How to Create a Fishbone Diagram in Excel with a Walkthrough Guide

Creating a fishbone diagram alone is already challenging, and what's more, if you use Excel, the process is also challenging. For whatever reason you have that requires you to create a fishbone diagram in Excel, we are here to guide you. By the moment you finish reading this entire article, we assure you that you will be able to master the procedures for creating a cause and effect segment diagram. Tagged along with this is the mastery of using one of the most popular tools of Microsoft. With this intention, let us already proceed to the new learnings by moving forward to the following parts of this post.

Create Fishbone Diagram in Excel

Part 1. How to Create a Fishbone Diagram with the Best Alternative of Excel

As mentioned above, making a fishbone diagram in Excel is not as simple as you think. For this reason, we provide you with a much easier solution. With MindOnMap, an online diagram maker, you can create a fishbone diagram as if you are like a pro. This is because MindOnMap is a basic yet compelling mind mapping maker that also commits to diagrams and flowcharts in a hassle-free way. In addition to its freeway, it is a diagram maker that you can use without spending a dime with freedom from annoying ads.

Here is another reason why you should choose it over Excel. In MindOnMap, you won't need to install any software while enjoying its cloud storage for your made projects. Like Excel, MindOnMap also has significant elements such as shapes, arrows, connectors, icons, font styles, outlines, structures, themes, and many more!

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How to Do a Fishbone Diagram in Excel’s Best Alternative


Launch the Website

Initially, go to your browser and type in the official link of MindOnmap to visit. Then, hit the Create Your Mind Map tab at the center to give way for the signing-in procedure. To sign in, you just need to use your email, and then you are good to start.

MindOnMap Create Sign In

Access the Fishbone Template

Next is to click the New option on the main page of the free program. Then, hover over the templates and themes on the right side of the page, and click the Fishbone selection. And the procedure below will help you know how to draw a fishbone diagram in this Excel alternative.

MindOnMap Select Template

Make the Fishbone Diagram

After choosing the template, the tool will guide you to its canvas, where you can start working on the fishbone. Initially, you will see only one node. So to turn it into a diagram, press the Enter key on your keyboard continuously until you reach the exact number of nodes for your fishbone. Meanwhile, as you expand, you can already start putting the information on your diagram.

MindOnMap Expand Label

Customize the Fishbone

You can now customize the fishbone based on what you want it to look like. To help you with customization, navigate the Menu of tools on the right. You can edit the fishbone diagram's theme, style, shape, and color. Also, if you wish to add a supporting image on the fishbone, just click the Image on the Insert section on the ribbons.

MindOnMap Customize Section

Save the Fishbone Diagram

To save, press the CTRL+S keys on your keyboard. Otherwise, if you want to save the diagram on your device, hit the Export button, then pick a format.

MindOnMap Export File

Part 2. Complete Instructions on Creating a Fishbone Diagram in Excel

Before we proceed to learn how to do a fishbone diagram in Excel, let us have a quick overview of the software first. Excel is one of the components of Microsoft Office suits that functions to organize the data in rows and columns. This fishbone diagram maker is often used for financial analysis in business functions for companies. On the other hand, over the years, Excel has become a multi-functional program. It was infused with workable tools for academic projects such as mind mapping, flowcharting, and diagramming.

As a matter of fact, it was added with immersive illustrations containing shapes, 3Ds, and SmartArt options that are essential in the said academic projects. However, as we kept on mentioning, using Excel in fishbone diagramming is not easy, for it doesn't have a ready-made template for the said diagram. This means that you will need to create your freehand design for the fishbone diagram. You also can use Excel to make a mind map.

How to Do Fishbone Diagram in Excel Free Handedly


Access the Shape Library

Initially, launch your Excel program and bring yourself to a blank spreadsheet. Now go and hit the Insert tab, and click the drop-down arrow of the Illustrations selection. From the options shown, click the Shapes tab.

Excel Shape Access

Work on the Fishbone

Select an element that you want to use for your fishbone diagram. Please note that you need to access the shape library repeatedly whenever you add an element to the diagram. Also, as you add an element, the customization options are brought up for you to optimize.

Excel Add Customize Node

Label the Diagram

Subsequently, you can now work on labeling your fishbone diagram in Excel. Start with your main subject, then follow the data on the sub-nodes. Don’t hesitate to add more nodes as you need.


Save the Fishbone Diagram

Finally, you can now save the diagram. How? Go to the File tab near the Insert tab. Then, hit the Save As option on the new set of menus, and proceed to save it on your device.

Excel Save Fishbone

Part 3. FAQs about Fishbone Diagram Making in Excel

Can I share the fishbone diagram in Excel?

Yes. Excel lets you share your file to the cloud and via email. Go to the publish section after clicking the Save file to see the sharing options.

Is Excel free to use on the desktop?

No. Excel and the other components of the Microsoft Office suite are not free to acquire. However, you can use the tool's free trial version once you install it.

Can I export my fishbone diagram in PDF using Microsoft Excel?

Yes. By clicking the File tab and then the Save as dialog, you will be able to see the PDF option to export your file.


You just saw the quick yet comprehensive procedure of how to make a fishbone diagram in Excel. Developing a nice and persuasive fishbone diagram in this tool takes time and patience. It is the main reason we introduced you to MindOnMap, a super friendly alternative with a much easier navigation process to help you ease your task.

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An easy-to-use mind mapping maker to draw your ideas online visually and inspire creativity!