I'm not looking to make anything really special looking, I'd just like to make basic branches going down to draw a family tree. I tried Paint but that's difficult to edit, and Word wouldn't be easy to make into an image. I'm hoping to find out what those in linguistics who make historical trees normally use.

semitic language tree
(source: oocities.org)

  • Languages don't normally have family trees, though language families do. Are you asking about syntax trees? Can you edit this to show a picture of what you're asking about please?
    – curiousdannii
    Mar 24, 2016 at 8:34
  • 2
    Maybe this question is better suited to the Software Recommendations stackexchange. Mar 24, 2016 at 9:12
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it concerns programs for drawing certain kinds of charts and does not concern linguistics.. Mar 26, 2016 at 3:40
  • Till today, I still find a suitable software like this which can intergrate with Word. Nov 27, 2019 at 12:09

2 Answers 2


I'd also recommend qTree - if you've ever sat in a syntax class or had to work with natural language parsers, it will be very easy to use:



If your want a user-friendly program to use on the go you can check Cmaptool from good people at the Florida Institute for Human & Machine Cognition (IHMC) it's really easy to use straight forward and you can export your data to variety of extensions.

enter image description here

If you TeX you can use qTree package from CTAN.

\Tree[.IP [.NP [.Det \textit{the} ]
           [.N\1 [.N \textit{package} ]]]
      [.I\1 [.I \textsc{3sg.Pres} ]
            [.VP [.V\1 [.V \textit{is} ]
                       [.AP [.Deg \textit{really} ]
                            [.A\1 [.A \textit{simple} ]
                                  \qroof{\textit{to use}}.CP ]]]]]]

The above code (from here) will produce the below:

(Although it is used to make syntax trees but still you could use it for Language family trees)

enter image description here

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