How to Make a Pedigree Chart on Google Docs

127687 How to Make a Pedigree Chart on Google Docs

A pedigree chart is a diagram that shows the occurrence and appearance or phenotypes of a particular gene or organism and its ancestors from one generation to the next, most commonly humans, animals, and plants.

Making a pedigree chart can be useful for:

  • Tracking genetic diseases and disorders in a family
  • Determining the mode of inheritance of genetic traits
  • Identifying individuals who may be at risk for genetic disorders
  • Making predictions about future offspring
  • Providing information to healthcare providers to help diagnose conditions


To make a pedigree chart on Google Docs, you will need:

  • A Google account
  • Access to Google Docs

That’s it! No special software is required since Google Docs has drawing capabilities built-in.

Step 1: Open a Blank Google Doc

  • Go to Google Docs and login with your Google account.
  • Click the + button in the top left and select Blank document.
  • A blank document will open up ready for you to start making your pedigree chart.

Step 2: Add a Title

Start by adding a title at the top of your document. For example:

## Smith Family Pedigree Chart

This will create a large bolded title using markdown formatting.

Step 3: Draw the Basic Symbols

The basic pedigree chart symbols are:

  • Squares – Represent males
  • Circles – Represent females

To draw these shapes:

  • Select the Insert menu and choose Drawing.
  • Choose the Shape icon, then select the square or circle shape.
  • Draw a large square near the top left of the document.
  • Draw a large circle near the top right.

These will represent the father and mother of the first generation.

Step 4: Add Names and Labels

To identify individuals:

  • Double click the shape to edit the text
  • Type the name or initials

You can also add additional labels like:

  • Age – Current age or age at death
  • Disease – Any diagnosed diseases and age at diagnosis

For example:

John Smith (48)
dx: Colon Cancer, 45

Use markdown to format text as bold or italic when needed.

Step 5: Connect Family Members

To show relationships between family members:

  • Draw horizontal lines between parents
  • Draw vertical lines down from parents to children

Siblings should be ordered from left to right, oldest to youngest.

Step 6: Add Additional Generations

Extend your pedigree chart to additional generations by:

  • Adding vertical lines down from any individuals who have children
  • Drawing the corresponding shape (square or circle)
  • Entering names, labels and other relevant information

Make sure to properly connect all known relationships with lines.

Step 7: Use Shading for Affected Status

A common shading convention is:

  • Black shapes – Affected individuals
  • Clear shapes – Unaffected individuals
  • Half-filled shapes – Carriers

To shade shapes:

  • Double click the shape
  • Choose Fill color
  • Pick the desired shading color

Step 8: Save and Export your Chart

When your pedigree chart is complete:

  • Click File > Save to save your Google Doc
  • To export, click File > Download, choose the file format you want

Common formats like PDF or image files will preserve the pedigree chart best for printing or inserting in other documents.

And that’s it! You now have a pedigree chart created in Google Docs using simple drawing tools and markdown formatting.


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