snap to Grid.

family tree template powerpoint - view guidesfamily tree template powerpoint - view guidesfamily tree template powerpoint - view guides

Use the Shape Format tab to change the color and border of the shapes.

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3. Link Shapes With Lines

When the shapes and text are complete, it’s time to link them with lines. Click on the Shapes button, then choose the line style you wish to use. For this example, I used the Elbow Connector line type.

how to make a family tree in powerpoint - connecting lineshow to make a family tree in powerpoint - connecting lineshow to make a family tree in powerpoint - connecting lines

Repeat for the rest of the family tree. Here's my family tree all done by using shapes, text, and lines in a PowerPoint template:

how to do family tree in powerpoint - shapes and lineshow to do family tree in powerpoint - shapes and lineshow to do family tree in powerpoint - shapes and lines

Some of the Best Family-Oriented PowerPoint Templates

In the tutorial above, I used the Bamboo PowerPoint template and created my family tree on the slide templates. By using either SmartArt or shapes and lines in PowerPoint, you can create a family tree on any template.

But you may wish to use a family-themed PowerPoint template. Below are some of the best premium family PowerPoint templates at Envato Elements:

1. Families - PowerPoint Template

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Families PowerPoint template offers five premade color variations, with 30 unique slide layouts for each. This template package also includes hand-crafted infographics, illustrations, and graphics. All of them are resizable and editable right in PowerPoint—no need for an image editing software.

2. Family Album PowerPoint Template

family tree powerpointfamily tree powerpointfamily tree powerpoint

This PowerPoint template is best for a slide presentation that’s heavy on images. It comes with 32 master slide layouts in two sizes, standard (4:3) and widescreen (16:9). Since the template uses master slides, it’s possible to edit the master and apply the changes globally.

3. Family - PowerPoint Template

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The Family PowerPoint template has the versatility to be the starting point for a variety of presentations. Each of its five color variations has 30 slide layouts, for a total of 150 slides. Also included are illustrations and graphics that can be edited in PowerPoint. Replacing the placeholder pictures is drag-and-drop easy.

If budget is a consideration, we’ve also compiled some of the best free family tree PowerPoint templates for you.

Top Tips for Making a Family Tree

Making a family tree is a rewarding activity. But it’s also a lot of work. Just doing the research alone is bound to take a lot of time and energy. And so, we all want our family trees to not only look attractive, but to be meaningful as well. These three tips may help:

1. Pick a Meaningful Theme

family tree template powerpoint - retrofamily tree template powerpoint - retrofamily tree template powerpoint - retro
The Retro Style PowerPoint template may be the perfect theme for your family tree.

When it comes to picking a PowerPoint template, the options are almost endless. It’s easy to get overwhelmed. It would help to narrow your choices by picking a theme that holds a special meaning for you and your family.

For example, in this tutorial, I chose the Bamboo template. That’s because my family originates from Asia, and bamboo was ever-present in my environment during my childhood.

2. Use Family Photos

Nothing brings a family tree to life better than photographs of the person on the tree. If you choose to go this route, you’ll have your work cut out for you. And making the family tree presentation on PowerPoint will be the easiest part! But if you can pull this off, the end result will be well worth the effort.

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Using photographs gives your family tree authenticity. (Image Source)

Depending on the layout you’re trying to achieve, it helps to learn how to work with images on PowerPoint.

3. Don’t Keep It to Yourself

Creating your family tree becomes even more rewarding when you share it with other members of your family. And because you’re building it on PowerPoint, you've got many options to do so. You can:

  • export the slide as a digital image
  • share by email, post on a website, or upload on social media
  • print the family tree and get it framed
  • have the digital image printed on physical products—everything from t-shirts to tote bags and more
  • add animation effects to the PowerPoint presentation and share it online
  • export the animated family tree as a video

...Really, the possibilities are endless!

Learn More About PowerPoint

To make the most of PowerPoint’s robust features, check out our ultimate PowerPoint tutorial guide. The following tutorials are particularly pertinent to the workflows in this article:

Create a Family Tree PowerPoint Today

Now you know how to make a family tree in PowerPoint. You can create a family tree in one of two ways: by using SmartArt, or by using shapes and lines. SmartArt is easier and faster but starting from scratch with shapes and lines gives you more control.

You’ve also seen how easy it is to create a family tree slide with a striking design by starting with a PowerPoint template. Pick a template from Elements to access premium, professionally-designed templates with unlimited downloads for one flat subscription fee. For one-off projects, source your PowerPoint template from GraphicRiver and pay for each use of a template.

Either way, you now have the tools to bring to life your vision for your family tree.

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