How to Make a Family Tree on Google Docs: Step-by-Step Guide


Matthew Burleigh

Creating a family tree on Google Docs is a fun and straightforward project. You’ll need a Google account to start, and then you can use the drawing tools in Google Docs to create a visual representation of your family’s history. In less than 100 words, simply open a new Google Doc, use the ‘Insert’ menu to open ‘Drawing,’ add shapes for each family member, and connect them with lines to show relationships. You can also customize each shape with the individual’s name and other relevant details. Once you’re done, you’ll have a neat, digital family tree to share with your relatives.

Step by Step Tutorial: Making a Family Tree on Google Docs

Before we jump in, let’s clarify what we’re aiming for. By following these steps, you’ll create a visual diagram that outlines your family’s generational relationships. It’s like a map that shows who’s related to whom, starting with your ancestors and branching out to the newest members of the family.

Step 1: Open a new Google Doc

Open Google Docs and start a new document.

When you go to Google Docs, make sure you’re logged into your Google account. Click on the blank document to start fresh. This will be the canvas for your family tree masterpiece.

Step 2: Insert a Drawing

From the ‘Insert’ menu, select ‘Drawing’ and then ‘New.’

In the Google Docs toolbar, you’ll see the ‘Insert’ option. Click it, and a drop-down menu will appear. Here, you’ll find ‘Drawing.’ Click ‘New,’ which will open a new window where you can create your family tree.

Step 3: Add Shapes for Family Members

Use the shape tool to add circles or rectangles for each family member.

In the drawing tool, there’s a shape icon that looks like a circle overlapped by a square. Click on this to choose the shape that you want to represent a family member. You can add as many shapes as you need, and you can move them around to arrange your family tree.

Step 4: Connect the Shapes with Lines

Use the line tool to draw lines between the shapes to show family relationships.

There’s also a line tool in the drawing tool window. Use this to connect the shapes you’ve created. This will visually represent the relationships between family members, such as who’s married to whom and who their children are.

Step 5: Customize the Shapes with Text

Double-click on a shape to add a person’s name and other details.

Each shape can be customized by double-clicking on it. This allows you to add text, such as the family member’s name, birthdate, or anything else that’s important to your family tree. Feel free to get creative with colors and fonts here!

Step 6: Save and Close the Drawing

Click ‘Save and Close’ to add the drawing to your Google Doc.

Once you’re happy with your family tree, click the ‘Save and Close’ button in the upper right corner of the drawing window. Your family tree will now appear in your Google Doc.

After completing these steps, your Google Doc will now have a neat, organized family tree diagram. You can continue to edit it, add more details, or share it with your family members so they can see the history and connections within your family.

Tips for Making a Family Tree on Google Docs

  • Start with yourself and work backwards. It’s easier to trace your roots when you begin with what you know.
  • Use different colors or shapes to represent different family branches or generations. This can make your family tree more visually interesting and easier to follow.
  • Don’t forget to add important details like dates of birth, marriage, and death. These help paint a fuller picture of your family’s history.
  • Consider leaving space for notes or anecdotes about each person. Family trees are not just about names but also about the stories and personalities that make up your family.
  • Share the document with other family members and allow them to contribute. They might have valuable information that you don’t!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I add photos to my family tree in Google Docs?

Yes, you can add photos to your family tree by inserting an image into the shapes representing each family member.

Adding photos can make your family tree more personal and memorable. Simply click on the shape, then choose the ‘Image’ option from the toolbar to upload a photo from your computer.

How can I share my family tree with family members?

You can share your Google Doc by clicking the ‘Share’ button in the upper right corner and entering the email addresses of your family members.

Google Docs makes it easy to collaborate. You can even set editing permissions if you want your family members to add their own information.

Is it possible to print my family tree from Google Docs?

Yes, you can print your family tree directly from Google Docs by going to ‘File’ and then ‘Print.’

Printing your family tree can be a great way to have a physical copy to display in your home or to give to older family members who might not be as comfortable with digital versions.

Can I save my Google Docs family tree in a different format?

Yes, you can download your Google Doc in various formats, including PDF, by going to ‘File’ and then ‘Download.’

Downloading your family tree in a PDF format can be particularly useful if you want to share it with others who may not have Google accounts.

What if I make a mistake on my family tree?

Don’t worry! Google Docs has an ‘Undo’ feature, and you can always edit your family tree at any time.

Mistakes are bound to happen, but the flexibility of Google Docs allows you to make corrections easily. Just use the ‘Undo’ button or edit the shapes and text as needed.


  1. Open a new Google Doc.
  2. Insert a Drawing.
  3. Add Shapes for Family Members.
  4. Connect the Shapes with Lines.
  5. Customize the Shapes with Text.
  6. Save and Close the Drawing.


Making a family tree on Google Docs is a great way to visualize your family’s history and preserve it for future generations. It’s a simple process that anyone can do, and it can be a fun activity to involve other family members in, too. Whether you’re a history buff, a genealogy enthusiast, or just curious about your roots, creating a family tree can be incredibly rewarding. Not only does it help you understand where you come from, but it also strengthens family bonds as you share and explore your heritage together. So why not give it a try? Gather up that family information, fire up Google Docs, and start mapping out those branches. Who knows what fascinating stories and connections you’ll uncover in your very own family tree on Google Docs?

Matthew Burleigh

Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech content online for more than ten years. He enjoys writing about Google Docs in addition to many other applications and devices and has cumulatively covered Google’s word-processing application in hundreds of different articles.

He has been published on dozens of popular websites, and his works have accumulated millions of pageviews.
While focused primarily on tutorials and guides for popular electronics like the iPhone and iPad, as well as common applications like Microsoft Word, Powerpoint, and Excel, he covers topics across the entire technology spectrum.

You can read his bio here.

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