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I have created a flowchart that has multiple textboxes, which explain various stages of a HR activity. It has been a laborious task, as I have done it with hand. When put together, the flowchart goes over two A3 pages (laid side by side).

I want to now take this project from manual to electronic, hence I am after advice on how to professional prepare and present it for printing.

I have already typed the contents of each textbox in MS Word and I am happy with it. I have also determined the layout of the flowchart and I am happy with that too. The latter is set out on paper (as it requires two A3 pages).

The reason for my query is that I do not have a huge budget for this project, so I want to do as much as possible at my end.

Can the above be achieved in Word (flowchart function) and how do I fit two A3 amount of textboxes on one screen?


Thanks for answers and comments below.

Perhaps I was not clear. I have the flowchart (in handwriting) that goes over two A3 pages. I want to print it out professionally now. Instead of cutting and pasting the text into each box in the flowchart layout, I was thinking if there is a better way to do this electronically.

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I'm uncertain how anyone here could tell you how to alter the two page content to fit on one page. – Scott Jan 30 at 16:39
Thanks @Scott. Please see my edit above. – Javeer Baker Feb 1 at 0:38

3 Answers 3

up vote 1 down vote accepted

To add to Mayo's answer:


MS Word can handle flowcharts, but in my experience the program gets slow and clunky as the charts get more and more complex. If you have access to Microsoft Visio or some other flowchart-specific software, that might be a better choice.


If you can't make rudimentary sense of a flowchart or process diagram at a glance, it's too complex. Consider using color to at least make things more obvious. (For example, all X activities are blue and all Y activities are yellow, for example, or use different styles of borders if color isn't an option. Coordinating the visuals so they're pleasant to the eye would be helpful, but comprehensibility is more important here than aesthetics.)

Breaking the chart out into a few smaller charts would be the ideal way to make each part of it understandable. You can have one simplified chart showing the overall process, with a few smaller charts showing the nitty-gritty of how the larger process steps are achieved.

For example, to use an example from manufacturing, you might have one chart that shows manufacture of widget X at a high level. This would fit on one screen, fulfilling your purposes.

Uber chart

Next, you could have smaller charts that expand on this:

Sourcing of raw materials detail

There are several ways to do this. Another good example is to organize the steps by department, or even by person:

Sourcing detail by dept. lanes

Dedicated flowchart software will have standard symbols and make it easy to do charts like this. Visio works well, as I mentioned above, but I did the examples here in the free version of Lucidchart in Google Drive. I can't speak to how it will scale to more complex diagrams.

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Thanks for a great answer. It got me thinking! – Javeer Baker Feb 1 at 0:30


Who is using this? Does it need to be printed or would a PDF seen on a screen suffice?

If you have to print it out you have several solutions.

  • Do like everyone else and shrink it down into an illegible mess (I don't recommend that).

  • Print on a poster sized paper (which you don't want to do as it's more expensive)

  • Cull some information from the printed presentation and direct people to other printed detail pages (or a PDF).

+------------+    +------------+
| ...... [A] |    | [A] ...... |
| [B] ...... |    | .......... |
+------------+    +------------+
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It seems to me that Word is the wrong tool for this job. But since you have invested time in using that platform, here is my advice.

If you already have a large format printer that prints A3 paper, can you use a continuation symbol in your flowchart (I believe it's a circle with a letter in it that appears on both pages) and print it on 2 A3-size pages?

Alternately, you can set up your page size in Word to be an A2 page and print it on a large-format plotter, such as engineering firms use (and most commercial copy places like FedEx/Kinko's have plotters and can print a large-format drawing for you without breaking the bank).

(edit) If Word won't let you create an A2 document, and you are familiar with Microsoft products, I suggest reproducing the drawing in Visio.

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