Flowcharting in Excel Series

Rerouting Flowchart Connectors the Easy Way

By Nicholas Hebb

Using the Reroute Connectors Tool

When you move flowchart symbols (aka, autoshapes) in a Microsoft Excel drawing, the connectors (aka, arrows or flow lines) have a tendency to get all messed up. Lets say you have the two flowchart shapes shown in the picture below - Shape 1 and Shape 2.

Diagram showing re-route connectors in action

Moving Shape 1 to the other side of Shape 2 creates the most inefficient flowchart connector routing possible. Instead of dragging the start and end points of the connector to fix it, you can just right-click on the connector and select the Reroute Connectors option from the context menu. Let Excel do the work for you. It also works just as well when selecting multiple lines.

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The one caveat is that sometimes this function will route the connector behind other flowchart shapes - especially if you use the Elbow connector. It can also cause the connectors to overlap, making it harder to determine the actual flow. If the Reroute Connectors function does a really bad job, you can always click the Undo button. But most of the time, you can use it as a first step to the majority of the connector rerouting and then manually adjust any that are out of place.

About the Author

Nicholas Hebb

Nicholas Hebb is the owner and developer of BreezeTree Software, makers of FlowBreeze Flowchart Software, a text-to-flowchart maker, and Spreadspeed, an auditing and productivity toolset for Microsoft Excel®.