# 10 Difference Between Flowchart And Algorithm (With Pictures)

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Flowcharts and algorithms are both tools used in computer programming and problem-solving to visually represent the logical steps and processes of a task. However, they serve different purposes and have different characteristics.

Get to understand the difference between Flowchart and algorithm. The basis of comparison includes: complexity, geometrical diagrams, and scope of usage, use, users, debugging, solutions, branching and looping.

## What Is A flowchart?

A flowchart is a diagram, which graphically represents the steps a program takes to process data. It uses different geometric shapes to describe the various actions the program carries out. For example, a parallelogram may be used to indicate input and output; a diamond may indicate a logical decision while a rectangular box may be used to indicate a simple mathematical operation.

In many cases a programmer sketches a flowchart using pencil and paper or by connecting shapes on a computer screen with software. In a large system, flowcharts act as an important document for both system and individual programs, this is because it precisely summarizes a program’s functions in easy-to-understand symbols clearly explained in English. In any case the program encounters hiccups; it saves time on the part of the programmer since he will have to check the flowchart in a few minutes before examining the program.

## What Is An Algorithm?

An algorithm is a well defined step-by-step process which is used in processing data (providing a solution to a particular problem). An algorithm accurately defines the steps a program takes to perform an operation. It includes input and output and logical comparisons. When an algorithm is used on a computer, several operations such as additions and subtractions are combined to perform more complex mathematical operations.

Algorithms are generally written in a natural language or plain English language. Algorithms can also be presented by pseudo code, flowcharts, drakon-charts etc.

Also Read: Difference Between While And Do-while

## Algorithm vs Flowchart: Key Differences

Nature and Purpose

• A flowchart is a visual representation that uses shapes and lines to illustrate the sequence of steps and decision points in a process or algorithm.
• An algorithm is a step-by-step set of instructions designed to solve a specific problem or accomplish a task.

Visual vs. Textual

• Flowcharts use symbols, shapes, and lines to depict the flow of control and data in a graphical manner.
• Algorithms are typically represented in a textual form using a programming language or pseudocode.

Level of Detail

• Flowcharts are often used to provide a high-level overview of a process, emphasizing the flow of control and decision points.
• Algorithms provide a more detailed and precise description of the steps involved in solving a problem.

Communication

• Flowcharts are useful for presenting processes and concepts to non-technical audiences or for quickly conveying the overall structure of a process.
• Algorithms are more suited for technical communication among programmers and developers.

Abstraction

• Flowcharts may use abstract symbols and shapes, making them less tied to a specific programming language or implementation.
• Algorithms can be written in specific programming languages or pseudocode, making them more language-specific.

Flexibility

• Flowcharts can be a bit more flexible in terms of design and layout, allowing for creative representations.
• Algorithms follow a structured and precise format, adhering to the syntax and rules of the chosen programming language.

Ease of Understanding

• Flowcharts can be easier to understand for people who are new to programming or technical concepts.
• Algorithms can be challenging for beginners to understand, especially if they are written in a programming language.

Documentation

• Flowcharts are used for documenting processes, workflows, and decision-making logic.
• Algorithms are used for documenting the step-by-step instructions required to solve a specific problem.

Tool Usage

• Flowcharts are created using software tools specifically designed for diagramming, like Microsoft Visio or Lucidchart.
• Algorithms are written in text editors, integrated development environments (IDEs), or specialized algorithm design tools.

Application Area

• Flowcharts are commonly used in various fields beyond computer science, such as business process modeling, system design, and education.
• Algorithms are primarily used in computer programming and mathematics for problem-solving and implementing solutions.

## Algorithm And Flowchart: Key Takeaways

Also Read: Difference Between Program And Software

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