Tips to Make Better Flowchart

Top tips to help you design effective flowcharts at ease quickly.

Flowchart is a very useful tool to help clarify thinking and present sequence of workflow clearly. A bad visual experience can ruin a flowchart for the audience, even if your spoken presentation is well rehearsed. Expertise means nothing without a good appearance to back it up.

Here are some simple tips to help you start mastering flowcharting tools, and don't forget to check out the additional resources on the left of this page.

Tip 1. Edit Your Flowchart Template to Get Started Quickly

Often, it's much easier to edit a flowchart template before you start - this way, you don't have to design everything by hand. Edraw offers dozens of flowchart templates, covering almost all needs of flowcharting. Here's how you do that:

  1. Start Edraw. Select Flowchart type in the Available Templates.
  2. In the Examples pane, click the icon of a suitable example to open it.
  3. Make any changes you like.
  4. Save or export the flowchart.

Check out some sample flowcharts created by Edraw in the following table.

Tip 2. Take Advantage of Edraw's Smart Shapes

Edraw provides the user with a bunch of great shape options. Users just need to drag and drop them to use.

The current flowchart symbols include a highly functional Smart Shapes function, which enables you to create flowcharts in no time. They support auto generation and connection, with floating action buttons that allow easy point-and-click editing. These tools are especially valuable.

Tip 3. Insert Clipart or Custom Shapes to Make Personalized Flowchart

Insert readily available clipart to make your flowchart more unique and lifelike. Edraw has elaborately prepared an extensive collection of clipart including people, vehicle, animal, food and so on.

You can create custom shapes that fit your specific need. For instance, you can reshape arrows to fit the dimensions you like. Simply resize, rotate or recolor it. Arrows can show the direction of flow more clearly. It will be better if you apply Edraw's arrow connectors to link processes. The arrow connectors can serve as both connectors and shapes. You can insert text in the arrow connectors, too.

Change Arrow Size

Here are 3 flowchart examples made with arrow shapes.

Taxi Service WorkflowMake Zongzi Flowchart Garden Design Workflow

Another option is to combine shapes together. When selecting shapes you want to combine, go to the "Group" in Home tab to glue them together.

Alternatively, separate Edraw's symbols to form new shapes. Click on the shape the first time, then after a few seconds click on the sub-shape the second time. Drag and move the sub-shape to the target place.

separate clip art

Tip 4. Make Sure All of Your Objects Are Properly Aligned and Distributed

Having properly aligned objects on your flowchart is the key to making it look polished and professional. You can manually try to line up your shapes ... but we all know how that typically works out. Get rid of your guessing game and let Edraw work its magic with this trick. Edraw flowchart maker can automatically align and distribute all shapes perfectly. Use the floating action buttons to add new shapes. The added shapes are automatically aligned with the previous one. View Flowchart Video Tutorial.

How to align multiple objects:

  1. Select all objects by holding down "Ctrl" and clicking on all of them.
  2. Under Home tab, select Align in the "Arrange" group.
  3. Choose the type of alignment you'd like.

Tip 5. Locate Return Lines Under the Flow Diagram

Since we naturally read text from the top of the page down, it is logical that return lines should be inserted under the flowchart rather than above. If two return lines are needed, they shouldn't overlap.

Tip 6. Present Websites or other Resources in Flowcharts

Insert a hyperlink into the flowchart to present any website related to your topic. Edraw also supports inserting attachment so that you can connect the flowchart to any additional resources. You can also add a comment of the audience to the flowchart during your presentation.

1. Move the pointer over the target place.
2. Right click to open the right-click menu.
3. Choose Hyperlink and the Hyperlink dialogue box shows.
4. Enter the website address you want to link .
5. A thumbnail shows to represent the hyperlink. Click it to go to the linked page.

Tip 7. Save Your Flowcharts as JPEGs

In PowerPoint for Mac 2011, there is no option to embed fonts within the presentation. So unless you use ubiquitous typefaces like Arial or Tahoma, your flowcharts are likely going to encounter font changes on different computers.

The most certain way of avoiding this problem is to save your final file as JPEGs, and then inserting these JPEGs onto your slides. In addition, Edraw supports many more formats such as pdf, doc, png and so on. You can export your flowcharts to other formats and share it with others at any platform.

Export:

1. Click the File Menu.

2. Click Export & Send.

3. Choose a format and export the flowchart.

Note: If your file includes a lot of JPEGs, then the file size will increase.

Conclusion

Edraw offers you advanced flowcharting tools for more effective flowcharts. By following the basic principles and useful tips mentioned above, your flowchart will surely amaze the audience.

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