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MS Word – How to Create a Pyramid Diagram on the Fly

© 2007-2010 Ugur Akinci

Pyramid diagrams are neat to show the hierarchical relationship between units with different quantities. You can create such a diagram on the fly without leaving MS Word 2003.

The hierarchical relationship can be an asymmetrical superiority-subordination relationship as well, as in the case of unequal political power or a built-in organizational inequality.

One very famous pyramid diagram is on a lot of food packages and portrays the proper ratios of daily protein, carbohydrates, etc. intake, with the total surface area of the pyramid representing 100% of daily intake.

First make sure that you are displaying your DRAW toolbar. Then follow these steps:

  1. Click the 3-balls icon (the tool tip text should read “Insert Diagram or Organization Chart”) to display the Diagram Gallery dialog box.
  2. Click and select the Pyramid Diagram icon on the lower-left to insert a default pyramid diagram. Click OK button to display the Diagram mini tool-bar.
  3. By clicking on the appropriate buttons on the mini too-bar and selecting the options you want, you can do the following changes to your diagram:
    • Changing the text of the slices.
    • Inserting and deleting slices.
    • Changing the relative position of slices.
    • With the DRAW toolbar, you can change the color, appearance, 3-D shadowing etc. of the slices.
    • You can switch to different types of diagrams.
    • Apply text wrap (if need be).

There are quite a few professional graphic creation software out there, like Adobe Illustrator. But why spend the extra money when you have at your disposal great free graphic tools already built into your MS Word?

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3 comments to MS Word – How to Create a Pyramid Diagram on the Fly

  • Marilyn Wolpin

    The pyramid creation is easy enough, now I want each section to fly in separately. Is that possible?

  • Marilyn, I don’t believe you can do that with MS Word’s Pyramid Diagrams. They are static illustrations. You can try Flash or dynamic GIF for that “fly in” effect. By the way, did you know that you can also draw fantastic graphs with Adobe Illustrator?

  • Rob

    Did anyone try Adobe Flex?

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