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Understanding flowcharts versus maps

A flowchart is a kind of map that describes a process or workflow. Like a map, the basic building-blocks of a flowchart are topics, but flowchart topics reflect the visual conventions common to this type of diagram.

Flowchart topics

Flow charts look similar to maps, but use different types of topics and linear creation process.

Basic map

An example of a flowchart, with flow-chart style topics

Start topic: The capsule-shaped terminal designates the Start and End of the process flow.All MindManager flowcharts start with a terminal.

Arrow: An arrow starting from one topic and ending (at the arrowhead) at another indicates a shift in time or control passing  from the first topic to the second.

Process: The process topic a rounded rectangle represents an action that needs to be performed for the process to move to the next step. Other than the initial Start topic and the Decision topic, all added topics are in this shape, but can be changed.

Decision: Diamond -shaped, decision topics indicate a place where a decision is required The decision  topic generally has two arrows leading to the two paths: "Yes" and "No."

Predefined process: The predefined process, a rectangle with two vertical border, references a multi-step process that may be detailed in a separate flowchart.

Data: A parallelogram topic represents data input or output.

Prep: The hexagonal preparation topic indicates preparatory steps needed prior to a process.

Document: The document topic references a document that is part of the process.

Database: The database cylinder shows the role of a database in the process.

Connector: Circular connectors indicate places where multiple actions converge.  While there may be multiple arrows going into the connector, only one arrow comes out and leads to the next step in the process flow.

How flowcharts differ from maps

When you create or open a flowchart, some features become available that are not present when you create or open map (and a few features become disabled).

New features include:

You can also combine flowchart and map topics in your flowchart, and modify the layout of both types of topics within the flowchart independently.

To make it easier to distinguish between them, map topics are framed in blue, flowchart topics in green. If you add a flowchart topic to a regular topic within a flowchart or a regular map,the newly-added topic becomes a regular topic, framed in blue.

Disabled features include:

Related Topics

Adding flowchart topics

Edit and format flowchart topics

Creating a new map