Creating a family tree is a fun and interesting activity to do alone or with your family. It can even be homework for your child. Luckily, if you have Excel, you can easily make a family tree.

We’ll explain how to create a family tree using Microsoft templates and show you some third-party templates for larger or more detailed family trees.

When you want to embrace your creative side, you’ll also learn how to make a family tree from scratch using Excel’s built-in tools.

Use a Microsoft Excel family tree template

Microsoft currently offers two different family tree templates for Excel. One template is a basic three-generation family tree, while the other allows you to include photos of your family members.

Family tree generator

This first template includes tables for each generation to enter and places for spouses. Once you get everyone into the Family Members sheet, click “Create Family Tree” and jump to the Family Tree tab to see the finished product.

Microsoft Family Tree Template Member Sheet

The template is super easy to use and features beautiful light colors.

Microsoft Family Tree Template

Photo family tree

This three generation family tree template allows you to add your own photos. Enter the names and birth years of each family member and use the Remove Ancestors and Add Ancestors buttons for the number of people in your family.

To add a photo, right-click on the placeholder, select “Change Image” and browse to the one you want.

Microsoft Photo Family Tree Template

Check out third-party family tree templates

Perhaps you need a larger family tree that allows you to go back more than three generations. Or maybe you’d like a template that offers room for more detail.

Here are some options you can check out from Vertext42 and Free PowerPoint Templates.

6 Generation Family Tree Template

This first template from Vertex42 allows you to include multiple generations and photos of your family members.

Pick the leaf you want to use for six or seven generations, and then add each member of your family.

Vertex42 6 Generation Family Tree Template

You can include any details you want below each family member’s name, such as their year of birth and location. To insert a photo, right-click on the image placeholder, select “Change Image” and browse to the one you want to use.

Family Tree Template with Photos

This Vertex42 template features a more basic look, but the photos are larger to give a great overview of your family.

Start by adding your photos and details at the bottom and then work your way through the three generations of branches.

Vertex42 Photo Family Tree Template

Again, simply right-click on the image placeholders and choose “Change Image” to include your photos.

Family Tree Template for Excel

For a family tree that goes beyond the branches, check out this Family Tree Template for Excel from Free PowerPoint Templates. You’ll see one sheet for each set of ancestors, including parents, paternal grandparents, maternal grandparents, and so on.

You can include photos, birth and death dates, locations, children with their information, and notes.

FPPT Family Tree Template Member Sheet

Click the Back to Tree button at the top of that sheet or move to the Family Tree tab to see the finished tree. The family tree also has Details buttons that open the sheet for each person.

FPPT Family Tree Template

If you want a family tree that gives you more room for additional details about your family members, this is the template for you.

Create a family tree from scratch in Excel

If you want to create your own family tree that you can customize to fit a specific number of generations, you can create one from scratch.

Excel offers features and tools that make the process enjoyable and creative.

RELATED: 7 Handy Microsoft Excel Features You May Have Missed

Open a blank workbook in Excel and go to the Insert tab. Select the Artwork dropdown arrow and select “SmartArt.”

SmartArt in Illustrations menu

When the SmartArt graphic window opens, choose “Hierarchy” on the left. You will then see a collection of organization charts that you can use for your family tree.

You’ll see horizontal charts, those with rectangles or circles, and one that uses images. To show an example, we will use the illustrated organization chart.

SmartArt graphics window

Select the one you want, click “OK” and the SmartArt graphic will appear on your sheet. From there, you can use the SmartArt Design tab to rearrange the tree, add more shapes for your family members, and change the colors.

Image of the organizational chart in Excel

Choose a text box to start, like the one above for your photo and details. Click inside the text box and enter the information.

Alternatively, click the arrow on the left side of the chart to open the text input box and type your details there.

Text entry box for a SmartArt graphic in Excel

To add a shape for another family member, select a current text box and open the Add Shape dropdown menu on the ribbon.

You can then add the shape after, before, above, or below. You can also use the Add Multiple Marriage Wizard option.

Add a shape to the SmartArt graphic

If you choose the image flowchart, you can select the image placeholder in the text box or text input box on the left and browse for your photo.

Photos added to family tree in Excel

You can also make your family tree more attractive by removing the grid lines or adding a background image. There are many options to customize your family tree in Excel, so have fun with it!

RELATED: How to remove grid lines in Microsoft Excel

Creating a family tree in Excel is very easy with templates and can be a great creative project for you and your family if you make one from scratch.

Would you like to print and frame or share a copy of your family tree with others? Learn how to print an Excel sheet with a background or how to set a certain print area for the family tree on your sheet.