Flowchart is a graphical representation of an algorithm. Programmers often use it as a program-planning tool to solve a problem. It makes use of symbols which are connected among them to indicate the flow of information and processing.
The process of drawing a flowchart for an algorithm is known as “flowcharting”.
Basic Symbols used in Flowchart Designs
The oval symbol indicates Start, Stop and Halt in a program’s logic flow. A pause/halt is generally used in a program logic under some error conditions. Terminal is the first and last symbols in the flowchart.
- Input / Output
A parallelogram denotes any function of input/output type. Program instructions that take input from input devices and display output on output devices are indicated with parallelogram in a flowchart.
A box represents arithmetic instructions. All arithmetic processes such as adding, subtracting, multiplication and division are indicated by action or process symbol.
Diamond symbol represents a decision point. Decision based operations such as yes/no question or true/false are indicated by diamond in flowchart.
Whenever flowchart becomes complex or it spreads over more than one page, it is useful to use connectors to avoid any confusions. It is represented by a circle.
- Flow lines
Flow lines indicate the exact sequence in which instructions are executed. Arrows represent the direction of flow of control and relationship among different symbols of flowchart.
Example: Draw a flowchart to input two numbers from user and display the largest of two numbers
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