Flowcharts provide a visual representation of processes or algorithms. Streamline your diagrams by using standard elements and shapes.
Create a flowchart
Drag a shape from the flowchart shape library to the canvas.
Double-click the shape to add text.
To drag out a line from the shape, hover over it and drag from the connection points that appear.
Once you release your mouse, you'll be prompted to add a new shape. This option can be turned off from the Lucidchart icon > Preferences.
Continue to add shapes and draw lines until the flowchart is complete.
To distinguish between responsibilities and sub-processes, see our tutorial on adding and using swimlanes.
2. Common flowchart symbols
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.