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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 11 months ago



Often in programming it is useful to represent the features of the program in picture form. This technique is often called a Flow Chart.


Usually there are several shapes for types of events

Inside the shapes are written the idea of the event.

Flows from event to event are shown as arrows or lines, which lead to other shapes in the flow.


  • Simple Operations are often shown as Rectangles
  • Decisions are often shown as Diamonds. The main flow usually comes out the bottom of the diamond, alternate outcomes go out of the side corners.
  • Terminations are sometimes shown as circles or rectangles.


When you are trying to get a handle on a problem that will be solved with programming, the flow chart can be useful. It is especially useful when there are a number of people working on a project. The group can chart out the project, then assign individuals to certain pieces of the project as defined by the flowchart.


To draw a flow chart, you can use:

  • Paper and pencil - simple, quick, will require extra steps to digitize and share long distance
  • White board and marker - also simple and quick, easy to make revisions, can show a whole room at once, requires extra steps to share over distance
  • Basic drawing software (open office draw, paint, excel, etc) - computer based, shapes are in the software, output can be saved as a picture, shared over network
  • Commercial flow chart software - computer based, easy to share, can tie in to calendar or project management features, requires time to master the software




Here are some links

Photo of a flowchart for programming a set of electronic dice link - with some electronics notes

wikipedia entry - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flowchart

online flowcharting applet - http://www.edutoolresearch.com/IconicProgrammerApplet.html

Open office Draw - http://www.openoffice.org/product/draw.html

Universal Modeling Language (UML) - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Modeling_Language and http://www.uml.org/

Flow chart image with symbols - http://homepage.cs.uri.edu/faculty/wolfe/book/images/R13/flow1.jpg

Link to the page that the above image comes from - http://homepage.cs.uri.edu/faculty/wolfe/book/Readings/Reading13.htm

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