How To Create A Venn Diagram [Free Venn Diagram Template]

Learn all about Venn Diagram, how to create Venn Diagrams from scratch, and download free Venn Diagram Template:

If you’re looking for a Venn diagram template, look no further. We’ve got the best downloadable and editable Venn diagram templates for you.

A Venn diagram is an excellent and effective method of visualizing concepts and relationships in a clear, easy-to-grasp way, and is often used in both academic and professional presentations and reports.

If you’re new to Venn diagrams, or would simply like a refresher, this article will tell you everything you need to know in order to make and use your own Venn diagrams.

Free Venn Diagram Templates

We’ll be covering:

  • What Venn diagrams are & where to use them.
  • How to read and create Venn diagrams

You’ll also find different free Venn diagram templates you can download and edit to suit your needs.

Phil Plait vennvenn

What Is A Venn Diagram

It consists of two or more circles used to visually organize information into groups, or sets, and to show the relationship/s between these sets.

Visualizing information using Venn diagrams makes it easier to analyze how two or more sets of ‘things’ relate to each other, such as the similarities and differences between them. These ‘things’ can be anything from numbers and concepts to people and even choices.

So what does it look like?

Here’s an example of a tri-Venn diagram:

Let’s say you are planning a holiday with two of your friends – John & Jane, and there’s no consensus on the destination.

  • Jane wants to travel to an exotic location.
  • John wants to go somewhere not too expensive.
  • You want to go to a place that is safe, without risks/dangers.

Here’s an example of a ‘triple-Venn diagram’ that can help you visualize the options, and pick the best holiday destination – one that will make everyone happy:

Tri-Venn Diagram

Thailand is the clear choice as it is safe, inexpensive, and exotic all at once!

Read A Venn Diagram

These diagrams are easy to read once you understand certain key concepts. Let’s look at these fundamental concepts, to learn how to read them:

#1) Set

A set is a collection of things. These ‘things’ can also be called elements, items, members, objects, or other similar names. A set can be described in two ways.

One way is to list all the elements in the set.

For example: S = {a, e, i, o, u}

This is read as “S is a set whose elements are a, e, i, o and u”.

The second way to describe a set is to write a description of the elements in the set.

For example: S = {vowels of the English alphabet}

This is read as “S is a set whose elements are vowels of the English alphabet”.

Remember to use commas to separate each element of a set and enclose them in curly brackets.

A universal set is a larger set that includes all the elements in all the sets being analyzed and is usually denoted by the symbol U.

For example, U = { letters of the English alphabet}

In a Venn diagram, a large rectangle represents a universal set, with the other sets drawn as circles within the rectangle.

Universal Set

Sets are always well defined, i.e. the elements of the set can be described or listed without any uncertainty.

For example: {tastiest fruits} is not a set because there is no one clear way to define ‘tastiest’, and the elements for this set are not exact or fixed.

#2) Union

A union of two sets includes all the elements from either set. The symbol union is used to indicate a union.

For example:


A = {oranges, apples, pears, plums}, and

B = {oranges, apples, peaches, plums}


A union B = {oranges, apples, pears, peaches, plums}

#3) Intersection

The intersection of two sets includes only those elements that are common to both sets. The symbol intersection2 is used to indicate an intersection.

For example:


A = {colors on the flag of Iceland}, and B = {colors on the flag of Belgium}


Aintersection2B = {Red}


#3) Complement

The complement of a given set S is denoted as Sc, and includes all the elements of the universal set U that are not present in S. For example:


Given that:

U = {months of the year on the Gregorian calendar}


S = {months of the year on the Gregorian calendar that has 30 days}


Sc = U – S = {January, February, March, May, July, August, October, December}

Venn Diagrams Uses

They can be used for much more than just as mathematical tools to understand ‘set theory’.

Here are some examples of the real-world applications of Venn diagrams:

#1) Science

The Venn diagram below, from a medical research paper, is used to show the overlapping genes associated with autosomal dominant Inherited Retinal Dystrophy forms.

Science Venn Diagram

[image source]

#2) Linguistics

Venn diagrams can help linguists to study how different languages relate to each other, as in the example below.


#3) Literature

Comparing, contrasting, drawing parallels, and finding differences are common tasks in the study of Literature, that are made much easier with the help of Venn Diagrams. The example below is a visual representation of a literary comparison of Romeo & Juliet with West Side Story.


[image source]

#4) Business

The diagram below was created as an alternative to the traditional tree, to visualize how managers can move beyond their role within a hierarchy, and to better explain the interrelatedness of various departments.


[image source]

#5) Psychology

A level students use Venn diagrams to compare different approaches to psychology. The example below shows a comparison of the Cognitive and Humanistic approaches.

Psychology Venn Diagram

Templates Creation

You can easily create your own Venn diagrams using our super-convenient, downloadable and editable templates, with 2-, 3-, and 4-circle Venn diagrams:

Create Venn Diagram From Scratch

The first few steps of making a Venn diagram are the same regardless of whether you draw it on paper or online.

  1. Define your sets and your goal. You should know what you are comparing, and why.
  2. List all the elements of your set.
  3. Draw your circles and add the elements in the appropriate circles and intersections to compare and contrast the sets.

You can do this on paper. Or, if you prefer, there are several digital options for creating a Venn diagram.

#1) Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint

You can create a Venn diagram by using SmartArt Graphics. It is under the “Insert” tab.

Click Insert arrow SmartArt Graphic arrowRelationship, and choose the Basic Venn diagram template.

Double click to format, and choose a simple style, i.e. no fill with a dark outline.

Add text to each circle by typing into the relevant boxes in the Text pane beside the diagram. To add text to the intersections, or the overlapping parts of the circles, you’ll need to insert a text box and position it over the intersection.

#2) Google Docs

Use Google Drawing to create a Venn diagram in Google Docs, by following these steps:

  • Go to Google Docs and start a new document.
  • Click Insert arrow Drawing arrow+New. Now you will use Google Drawing to draw the circles for your Venn Diagram.
  • Click on the ‘Shape’ icon, and choose the circle under ‘Shapes’.
  • After drawing your circles, add text by inserting text boxes. Save and close Google Drawing.

Your Venn diagram will appear on your Google Docs. Click edit when you need to return to your Google Drawing to make changes.

Unfortunately, there are no ready Venn diagram templates in Google Docs, but you might find our free Venn diagram templates will do the trick!

#3) Online Venn diagram ‘makers’

You can also make your own Venn diagram using online Venn diagram makers, i.e. diagramming applications and software that will let you create different kinds of Venn diagrams to suit your purposes.

The most popular online Venn diagram makers are:

You’ll need to sign up to use the free versions, which allow you to create only a limited number of Venn diagrams.

Metachart is a Venn diagram maker that is completely free and doesn’t require any sign-up.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q #1) What is a Venn diagram used for?

Answer: They are used when you need to classify or group information into sets that you can count, compare, and contrast. They are a visual method of representing the relationship between two or more things or sets of things. These ‘things’ can be pretty much anything from concrete numbers to abstract concepts.

Q #2) What are the three types of Venn diagrams?

Answer: These are:

  • 2-set Venn diagram: This is the simplest type which uses two overlapping circles or ovals to show the similarities and differences between two sets of information.
  • 3-set Venn diagram: Also known as a tri-Venn diagram, or a triple Venn diagram, it uses three circles to compare and contrast, and show relationships across 3 sets of data,
  • 4-set Venn diagram: Things do start to get a little messy here, so be careful when you use a 4-set Venn diagram because 4 circles can be tricky. Ovals might work better than circles for this one.

Choose from one of our free Venn diagram templates based on your needs!

Q #3) What is a tri-Venn diagram?

Answer: It is simply another term for a 3-set Venn diagram that uses 3 circles to compare 3 sets of data. Here, the center is the area of similarity between all three sets.

Q #4) What is the middle of a Venn diagram called?

Answer: The middle of a Venn diagram where two circles overlap is called an intersection. In a triple Venn diagram, the geometric shape that is formed where the three circles intersect is called a Reuleaux triangle.

Q #5) Why is it called a Venn diagram?

Answer: Venn diagrams are named after John Venn, a British mathematician, logician, and philosopher, who wrote about them in the Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, in 1880.


Now you have all the information and tools you need to create your own Venn diagram. In this tutorial, we answered the following questions:

  • What are Venn diagrams?
  • How do you read it?
  • What we can use it for?
  • How do you create a Venn diagram?

And you can’t go wrong with our free Venn diagram templates – easy to download, edit and use as you please!