Flowchart Symbols and Algorithm

on 06 February 2011

We know that Flowchart and Algorithm are the fundamentals of Programming. Let us first understand their definitions.

A flowchart is a common type of diagram, that represents an algorithm or process, showing the steps as boxes of various kinds, and their order by connecting these with arrows. This diagrammatic representation can give a step-by-step solution to a given problem.

We can also say that a flowchart is simply a pictorial representation of an algorithm.

An Algorithm is used for solving a particular program using a number of steps in specific order. Algorithm is step by step explanation of problem & solution in text format.

Various symbols used in flowchart:


The terminal symbol indicates the beginning (start), end(stop) and pauses(halt) in a program's logic flow.


The input/output symbol denotes any function of an input/output nature in a program.


A processing symbol represents arithmetic and data movement instructions.



The decision symbol indicates a decision point, that is, a point at which a point of two or more alternative points is possible.

Flow lines

Flow lines with arrowheads indicate the flow of operation, that is, the exact sequence in which the instruction are executed.


Whenever a flowchart becomes so complex that the number and direction of flow lines are confusing or it spreads over more than one page, it is useful to utilize connector symbols as a substitute for flow lines.


Anonymous said...

i always find these flowchart symbols confusing..but atleast am now conversant..thanx for everything

Anonymous said...

very helpful stuff

Melvin Chelli said...


Anonymous said...

im glad that I've found this....thanks

Anonymous said...

thanx..it really helped

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