Diagrams in Word

Diagrams visualise data and, unlike tables, can already provide initial interpretations. They also help to transform confusing numerical material into attractive lists. This chapter shows you how to create a diagram.

More detailed information on diagrams can be found here.

Insert diagram

In our example, we insert a diagram between two text fields. As in the screen shot below.

This is how we proceed: First, we navigate to the Insert tab in the Illustrations section and click on the Diagram button.

The Insert Diagram dialogue box appears. Select a chart type here. The most common chart is the column chart, which we also use in this example.

A bar chart with a mini-excel table appears. Here the data is entered directly and saved. Word does not give us an empty table, but sample data that we edit.

For example, like this: In column A car brands and in columns B to D rows of numbers symbolising turnover, costs or something else. Then we close the table with a click on the X at the top right.

The diagram is now integrated in our Word document. In the next steps we will show how to change the layout.

Layout options

The layout of a chart is important and determines how the chart is displayed. We select the chart and click on the bluish symbol with the arc (red arrow).

We see the layout options menu and select the option Square (with text wrap).

The diagram is now framed by the text.

Try the other settings in the layout options menu. For example, the option “top and bottom” where no text will appear to the left and right of the chart.

Align the diagram

With the Align function we can quickly bring the diagram into a certain position – for example, into the horizontal centre. In the Insert tab in the Arrange area we select the Align button (red arrow).

In the following menu we click on Centre Horizontally.

This is what the result looks like: the diagram is in the middle!

Excursus: Add diagram elements

As in Excel, the diagrams can be equipped with numerous elements.


In a document it is often necessary to label diagrams. A caption is a text that is placed above or below the diagram and describes it in more detail.

Note: Labels can also be inserted for other elements such as pictures or tables.

In the dialogue box Label we select the option Figure in the field Label, if this is not already preset.

Next, we type a suitable name for the diagram in the field Label – for example, Sales Automobile. Then we click on OK.

And this is what a diagram in Word looks like with a label. The caption itself can still be changed afterwards. Just click on it and write something else. It’s as simple as that.

Change design

The appearance of a diagram is very important and should not be neglected. The quickest way to determine the appearance of a diagram is to use the diagram format templates of Office. To do this, we click on the Design tab (Chart Tools) in the Chart Format Templates area on the small black arrow with a dash (red arrow).

A menu opens with many format templates. We select one and immediately see our chart with the new design.

This is what our diagram looks like with a design format template. Try out the other templates!