Flowchart database symbol
Each variety of flowchart shape has its own specific meaning. While you can create a flowchart online using only the most common symbol types, knowing how to make a flowchart using them all can come in handy.
We’re here to help. Welcome to Gliffy’s guide to understanding flowchart symbols.
Basic Flowchart Shapes
A rectangle with rounded cap ends — called a terminator — gets used to start and end each flowchart process path.
Arrows connect up the symbols in your flowchart, guiding the reader through the sequence of process steps. Flow moves in the direction in which the arrows point.
Gliffy’s Flowchart Shape Library also includes three fixed arrow shapes that can come in handy when you need to show stronger emphasis.
When you have a step in your process that has only one possible next step, you use a process symbol.
Check out the simple process flowchart example below to see these three basic symbols used correctly.
The decision symbol marks a branching point in your process, such as one that requires a choice. At least two arrows should emerge from a decision symbol. If your choice isn’t binary, add more than two arrows neatly like so:
Any time you have more than one arrow emerging from a symbol those arrows need to be labeled for clarity.
Advanced Flowchart Symbols
The connector symbol works like a teleporter — you use it to avoid drawing long snaking arrows that would make your flowchart look like spaghetti. Always use connector symbols in pairs like so: