Flowchart

A flowchart is a diagram that describes a process or operation. It includes multiple steps, which the process "flows" through from start to finish. Common uses for flowcharts include developing business plans, defining troubleshooting steps, and designing mathematical algorithms. Some flowcharts may only include a few steps, while others can be highly complex, containing hundreds of possible outcomes.

Flowcharts typically use standard symbols to represent different stages or actions within the chart. For example, each step is shown within a rectangle, while each decision is displayed in a diamond. Arrows are placed between the different symbols to show the direction the process is flowing. While flowcharts can be created with a pen and paper, there are several software programs available that make designing flowcharts especially easy. Common programs that can be used to create flowcharts include SmartDraw and Visio for Windows and OmniGraffle for the Mac.

Updated October 23, 2008

Definitions by TechTerms.com

The definition of Flowchart on this page is an original TechTerms.com definition. If you would like to reference this page or cite this definition, you can use the green citation links above.

The goal of TechTerms.com is to explain computer terminology in a way that is easy to understand. We strive for simplicity and accuracy with every definition we publish. If you have feedback about the Flowchart definition or would like to suggest a new technical term, please contact us.

Want to learn more tech terms? Subscribe to the daily or weekly newsletter and get featured terms and quizzes delivered to your inbox.

Sign up for the free TechTerms Newsletter

How often would you like to receive an email?

You can unsubscribe or change your frequency setting at any time using the links available in each email.

Questions? Please contact us.