Difference Between Algorithm and Flowchart


The word Algorithm means “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations”. Therefore Algorithm refers to a set of rules/instructions that step-by-step define how a work is to be executed upon inorder to get the expected results.

Let’s take a look at an example for a better understanding. As a programmer, we are all aware of the Linear Search program. (Linear Search)

Algorithm of linear search :

1. Start from the leftmost element of arr[] and 
one by one compare x with each element of arr[]. 
2. If x matches with an element, return the index. 
3. If x doesn’t match with any of elements, return -1. 

Here, we can see how the steps of a linear search program are explained in a simple, English language.


A flowchart is a graphical representation of an algorithm. Programmers often use it as a program-planning tool to solve a problem. It makes use of symbols which are connected among them to indicate the flow of information and processing.
The process of drawing a flowchart for an algorithm is known as “flowcharting”.

Example: Draw a flowchart to input two numbers from the user and display the largest of two numbers

Let’s see the difference between algorithm and flow chart:-

S.NO Algorithm Flowchart
1. Algorithm is step by step procedure to solve the problem. Flowchart is a diagram created by different shapes to show the flow of data.
2. Algorithm is complex to understand. Flowchart is easy to understand.
3. In algorithm plain text are used. In flowchart, symbols/shapes are used.
4. Algorithm is easy to debug. Flowchart it is hard to debug.
5. Algorithm is difficult to construct. Flowchart is simple to construct.
6. Algorithm does not follow any rules. Flowchart follows rules to be constructed.
7. Algorithm is the pseudo code for the program. Flowchart is just graphical representation of that logic.

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