MS Word is pretty awesome. I’ve used it for many things from creating reports to resumes to putting together training manuals and draft proposals.
That’s why it’s so popular. It’s versatile and has a familiar ribbon point-and-click interface.
But did you know you can create visual designs in Word too? For example, if you’re an educator or a team manager, you might use it to create an infographic on an individual page.
You read that right. You can create infographics in Word and I’ll show you how to do in this post.
Click to jump ahead:
- What is an infographic?
- 5 types of infographics in Word
- How to create an infographic in Word
- How to make professional infographics in Venngage
What is an infographic?
I’m sure you’ve heard of infographics before, and probably seen them.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines infographics as “a chart, diagram, or illustration that uses graphic elements to present information in a visually striking way.”
Let’s break that definition down into simpler terms. Essentially, an infographic is a visual way to present data or tell a story.
The most effective infographics feature the following elements:
- Concise text
- Clear icons
- Engaging graphics
Here’s a great example of an effective infographic:
The colors stand out, the visuals are engaging, and it makes the information easy to remember.
But how do you decide if you need an infographic?
One method is to determine if the information you want to present will be more effective in a visual format? (hint: the answer is often yes!).
5 types of infographics you can create in Word
So you’ve decided you want an infographic. Great!
As I hinted earlier, most people use Word to make infographics because they’re familiar with the tool. They also think it will be easy.
This is a misconception (I’ll come back to this point later in the post).
In Word, you have two options. Either create infographics from scratch using shapes or select a infographic template. Other examples of Word’s pre built documents include certificate templates.
If you choose a template to create an infographic a MS Word document, you have several types of infographics to choose from.
In this next section I’ll show you some infographic templates in Word and then examples of ones that more effective.
1. Process infographics
Process infographics show you the steps of a procedure or workflow. You’ll see them in manuals, training guides, and educational materials.
Here’s a basic process infographic template in Word.
And here’s an example of a process infographic that stands out.
2. List infographics
List infographics are ideal for presenting a series of items, helpful tips, or ideas. You’ll see them in informational brochures, feature articles, and how-to guides.
And here’s an example of a list infographic that’ll actually get people’s attention.
3. Hierarchical infographics
Hierarchical infographics are similar to relationship charts. They show how different elements connect in a top-down layout.
Here’s an example of a hierarchical infographic template that’s way more engaging.
4. Matrix infographics
Matrix or comparison infographics organize and display data in a grid. This is useful in business reports, educational materials, and data analysis.
And here’s an example of a matrix infographic that is easier to follow. Which option would you go with?
5. Pyramid infographics
Pyramid infographics show layered relationships in a tiered format. They’re usually used to show organizational structures or levels of achievement.
And again, here’s an example of a pyramid infographic that won’t bore people.
If for some reason, you’re still set on creating an infographic in Word, here’s how you can do it.
How to create an infographic in Word
For demonstration, I’ll create a MS Word document in the latest version of Microsoft Office 365 suite.
If you’re using a different version of Word, some steps/options may differ but you can still follow this process.
Here’s an overview of the steps to create an infographic in Word (don’t miss the visual walkthrough below!). And yes this also includes graphs Word can integrate.
- Create a new document.
- Click the “Insert” tab and select “SmartArt”.
- Select a pre built document or infographic.
- Customize your infographic by clicking the “Insert” tab again. This time though select “SmartArt Design” or “Format” to add arrows, lines, or other elements.
- Format and customize your infographic.
- Add different charts (if needed). If you want to add simple charts in your infographic, you’ll have to create them manually in Word.
- Review and finalize your infographic.
- Save and export the design.
Here’s a visual walk-through of the same process.
Step 1: Create a new document
Begin by opening Microsoft Word and creating a new document. This is the blank canvas where you’ll edit and design your infographic.
Step 2: Select the “Insert Tab” and click “SmartArt”
Click the “Insert” tab on the ribbon at the top of your Word document. Here, you should see the “SmartArt” option. Click on it to get the list of infographic templates.
Step 3: Select your infographic type
Once you click “SmartArt”, a gallery of infographic templates will appear. Choose the one that best suits the type of information you’re presenting.
Step 4: Customize your infographic
Generally, Word infographics are dull. But you can make them better using the “SmartArt Design” and “Format” options on the top right toolbar.
For example, I was able to change this black and white infographic into a colorful one fairly easy.
If you want to add various graph types, go back to the “Insert” tab and select the “Chart” option. Word has a several chart options such as pie charts or bar graphs.
Here are some other customization options.
- Add text styles: You can change text to different fonts, sizes, and colors to bring attention to key points.
- Insert a standalone image: You can add visuals to Word infographics to make them engaging but you’ll have to source it yourself.
- Align and group objects: Alignment and grouping play a big part in how professional your infographic looks.
Step 5: Save and export
Once your infographic is ready, Word allows you to share it through multiple channels. Some common formats include an Adobe PDF file, JPEG, and HTML.
And that’s all there is to it!
I don’t know about you, but it feels like there’s a lot to do in each step and the process is not intuitive.
Remember, Word is a text-processing software. This means it offers limited options to edit layouts and it’s a headache to figure it out.
Specialized design solutions are a much better alternative. With a tool like Venngage, you get access to a drag-and-drop editor and templates that are easy to customize.
How to make professional infographics with Venngage
MS Word lets you create basic infographics at best. And to be honest, they’re something I’d never use in a professional setting.
If only there was a dedicated tool and powerful design solution for visual communications. Good news, there is! With Venngage, you can produce infographics faster and you don’t need to be a designer either to use it.
Here’s an overview of how easy it is to make infographics with Venngage.
Step 1 – Sign up for a Venngage account (it’s free!)
Sign up for Venngage using your email, Gmail or Facebook account.
Step 2 – Select a infographic template from our library
Venngage has tens of thousands of templates to choose from including infographic templates.
For example, a process infographic can help you simplify complex procedures. They’re a great way to make educational material and training guides engaging. Or maybe you want an informational infographic to present information in a way that is easy on the eyes.
Check out our free infographic templates and choose one that fits your needs.
Note: Some of our timeline templates are free to use and some require a small monthly fee. Sign-up is always free, as is access to Venngage’s online drag-and-drop editor.
Step 3 – Edit your infographic in a few clicks
Using Venngage templates helps you produce visuals faster. But if you want, you can create an infographic from scratch too.
Let’s see how easy it is with Venngage.
For example, pretend you want to swap icons in a template. Just select it and browse our in-editor library of thousands of free, professional icons, plus diverse icons.
Once you like an icon or image, just click replace and that’s it!
Other features include the ability to edit designs in-real time, comment on designs, create folders, and export.
Oh and one more thing. Venngage’s editor has accessibility features built-in. This means even people living with impairments can understand them.
No need to remediate your designs like in other graphic design solutions such as Canva.
We also offer an AI infographic generator if you really want to save time. Just enter a prompt and let our AI create a beautiful infographic for you.
Step 4: Share a link to your infographic for free or upgrade to download
Once you’ve created an infographic, it’s time to share it with the world. With a free account, you’ll get a link to the infographic.
But if you want to download the infographic as a PNG file or PDF, you’ll need to upgrade to a Business account.
Conclusion: Go with Word if you like boring infographics. But if you want beautiful infographics, pick Venngage.
Infographics are a great tool to have in your communication toolkit. You can use them in academic presentations, business reports, social media posts, and more.
They have the unique ability to transform complex information into engaging visuals.
I know you might think you need design skills to create an infographic, but you don’t. If you don’t believe me, give Venngage a try (it’s free!) and see how easy infographic creation can be.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I make an infographic in Word?
Yes, you can create infographics in Word using its SmartArt, shapes, and diagram features to create an infographic.
Does Microsoft Office have infographic templates?
Yes, Microsoft Office provides a several types of infographic templates in its SmartArt feature. They can be a starting point to create infographics in Word.
Where can I find free infographic templates?
You can find free infographic templates on many platforms. But the best resource for free infographic templates you can use to appealing design is Venngage.