Flowchart Symbols Meaning | Standard Flowchart symbol images and usage

Flowchart Symbols and their usage

There are a large number of shapes used in drawing flowcharts and process flows. Choosing which to use can be confusing. We are here to help with that.

With this list, you can figure out the most commonly used flowchart symbols as well as those that are little-known. All these shapes are available in Creately and you can try out a demo or take a look at some flowchart examples for more context.

The terminator shows where your process begins or ends. You can use words like ‘Start’, 'Begin', 'End' inside the terminator shape to make things more obvious.

Flowchart process shape is used to represent a process, action step or an operation. While these are pictured with rectangles, the text in the rectangle mostly includes a verb. For example, ‘Edit Video’, ‘Try Again’, ‘Choose Your Plan’.n'.

The Data object, often referred to as the I/O Shape shows the Inputs to and Outputs from a process. This takes the shape of a parallelogram.

Decision shape is represented as a Diamond. This object is always used in a process flow to ask a question. And, the answer to the question determines the arrows coming out of the Diamond. This shape is quite unique with two arrows coming out of it. One from the bottom point corresponding to Yes or True and one from either the right/left point corresponding to No or False. The arrows should always be labeled to avoid confusion in the process flow.

Document object is a rectangle with a wave-like base. This shape is used to represent a Document or Report in a process flow.

This is a general data storage object used in the process flow as opposed to data which could be also stored on a hard drive, magnetic tape, memory card, of any other storage device.

Direct Data object in a process flow represents information stored which can be accessed directly. This object represents a computer's hard drive.

This is a shape which is commonly found in programming flowcharts to illustrate the information stored in memory, as opposed to on a file. This shape is often referred to as the magnetic core memory of early computers; or the random access memory (RAM) as we call it today.

This object takes the shape of a reel of tape. It represents information stored in a sequence, such as data on a magnetic tape.

This object is represented by rectangle with the top sloping up from left to right. The Manual Input object signifies an action where the user is prompted for information that must be manually input into a system.

This shape takes two names - 'Subroutine' or 'Predefined Process'. Its called a subroutine if you use this object in flowcharting a software program. This allows you to write one subroutine and call it as often as you like from anywhere in the code.

The same object is also called a Predefined Process. This means the flowchart for the predefined process has to be already drawn, and you should reference the flowchart for more information.

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