• A Flowchart is a graphical representation of a process.
  • It uses some predefined symbols to represent a process in simple and understandable manner.

Flowchart Symbols:


[1] Start/Stop:

  • An oval or rounded rectangle is used to represent starting and completion of a process in a flowchart.

[2] Input/Output:

  • Input and output operation can be represented using slant rectangle
  • To input data from outer word and displaying some result to the user slant rectangle is used.

[3] Process:

  • Rectangle is use to represent some processing or calculation on data.

[4] Decision:

  • Decision step can be represented with the help of a diamond shape.
  • When certain action is to be taken based on some condition then conditional step is represented by diamond shape.

[5] Data flow:

  • Flow of the data can be represented using arrow shape.
  • It shows direction of the data towards different program module.

[6] Document/Report:

  • Document or data reports generated after processing is represented using document or report shape.

[7] Continuity:

  • If the flowchart gets large and cannot be represented on a single page then circle shape can be used as a connector.

Advantages of flowchart:

  • It shows overall process in a graphical format.
  • It is easy to understand program logic.
  • It shows flow of the data about the program.
  • It helps to trace direction of process and program logic.
  • It displays all possible state of the program in a specific condition.

Disadvantages of flowchart:

  • Drawing a flowchart is time consuming process especially when program is large.
  • If program logic gets changed it requires modifying the flowchart.
  • Modification in a flowchart requires redrawing complete flowchart.
  • If a process is more complex, the flowchart will also be complex.
  • It is simple for less complex and small process but as soon as program gets large, flowchart becomes complex.