How to create a Venn diagram in Excel

Excel has a Venn diagram option in its SmartArt but three pretty identical circles doesn’t do it for me. When the sizes of the circles are supposed to mean something, I want them to look the part as much as I can.

So, instead of using SmartArt, I do it manually. I manually create three circles and then make them the right size. What this technique does NOT do is size the crossed parts properly but for me it’s still better than three identical circles. And, it also doesn’t account for perceptions of the size depending on the height of the circle vs the area of the circle.

Step #1: I’ve put my raw data into Excel though it is completely unnecessary. For this technique, the data table can be written solely in your brain. Using the ‘insert shape’ option, choose a circle. If you hold the ‘shift’ key down while you draw the circle, it will turn into a perfect circle.

venn diagram excel

Step #2: Copy the circle 3 times for each of the 3 circles of the Venn diagram. Now, select one of the circles and then right click. A menu will appear and you can choose the size and properties option. This option let’s you choose the exact size of the circle. First, click on the ‘Lock aspect ratio’ button. Second, in the height box, type in the number that represents the size of the circle. Don’t worry if the circle is way too big or small. Just get the number right. Repeat for each of the three circles.venn diagram excel

Step #3: Now you should have 3 circles that represent the 3 sizes in the right proportions. You can now reposition the circles so that they overlap properly. If the circles are way too big or small, then use the + or – options in the bottom right of the screen. The circles will then fit into the screen.  venn diagram excel

Step #4:  Now you can re-colour the circles or make the circle lines transparent. Just right click on the circle you want to revise and choose line and fill until you’ve got it the way you like. You can also make the rows and columns have white lines by clicking on the cross-hatched box and re-colouring them. Now you can treat the object as you might any other in Excel. Myself, I make the screen as large as possible, screen cap it, paste it into the Paint program on my machine, and then save it as a brand new jpg image. You’re done!venn diagram excel


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