What Are the Differences Between Algorithm and Flowchart?

Peter Martinez updated on 2020-09-25 17:19:49

The algorithm and flowchart are the tools which are most commonly used by software programmers. People use these tools to explain the process of a program. Algorithm and flowcharts help us to create new programs, specifically in computer programming. These tools are very helpful for programmers as they allow the programmer to analyze the entire programming process stepwise. Flowcharts on the other hand explain the steps of a program visually. On this page we will explain the differences between the two popular tools.

The definition of algorithm and flowchart

What is Algorithm?

An algorithm is a logical step by step procedure for solving problems. Once you decide to solve a problem, you must know what to do and how to do it and what sorts of steps need to be carried out to get to the solution. So the series of steps which need to be executed in order to solve the problem is called an algorithm. It is the first step in the process for solving mathematical or computer problems. An algorithm comprises of reasoning, calculations and data processing, it can also be presented by using natural languages, pseudocode and flowcharts etc.

What is Flowchart?

Flowchart is simply a manner of representing an algorithm. A flowchart is also known as the flow diagram which demonstrates a detailed series of steps which are required to get a specific result. It uses different symbols, shapes and arrows to illustrate a process or a program graphically. Each symbol, shape or arrow specifies a distinct function. The key purpose of using a flowchart is to analyze different methods for solving a problem visually and it is immensely helpful in programming as it helps to simplify the algorithm and transforms it into an understandable visual. The programmer can easily breakdown and analyze the different steps of the process while using a flowchart.

Key Differences between Algorithm and Flowchart

1. An algorithm is a more complicated step by step method for solving a problem, on the other hand a flowchart is easily understandable.

2. A flow chart is basically the graphical representation of an algorithm, whereas an algorithm includes a number of calculated steps which are used to understand the logic of the solution.

3. An algorithm does not necessarily follow any rigorous rules whereas a flowchart has to follow set of predefined rules.

4. It is very easy to create a Flow chart. On the other hand, the construction of the algorithm is complex and time taking.

5. Errors and bugs can easily be detected in an algorithm as compared to the flow charts.

6. An algorithm uses languages that can be understood by humans, while a flowchart uses various shapes, symbols, arrows etc.

Advantages of the Flow Chart

The flowchart is a very logical way of conveying the idea of the system. It offers an appropriate documentation and is very helpful in facilitating the analysis of the problem. A flowchart facilitates in easy identification of errors and bugs for prompt resolution. It helps in guiding the program development. Maintenance of the program also becomes very easy to manage.

Disadvantages of the Flow Chart

  • If the logic of an algorithm is complex it could result in a complex flow chart which would be tough to understand and interpret.
  • In order to employ modifications and alterations a flowchart must be recreated to do so.

Advantages of the Algorithm

Segregation of the steps divides labor and development proficiency. It helps to identify the solution process, decision facts and variables which are necessary to solve the problem. The analysis and description of the procedures ultimately lead to the efficiency. It also manages to divide a big problem into much smaller, manageable steps of the solution.

Disadvantages of the Algorithm

  • At a specific point, the algorithm terminates.
  • An algorithm is not capable to solve problems that create non-computational results.
  • They are very time taking and consume a lot of time.


A collection of steps and directions that are followed in order to solve a mathematical or computational problem is an algorithm. On the other hand, the flowchart is a technique of visually presenting an algorithm, in other words, it is the graphical representation of the algorithm. There are different algorithm and flowchart examples.

Create a simple flowchart online

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algorithm and flowchart

You can also create a simple flowchart tool online with Mockitt. Now with Mockitt, you can boost your creativity beyond imagination. This online prototyping and collaboration tool allows you to empower your design journey, present your idea, validate your concept and then implement the design. Creating flowcharts with Mockitt was never easier.

On Mockitt, abundant widgets and icons can be directly used for free. Even if you have zero design experience, you can still make efficient flowcharts. Moreover, you can easily customize these widgets, save and reuse them, all with just a single click. When you are done making a flowchart with Mockitt, you can also easily share them with others.