Yonatan Ben Knaan

Flowchart Symbols

Posted Dec 2023

A visual cheat sheet to help you effectively convey ideas with flowcharts

A simple flowchart that represent a viewer liking or disliking this content

You know, I've seen flowcharts here and there, but when I started working extensively with Whimsical, I found myself thinking what the hack are these diagram symbols anyways? Do they have a meaning or are they just nice looking shapes? Well, this is a visual language signs, and as a language they have a meaning, so much so it's been standardized by ISO and ANSI.

With these symbols you can create flowcharts to represents any workflow or process that other people can read – the only condition is that you and your audience are reading them correctly. With this list you can totally plot any UX flow, software logic or a spaceship to Mars.

The shape goes as follow:



Used to clearly define the start or stop point in a process or a flow in your diagram

The Terminator symbol



A question or a decision in the process between two or more paths in a flowchart. Usually a yes/no or true/false branching duo to different outcomes

The Decision symbol



Indicates data inputs and outputs to and from a process, be it a user input, system output, or data exchange with external sources

The Input/Output symbol


Half Pointed, Half Rounded Rectangular

Indicates displayed data for a screen of exported to a text file

The Display symbol


Flipped Triangle

Indicates a step that merge multiple processes into one

The Merge symbol


Bottom Wavey Rectangular

Represents the input or output of a printed document or report

The Document symbol

Off Page Connector

Square with One Pointed Edge

Indicates a jump from one page of the diagram to another page. Represented by a square with one pointed edge with a letter inside

The Off Page Connector symbol


Cylinder with an Oval on Top

Indicates a database that allows for searching and sorting

The Database symbol

Predefined Process

Rectangle Containing Narrower Rectangle

A process defined elsewhere in the flowchart or from another source

The Predefined Process symbol


Circle with a Cross Sign Inside

Logical AND operator

The And symbol


Two Triangles on Top of Each Other

Step that organizes data into a schema

The Collate symbol



An operation or action step - Indicates any processing function. Illustrate actions taken, calculations performed, or tasks completed

The Process symbol


Elongated Hexagon

A preparation process step, like setting a switch or setting-up a routine

The Preparation symbol

Manual Input


A process step that isn't automated, requiring a manual intervention or human action. Used to show a user tasks, operator involvement, or steps requiring external human input

The Manual Input symbol


Half Rounded Rectangular

A waiting period - Indicates a delay in the process

The Delay symbol



Used to extract or to split a processes. Also used to indicates a measurement or finished goods

The Extract symbol

Multiple Documents

Stack of Bottom Wavey Rectangular

Represents multiple inputs or outputs of a printed documents or reports

The Multiple Documents symbol

On Page Connector


A jump from one point to another, and replace a long line on a flowchart page. Represented by a small circle with a letter inside

The On Page Connector symbol

Internal Storage

Square with Two Rectangles Inside

Indicates an internal storage that allows for searching and sorting

The Internal Storage symbol


Circle with a Plus Sign Inside

Logical OR operator

The Or symbol


Rhombus with a Line Crossing

Step that organizes data into lists using a schema

The Sort symbol