Picture Your Processes with Flowchart Software

Edraw Flowchart Software can eliminate rework and retrofitting by making sure you're starting with the appropriate flowchart for the graphical problem you're trying to solve.

Fit the Flowchart to Your Process

The following table shows what types of data fit best into which types of flowcharts. Use it to identify the flowchart that fits the process you want to show, and then find out how to make flowcharts easy to revise.

Flowchart Software - Draw flowcharts, org charts, network diagrams and other business and technical diagrams with Edraw flowcharting software. It provides abundant flowchart examples, templates, tutorials for free download!

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Flowchart Diagrams

Flowchart type

Sample

Purpose

Audit Flow Diagram

Audit Flow Diagram

Document and analyze processes that involve financial transactions and inventory management.

Basic Flowchart

Basic Flowchart

Describe or analyze processes, document procedures, indicate work or information flow, track cost and efficiency.

Cause and Effect Diagram (Ishikawa or fishbone diagrams)

Cause and Effect Diagram (Ishikawa or fishbone diagrams)

Create cause-and-effect diagrams (also known as fishbone or Ishikawa diagrams) to systematically review factors that affect or contribute to a given situation. Document 6 Sigma and ISO 9000 processes.

Data Flow Diagram

Data Flow Diagram

Create structured analysis, information flow, process-oriented, data-oriented, and data process diagrams as well as data flowcharts.

Cross-functional Flowchart

Cross-functional Flowchart

Show the relationship between a business process and the organizational or functional units, such as departments, that are responsible for steps in that process.

SDL Diagram

SDL Diagram

Create object-oriented diagrams for communications and telecommunications systems and networks, using Specification and Description Language (SDL). Based on CCITT specifications.

Work Flow Diagram

Work Flow Diagram

Create diagrams of information flow, business process automation, business process re-engineering, accounting, management, and human resources tasks. Document 6 Sigma and ISO 9000 processes.

TQM Diagram

TQM Diagram

Create cause and effect, top down and cross-functional process flow diagrams for business process re-engineering, Total Quality Management (TQM), and continuous improvement. Document 6 Sigma and ISO 9000 processes.

EPC Diagram

EPC Diagram

Create Event-driven Process Chain (EPC) diagrams to document business processes. Document SAP processes.

Fault Tree Analysis

Fault Tree Analysis

Create Fault Tree diagrams to document business processes. Document 6 Sigma and ISO 9000 processes.

IDEF0 Diagram

IDEF0 Diagram

Create hierarchical diagrams using IEDF0 process charting models for model configuration management, need and benefit analyses, requirements definitions, and continuous improvement models.

Make your Flowcharts Easy to Revise

Edraw includes a special tool you can use so that connecting lines are added automatically when you drop shapes, and the shapes stay connected when you move them. It's called the connector tool , and if you use it instead of simply drawing lines between the boxes with the line tool, you'll save time both as you create and revise a flowchart.

Use the connector tool to add lines between shapes as you drop them.

If you want to learn more about connections between steps and how to control where lines go into or out of shapes, see More about connecting.

Creating Flowcharts That's Easy to Revise

1. On the File menu, point to Template Gallery, point to Flowchart, and then click Basic Flowchart.
2. Drag a Process shape from the Basic Flowchart Shapes stencil to the drawing page.
3. Click the connector tool on the Drawing toolbar. If you don't see the connector tool, click Toolbars on the View menu,, and then check Drawing Tools.
4. Drag a second Process shape to the drawing page.
5. Continue adding Process, Decision, Document and other shapes until all the shapes you want are on the page.

Each new shape you drop connects to the shape that is selected at the time you drop it.

6. Click the pointer tool on the Standard toolbar.
7. Optional To add text to a process step, click the shape representing the step, and then type.
8. Optional To change the direction the process flows between two steps, click the connecting line between the steps. On the Shape menu, click Flip Horizontal if the connecting line is horizontal or Flip Vertical if the connecting line is vertical.

Tip: You can also connect a series of shapes simultaneously by selecting the shapes you want to connect in the order you want them to connect, and then, on the Tools menu, click Connect Shapes.

Change Your Flowchart's Layout

You may want to revise the layout of a flowchart to improve the way it looks on the drawing page or to accommodate updates, such as the addition of new processes or decisions.

Two Ways to Revise Flowchart Layout

Use this method

When

Drag flowchart shapes (Manual)

Your flowchart is small.
You only have a few revisions to do.

Click the Align or Distribute command

Your flowchart is large and revising manually would take a lot of time.
You have added a new series of shapes to a large flowchart.

Add Navigational Links

To add a navigational link to a flowchart shape:

1. Click the shape you want to add a link to.
2. On the Insert menu, click Hyperlinks.

Do one of the followings:

To link to a Web site, for Address, type the Web site's URL, and then navigate to the site in your default Web browser.
To link to a document, for Address, click Browse. then navigate to the local file, and then click Open.
To link to another page in the same diagram, leave Address blank. For Sub-address, click Browse, choose the page you want to link to, and then click OK.
3. Click OK.

To follow the link to its destination:

1. Right-click the flowchart shape to which a link has been added.
2. Click the name of the link you want.

Tip: When you display a flowchart in Full Screen, or presentation, view (on the View menu, click Full Screen), links on shapes behave just like hyperlinks on Web pages.

Tips: Working with Large Flowcharts

Because many processes are long and complex, flowcharts often extend beyond the boundaries of a letter-sized printed page. There are several ways you can handle large flowcharts so they are easy to work with and distribute.

Ways to Handle Large Flowcharts

Method

Description

Drill-down approach

Create a high-level flowchart on one page. From each high-level step in this flowchart, "drilldown" to a more detailed flowchart on a new page.

Off-page references

Draw as much of your flowchart as you can on one page. Then, use an off-page reference to create a jump to the page on which the flowchart continues.

On-page references

Draw as much of your flowchart as you can by moving down or across the page. Then, use an on-page reference to indicate that the flowchart continues at the top or left of the page.

Change drawing page size

Change the size of the drawing page to contain the flowchart you are creating. When you print the flowchart, it may tile across several letter-sized printed pages.

Change flowchart size

You can scale a flowchart so that it fits on a letter-sized printed page.

Drill-down Approach

To create a drill-down flowchart:

1. On the File menu, point to New, then to Template Gallery - Flowchart, and then click the type of flowchart you want to create.
2. Create a high-level flowchart by dropping shapes onto the drawing page.
3. On the Insert menu, click Page. Type a name for the new page if you want, and then click OK.
4. Click the page tab to return to the high-level flowchart page.
5. On the shape that represents a process step you want to define in detail on the new drawing page, create a navigational link that jumps to the new drawing page.
6. Repeat steps 3-5 for each high-level process step you want to drill-down on.
7. Drop shapes onto the new drawing pages to create the flowcharts you want to drill down to.

Off-page References

To make flowcharts using off-page references:

1. On the File menu, point to New, then to Template Gallery - Flowchart, and then click the type of flowchart you want to create.
2. Create a flowchart by dropping shapes onto the drawing page. Keep adding shapes until you close to the bottom or right edge of the drawing page.
3. Drag the Off-Page Reference shape onto the page and position it near the edge, as the last shape.
4. Click OK to add the Off-Page Reference shape to the current page, and to create a new drawing page that has its own Off-Page Reference shape.
5. With the Off-Page Reference shape on the new drawing page selected, click the connector tool on the Drawing toolbar.

If you don't see the connector tool, click the arrow next to the connection point tool.

6. Continue adding flowchart shapes until your flowchart is complete or you reach the end of the new drawing page.
7. If necessary, repeat steps 3-6 to add another off-page reference.

To navigate between pages using off-page references:

Double-click an Off-Page Reference shape to navigate to the page the shape references.

On-page References

To create a flowchart using on-page references:

1. On the File menu, point to New, then to Template - Flowchart, and then click the type of flowchart you want to create.
2. Create a flowchart by dropping shapes onto the drawing page. Keep adding shapes until you come close to the lower or right edge of the drawing page.
3. Drag the On-Page Reference shape onto the page and position it near the edge, as the last shape.
4. With the shape selected, type an identifying label, such as a number or letter.
5. On the Edit menu, click Duplicate, and then drag the duplicate shape to the top or left of the drawing page.
6. With the On-Page Reference shape on the new drawing page selected, click the connector tool on the Standard toolbar.

Use the connector tool to add lines between shapes as you drop them.

7. Continue adding flowchart shapes until your flowchart is complete or you reach the end of the page.
8. If necessary, repeat steps 3-7 to add another on-page reference.

Change Flowchart Drawing Page Size

To change drawing page size:

1. With the flowchart open, on the File menu, click Page Setup.
2. Click the Page Size tab.

Tip: You can preview page breaks and change them before you print.

Change Flowchart Size

To change flowchart size:

1. With the flowchart open, on the File menu, click Page Setup.
2. Click the Page Size tab. Under Page Size, click Custom Size.
3. Type the appropriate scale units. For example, if the flowchart is larger than the drawing page, change the scale so that .75 units on the page are equal to 1 unit in the real world.
4. Click OK.

Tip: Text doesn't scale with shapes. If your flowchart shapes contain text that looks too large after you scale, press Ctrl+A to select all the shapes, and then choose a smaller font size from the Font Size list on the Format toolbar.

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