Flowchart: Definition, Standard Symbols and Guidelines with common Examples

FlowchartA flowchart is a type of diagram that represents a process, showing the steps as symbols of various kinds, and their order by connecting them with arrows.

This diagrammatic representation can give a step-by-step solution to a given problem. Flowchart helps in finding the solution of a problem and facilitate in showing the input, process and output of the problem.


Flowcharting is a process of pictorial illustration for solving a problem. Flowcharting is a tool for analyzing processes. Flowcharting can be used in computer systems design, programming, engineering, and science, etc.

Benefits of flowchart:

  1. It helps in understanding the logic of the problem solving processes.
  2. It gives the pictorial representation of the processes involved in the problem solution.
  3. It shows the flow processes in a sequential manner.

Standard Flowchart Symbols

Flowcharting use standardized sets of symbols. Flowchart Symbols with their description and examples are given in following table.Flowchart symbols

Guidelines for Flowcharting

Following guidelines should be followed while drawing a flowchart:

    1. Flowchart should be clear, neat and easy to follow.
    2. Flow of flowchart is either from left to right or from top to bottom.
    3. Only one flow line should enter and come out of the process symbol.
    4. Only one flow line should enter a decision symbol, but two flow lines could come out, one for each possible answer, should leave the decision symbol.
  1. Only one flow line is used in Start / End symbol.
  2. Avoid the intersection of flow lines to make it more effective.

Examples of Flowchart

Some sample flowcharts to solve some simple problems are given as follows:

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