Flowcharts provide a visual representation of processes or algorithms. Streamline your diagrams by using standard elements and shapes.
- Drag a shape from the shape library to the canvas.
- Double-click the shape to add or edit text.
- To drag lines out of a shape, hover over the shape, click on the red connection points that appears and drag your mouse.
- When you release your mouse, you will be prompted to add a new shape. This feature can be turned off as follows: Lucidchart icon > User Settings > Preferences > After Drawing Lines > Do nothing
- Continue to add shapes and draw lines until the flowchart is complete.
- Format the diagram as desired. If you're not sure where to start, see our Getting Started Guide.
- To distinguish between responsibilities and sub-processes, see our Creating Swim Lanes tutorial.
Arrows: Show the general direction of the chart and the next steps in a path.
Connector: Connects separate elements across one page. Used within complex charts.
Data (I/O): Represents input, output, or resources used or generated.
Database: Represents a database.
Decision: Indicates a question to be answered—usually yes / no or true / false. The path may change depending on the answer.
Delay: Indicates a delay or waiting period in a process.
Direct Access Storage (Hard Disk): Represents data storage on a hard drive.
Display: Refers to information being shown to a user, often with a computer monitor.
Document: Represents a document or report.
Internal Storage: Represents data stored in random-access memory (RAM).
Manual Input: Represents the manual input of data into a computer, usually through a keyboard.
Manual Operation: Indicates a step that must be done manually, not automatically.
Merge: Combines multiple paths.
Multiple Documents: Represents multiple documents or reports.
Note: Shows comments on a flowchart.
Off-Page Link: Connects separate elements across multiple pages. Used within complex charts.
Or: Represents a path that diverges.
Paper Tape: Represents input or output.
Predefined Process: Indicates a complicated process or operation that is well-known or defined elsewhere.
Preparation: Represents preparation for upcoming steps.
Process: Shows a process, action, or operation.
Stored Data: Represents data housed on a storage device.
Summing Junction: Sums the input of several converging paths.
Terminator: Represents the start points, end points, and potential outcomes of a path.