My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


See Wendy Chart

I’ve not made much knitting progress so far this week, so I thought I’d share with you how I create a knitting chart in Microsoft Word.

As an example, I’ll create a chart template for a sock, because that’s what I do most.

My socks are often 66 stitches around for a size medium, so I will be making a chart the encompasses 33 stitches — half the circumference of the sock.

I’m using Word 2003 for the PC for this demo, but it’s pretty much the same in newer versions (and the MAC version) as well.

Start Word with a new document, and from the Table menu, select “Insert Table.”

I want 33 stitches across and 10 rows, so I set the dimensions at 34 and 11. The extras are so I can insert stitch and row numbers. I set my column width to .18″ because from trial and error I know this will work for a chart of u to about 40 stitches that will fit nicely on a letter-sized page.

Here is your resulting table in your Word document:

Click on the little box with the plus sign in the upper left corner to select the table, and from the Table menu, select “Table Properties.”

Make your row height .18″ and specify “exactly.”

Click on “OK.”

Open “Table Properties” again and select the “Cell” tab, and choose “Center” for the vertical alignment. I discovered that I need to click “OK” in every tab (and that closes the menu) and then re-open the menu in order to save all my changes.

In the “Cell” tab, click the “Options” button in the bottom right corner.

Uncheck the “Same as the whole table” option and set all the cell margins to “0.” Click on “OK,” then click on “OK” on the “Cell” tab to close the menu.

You should now have a table with perfectly square cells.

Next, we want to remove the borders for the first row and the last column on the right, because these are where we are going to put the numbers for the stitches and rows, so they are not part of the chart.

Select the table again and choose “Table Properties” again from the Table Menu. Click on the “Borders and Shading” button at the bottom of the menu.

In the resulting menu, click on “None” to remove all borders and click “OK.”

Now using your mouse cursor, highlight all of the table except the bottom row and the righthand column:

Go back into the Borders and Shading Menu and this time select “All” for the borders. You now have a table that looks like this:

Now you need to set the font for the cells. Highlight the bordered cells, and from your font list choose your knitting symbol font (that you have conveniently already installed — see my post from a couple of days ago.) Set the font size at 8 point, bold. Set the horizontal alignment to centered. Then highlight the bottom row, and set the font to Arial Narrow, size 8, normal, and set the horizontal alignment to centered. Do the same for the righthand column. Once you have inserted your numbers for stitches and rows, your table looks like this:

At this point you can save your table as a template because you’ve got all the settings the way you want. You can easily add or delete rows and columns to this base table to make different size charts.

Here’s a chart with a bunch of knitting symbols I threw in as an example:

When you print it from Word (or create a pdf from it), the greyed-out lines around the numbers do not print, so you get a nice clean-looking chart.

There are a number of different ways you can go about creating a table in Word, and of course you can vary the size of the cells, and use bold or colored lines to delineate pattern repeats, etc. But this is a quick demo of how I do it. I hope it’s been helpful.

Lucy sez:

“It didn’t do a thing for me.”


  1. I wonder what would happen if we tried to knit this chart…..

  2. awesome – thank you Wendy 🙂

    Karens last blog post..

  3. I’m with Lucy. Sounds like Greek to me. Have trouble just reading
    the instructions sometimes.

  4. Thank you so much for the going to all the trouble to even do screen shots!

  5. Just wondering…why do you prefer this over Excel? Excel will use the same font, but you don’t have to create a grid from scratch.

  6. This is really useful, thanks for the clear guidance. It’s good to see how designers do it.

  7. Thank you so much for the step through your process. I used the font before, but … my process for getting the chart into the document was so difficult you’d think I’d tried to make it as hard as possible. I think this is going to make my next charting experience a LOT smoother.

    Thingwhatsqueekss last blog post..Sometimes Life is Not Fair

  8. Wendy, thank you! That is so cool.

  9. Thank you so much! This little tutorial is greatly appreciated!

    Anitas last blog post..As November Comes to an End…

  10. I’m with Lucy too- it’s too late in the day to make much sense. Perhaps when I’m less brain dead…

    Thanks for doing that!

  11. Thanks

  12. Thanks for showing us to make charts on the computer. Now I don’t have to scribble on peices of paper that I generally misplace. L.

  13. Very informative, although I’ll never write a pattern, it’s good to know I have the capabilities at home.
    I ‘spose since it doesn’t involve tuna or turkey, Lucy isn’t impressed.

    JoAnns last blog post..Yarn, Chili & Snow

  14. Sorry to be dense…but where do you get the knitting symbols? Such a helpful post. I’m not an Excel user, but I can use Word. Thanks.

  15. Thanks so much. I have been wanting to know how to do this

    Aunt Kathys last blog post..Tuesday- I woke up OLD today

  16. WOW! Thank you so much, Wendy. Looks like a lot of work and a lot of fun to create. I think I’ll even try my hand at chart making.

    Elizabeths last blog post..Home again, home again…..

  17. You have completely out done yourself this time. In honor of that – I have come up with a remix of an old nursery rhyme your title reminded me of.


    See Wendy chart, see Wendy Knit.
    Wendy shares her chart with us ’cause she’s the sh*t.
    Some charts are big, some charts make us throw fits,
    But Wendy shares her chart with us ’cause she’s the sh*t.

    You can always catch The Megan Behaving Badly Show at 6, 8, and 10 daily!

    Megan S.s last blog post..We Have A Winner!!

  18. Love Megan’s *poem*, and I totally agree with the sentiment.

    kmkats last blog post..I’m a [morphine] nerd.

  19. Thanks for the instructions, but where do you get the knitting symbols?

  20. Thanks for this tutorial on Word tables… it will help with my son’s homework too!
    Also love the poem!

  21. linda-kay says:

    Hey Wendy,

    Love Lucy’s sleepy picture at the top of the blog. Thanks for the chart tutorial. I appreciate all the detail, but I have to agree with Melanie……..I wonder would happen if we try and knit it…………….

  22. Wow- This is great, Wendy. Thanks!

  23. Thanks for the great tutorial!

    Julie Es last blog post..It’s all about the food.

  24. Thank you so much for this! That really helps for me charting my patterns! (especially since I can’t draw worth….anything)

    Pandorasslaves last blog post..Book reviews:

  25. I learn so much from your blog! Thanks

  26. Sunnyknitter says:

    Thanks for sharing! I have some ideas rumbling around and if they ever decide to leave my head this is where they will go.

  27. Great explanation. I’ve hated the Microsoft documentation so much that I’ve never really learned how to do tables properly.

  28. That is awesome! I’ve charted in excel a little bit, but not well. And I have no double decrease sign. Where did you get your fonts, and how do you make them talk nicely to excel?

    Thank you!

    pdxknitteratis last blog post..I’m a winner!

  29. It may not have done much for Miss Lucy, but this post does *plenty* for me! Thank you so much for sharing your charting method and the clear instructions (including experience in settings) in MS Word. I’ve been using Excel and not liking the results much, so maybe MS Word is the answer, at least for smaller charts (Excel is so easy for compressing a wide worksheet into a one-page wide printout – haven’t seen any such commands in MS Word?)

  30. Wow! That was great. I have read about people using Excel, but I have never excelled at Excel (oi..did I just type that?). Word, though? I can handle that and have played around with the tables enough to be pretty familiar with everything you just did.

    Thanks so much! Truly invaluable information.

  31. Margie from Maryland says:

    Thanks, Wendy!

  32. Amazing…clear, to-the-point, and definitely usable and reusable. Thanks!

  33. Nifty! Now I need to go about getting word. hehe. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Cookis last blog post..Dr. Horrible Sing-a-Long Wristers

  34. I do love a nice charting tutorial, and yours is wonderful.

    Sarahs last blog post..It Fits!

  35. Thank you for the early Christmas gift! I will play with this and really enjoy it.

  36. The thought of creating my own pattern is hillarious. BUT I have seen patterns that are miserable and would love to have them in another form. Thank you soooo much for the tutorial!!

  37. Thank you.

  38. Thank you so much for this tutorial! This will be so much easier than my handwritten scratchings on graph paper.

  39. Wow – that’s great – and very clear – I think I actually understand it! I feel like I just received a great knitting gift. Thank you for this wonderful tutorial.

    Karens last blog post..Family First

  40. That is so cool! Thanks for sharing. I’d never have been able to figure it out.

    Suzanne V. (Yarnhog)s last blog post..Who Said Anything About Cashmere?

  41. Very nice tutorial! Thanks for the info.

    Kellis last blog post..Soap Sack

  42. Hi Wendy,
    My question is not about charting, but I was wondering whether you purchased the new addi click needles and, if so, whether you would care to comment about them on your blog (or if not, send me your thoughts). I am thinking about asking for them for Christmas and wanted to know what your thoughts were. Thanks very much!

  43. Wheee! That’s super-helpful! (I keep seeing pretty lace in my head – but not well enough to just knit it. Now, perhaps, I can get it on paper, and THEN knit it. Because really – who needs a head full of lace?)

    CraftyGryphons last blog post.."Burnt Swimmer"

  44. It may not have done much for Lucy or my cats Ruby and Baby either – but I found it most informative! Thanks – Hx

  45. I wouldn’t have thought to do that in Word, so thanks for the details. For charting, though, I have bought and used Knit Visualizer, and I like it a lot. I do use Word’s drawing feature to make schematics. So far my skills are a bit rusty, but with practice I think they will look fine. I turn on the grid marks so I have a “graph” to use for plotting and then use the different lines and curves in the drawing palette. If you forget to turn off the grid when you’re done with the schematic, then everything you print after that has a graph-paper background.

  46. Very interesting, thanks for the demo

    CatiePs last blog post..Birdhouse

  47. Wow, what wonderfully detailed directions. Even I should be able to make up a chart by following the steps you’ve so carefully laid out. I’ve always wanted to chart on my computer but hesitated to ask my dear husband. He is terrific with computers but tends to run through the directions so fast I get lost. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  48. I bow to you for I am not worthy.

    Being a graphic designer I HATE word, but you make it so easy with this awesome example.

    Kriss last blog post..FO: Neckwarmer

  49. SUPER!!! Thanks for all the detail!

  50. Thanks for the tutorial. I downloaded and installed the freeware font file that you recommended. My next step is to make a table like you outlined.
    I do have a question. If you were to make a colorwork chart and want the colorwork table to look true to life would you make your columns wider than your rows to simulate a stitch shape? I noticed that you made them the same which is great for lace and cable work charts but colorwork may need rectangles instead of squares (I’m thinking)….

  51. Katherine says:

    Well, that was interesting! I don’t know if I’ll ever do it, but if I do, at least I’ll have directions. Thanks.

  52. Very nice. I, of course, just went and made up a blank of this to try it out. The blank template is only a matter of minutes to make and is much more convenient than an entire pad of normal graph paper.

    Seanna Leas last blog post..For Super Eggplant!

  53. A great explanation, thank you so much!

  54. You are a rock star of knitting. I sometimes write instructions for using various systems at my day job and it is a challenge to make them easy to follow. Your screen shots and examples are very precise and helpful.

  55. You are just the most helpful and generous knitting blogger out there. Thanks a million!

  56. Thanks, your info on how to make a chart is great. It will come in useful for those Rowan patterns where they don’t provide charts and which are a pain to knit. Cheers

  57. Very cool! Thanks Wendy!

    Danieles last blog post..Random Cyber Monday with Candy Corn

  58. Wendy, you have made one more thing in life seem so effortless. Thank you. I love how your wrap is coming along. Also congrats on the high Karma, my computer remains in the shop and by the looks of it a lot has happened on Plurk.

  59. Thanks so much for sharing.

    Anns last blog post..I Have To Have It !

  60. Well done and thank you, I don’t make knitting charts but now maybe I will! Love Lucy photos, I have one of one of my kitties who actually took a wip out of the bag so he could go sleep in the bag. He loves bags more than knitting, but will chew my yarn in half while I’m knitting if I don’t watch him.

  61. Ooooh I always wonder how other people make their charts. Thanks for this!

  62. What a great post. I learn so much from your blog. Often things I wanted to do, but just haven’t the wits to figure out. I read your instructions, they are all spelled out and bingo I understand so much more. Thank you for sharing.

  63. Thank you very much so great information with excellent instructions. I’ve struggled to get my arms around the PC charting beast and given up in the past. You’ve made it very easy and clear. Thanks. You’ve taught me a great deal!


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