Designing an Org Chart that looks like a Windows Directory
February 22, 2007 3:44 PM   Subscribe

Is there any easy way in, say, Visio or another MS Office product, to make an attractive chart in a compact tree view format? I am trying to make an Organization Chart that looks more similar to a Windows Explorer folder directory than a traditional Org Chart.

Why? Because I think it's the only way I can put the complicated company structure on one sheet of paper in a way that is easy to read.

Everyone (at least in my company) is familiar with a Windows directory structure, so it will be a familiar way of reading the information.

I started to do this in Excel because I thought it would be easy to add and remove employees that come and go by deleting and inserting lines ... but I'm unimpressed with how it looks and wonder if there is a more impressive-looking way. I know that looks shouldn't be more important than function, but since I'm taking it upon myself to change the format, I want it to look amazing so I can get the approval to reorganize the format.

Maybe I am underutilizing Visio - can't it do something like this? Easily? I know it can make an Org Chart, that's what I've been doing it in for months, but it has gotten so disorganized with the various managers, sub-managers, teams, etc, that it is hard to read and hard to fit new employees into.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
posted by catfood to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Visio should be able to do this for you. PowerPoint might be able to, too. Also check out MindManager--it won't give you the look you're talking about, but it could give you an interesting and useful alternative.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 3:58 PM on February 22, 2007

other charting apps: Cmap and Dia (both free). Not exactly what you are asking for, but hopefully useful.
posted by craniac at 4:05 PM on February 22, 2007

An inelegant (but easy) solution would be to make a directory with subdirectories with people's name and/or positions. A screencapture can be used, and moving people around is as easy as moving directories.
posted by JMOZ at 4:14 PM on February 22, 2007 [2 favorites]

Know anyone good with JS? For years I modified this code (self link) to produce various org charts, directories, site navigation etc... It's a bit antiquated now but it should be fairly easy to adapt it, or a modern equivalent (there should be loads knocking around on the web), to create a webpage with your structure... then cut and paste from the web page into your word doc or what have you...

I know, not the most obvious of solutions, but It's how I'd do it
posted by Artw at 4:40 PM on February 22, 2007

I highly recommend using FREEMIND. Its not exactly like a directory structure, but it would suit your needs quite well, I think. (google for it, its free and with a little bit of time, you can work with it quite efficiently).
posted by verevi at 8:01 PM on February 22, 2007

If you would like a couple of samples that you can try - PPT and Visio send me a note and I'll send them to you.
posted by X4ster at 11:47 PM on February 22, 2007

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