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How to Create a Genogram Quickly - All You Need to Know about Genograms

> Edraw How-To > How to Create a Genogram Quickly - All You Need to Know about Genograms
Posted by James Freeman | 01/22/2021
This page introduces how a novice can create professional genograms in minutes! With built-in vector symbols and free templates in powerful genogram software, you can create a professional and complete genogram just in 5 steps!

What is A Genogram?

Wikipedia defines a genogram as a pictorial display of a person's family relationships and medical history. It is also named a McGoldrick–Gerson study, a Lapidus schematic, or a family diagram. Unlike a traditional family tree, a genogram allows the user to visualize hereditary patterns and psychological factors that punctuate relationships. Namely, a genogram goes deeper into revealing family information among all individuals.

In the genogram example below, the genogram could explain Michael's close friendship with Ann, Paul's hostile against Magan, Max's conflictual relationship with Vivian, Edison, and Sara's harmony.

Genogram Template

How to Create A Genogram

Firstly, watch this video to know how to create a medical genogram.

The following instruction is about how to make professional genograms with our Genogram software - EdrawMax.

Step 1: Collect Information of a Family

Collecting information on a family should be the start of your creation as background work. First, decide how many generations you wish to display on your genogram. Next, look at a family that meets your demand generations to gather all the names, birthdates, and fundamental relations. You may interview some family members for family stories to fill in missing information and complicated ties. Keep the work done confidentially!

Step 2: Start Creating a Genogram

There are two methods of creating a genogram: hand-drawing and using easy genogram software.

A digital genogram is much more convenient for storing and future editing. Open EdrawMax, navigate to NewScience and EducationGenogram, then choose a pre-made genogram example or the plus icon to open a blank drawing page.

Start from genogram templates

Step 3: Set the Layout

Set the layout of your genogram and measure the size by using rulers, gridlines, and guidelines. It will be helpful to drag the gridlines to set the page's margins or divide the page into sections for accurate placement of texts and images.

You can go to the Page Layout tab and adjust the page setup and background.

Page Layout tab

If necessary, you may tick gridlines and rulers options on the View tab to set the margins of the page or divide the page into sections for accurate placement of elements and texts.

view tab

Step 4: Add Content

Add Text

  1. Go to the Home tab and click Text to use the text block tool.
  2. Input your content in the text block.
  3. Customize the attributes of your text in the Font pane under the Home tab.
  4. Add texts

Add Genogram Symbols

Our genogram maker, EdrawMax, offers a rich set of standard vector genogram symbols that depict necessary information, family relationships, emotional relationships, and medical facts of family members.

  1. Open the symbol library of Genogram from the left of the canvas.
  2. Drag-and-drop the selected symbol to the canvas.

Add genogram symbols

Step 5 - Export, Share and Print Genograms

When you've finished the genogram, you can save and export it to various formats such as JPG, PDF, MS Office files, SVG, Visio, etc.

export genogram

Go to the File tab and choose Print or click the Print button on the quick access bar. You can see the print preview in the print setup interface. If you want to see the overall effect on one sheet, click More Print Setup, and choose Fit to 1 Sheet.

Print genogram

At the same time, in order to ensure that the genogram creation won't cause offenses, please bear the following cautions in mind.

  1. Be careful with family members' perceptions and sensitive information.
  2. Understand that there may be variations in stories and beliefs among different family members regarding specific issues. Use your observations and objective judgments if necessary.
  3. Make use of clip arts, images, and pictures as well as letters.
  4. If you need to interview someone for his information to create a genogram, treat that person and his/her family information with complete confidentiality.
  5. Use standard genograms properly, including basic genogram symbols, medical symbols, family, and emotional relationship symbols.

Genogram Examples

Before starting to create a genogram, here are some professinally-designed genogram examples that can help you get inspired if you haven't drawn such diagrams before.

emotinal relationship genogram Family Relationship Genogram With Age Family Relationship Genogram
Emotional Relationship Genogram Family Relationship Genogram With Age Family Relationship Genogram
Lung Cancer Medical Genogram Alzheimer Medical Genogram Down Syndrome Hereditary Medical Genogram
Lung Cancer Medical Genogram Alzheimer Medical Genogram Down Syndrome Hereditary Medical Genogram
General Family Relationships Genogram Medical Genogram
General Family Relationships Genogram Medical Genogram

Why and Who Use Genograms


Family therapists use genograms to figure family relations, giving a whole picture of family relationships and patterns. Knowing the family relationships clearly, the therapist gets to analyze the family and help them deal with their current issues.


Genograms may help a husband and wife understand each other's learned patterns to respond to stressful situations, handle intimacy or conflict, or manage gender and cultural issues. It can contribute to a harmonious relationship.

Medical Professionals

Medical professionals often use genograms to better understand their patients' medical, genetic, and psychosocial history. In this case, they can give a more convincing diagnosis and offer appropriate treatment.

Teachers and Students

In schools and colleges, teachers and students can use genograms to learn the relationships between different historical figures, or systematically study the medical history of a human or creature's family to see how a genetic disease has emerged and developed.

Besides, anyone who is interested in better understanding family patterns and issues may use genograms as an aid.

Now, I guess you can't wait to create a genogram with EdrawMax. Get a free trial!

EdrawMax: a swiss knife for all your diagramming need

  • Effortlessly create over 280 types of diagrams.
  • Provide various templates & symbols to match your needs.
  • Drag and drop interface and easy to use.
  • Customize every detail by using smart and dynamic toolkits.
  • Compatible with a variety of file formats, such as MS Office, Visio, PDF, etc.
  • Feel free to export, print, and share your diagrams.

Related Articles:

Genogram Software for Mac, Windows and Linux

Standard Genogram Symbols

Use Free Family Tree Examples

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EdrawMax is an advanced all-in-one diagramming tool for creating professional flowcharts, org charts, mind maps, network diagrams, UML diagrams, floor plans, electrical diagrams, science illustrations, and more. Just try it, you will love it!