How to Create a Venn Diagram in Excel or Word


Excel 2013 can't create Venn diagrams automatically out of data, the way it can create line graphs and pie charts, but you're not out of luck: the SmartArt tool helps to build diagrams, including Venn diagrams. As a universal Microsoft Office feature, SmartArt works in most Office programs. Whether you're working in Word, Excel or even Outlook, the steps to create a Venn diagram are almost exactly the same.

Step 1: Insert SmartArt

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Open the Insert tab and click SmartArt.

Step 2: Pick a Diagram

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Select the Relationship category and pick the Basic Venn diagram. Click OK.


  • In addition to Basic Venn, Office has three other types of Venn diagrams:

    • Linear Venn, for diagrams in which each circle overlaps with only one other
    • Stacked Venn, for diagrams in which all circles appear inside one another
    • Radial Venn, for diagrams with several circles attached to one central circle.

Step 3: Add More Circles

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Click Add Shape on the Design tab to add additional circles to the diagram.


  • Click Move Up and Move Down to rearrange the circles, or drag the circles to position them by hand.

Step 4: Add Circle Labels

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Type in the text pane to enter text inside each circle. As you type, Office adjusts the font size and positioning, so you don't need to worry about fitting long lines of text into the diagram.


  • Click Text Pane on the Design tab to hide or show the text pane.

Step 5: Add Overlap Text

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Switch to the Insert tab and click Text Box. If using Word or Outlook, click Draw Text Box. Click and drag to draw a text box on an overlapping area between circles or anywhere else you want to add text.


  • Group your diagram and text boxes to move them as one object: Hold Ctrl, click on the diagram and each text box, open the Format tab and choose Group.


  • Text in text boxes does not automatically resize to fit the allotted area, so you might need to change the text size on the Home tab.

Step 6: Format Text Boxes

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Right-click the border of a text box and choose Format Shape. Set the Fill to No Fill and the Line to No Line to remove the white square, placing your text directly on the diagram. Repeat for each text box.

Step 7: Change Styles and Colors

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Select the diagram, switch back to the Design tab and click Change Colors to pick a color scheme. Pick a style from the SmartArt Styles section.


  • To change the appearance of a single circle in the diagram, right-click the circle and choose Format Shape.

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