A chart is the catchall name for many kinds of visual aids. Charts represent the organization of something, either something dynamic like a process, or something static like a corporation. They include such varied types as troubleshooting tables, schematics of electrical systems, diagrams of the sequences oE an operation, organization charts, flow charts, and decision charts. Use the same techniques to title and number these as you use for graphs. (Some software companies, like Microsoft, use chart to mean graph. You will find these terms are used inconsistently.)
Troubleshooting tables in manuals identify a perceived problem and give its probable cause and cure. The problem appears at the left and the appropriate act on to the right. Complicated tables, like also suggest causes. Service manuals for huge manufacturing machines and user manuals for appliances, VCRs, and automobiles use these tables.
Organization charts depict the flow of authority in an institution. They are composed of boxes (with names and positions in them), and lines connecting the boxes. Place the most powerful position at the top and less powerful positions below.
Source: Reprinted by permission of MRMlElgin.
Flow charts symbolically depict a time sequence or a decision sequence. A flow chart has arrows that indicate the direction of the action, whatever it is, and symbols that represent steps or particular points in the action. In many instances, especially in computer programming, the symbols have special shapes for certain activities. For instance a rectangle means an action to perform and an oval means the first or last action. Flow charts are especially helpful when you must to help a reader a process.
FLOW CHART OF STEPS TO OPEN A DOCUMENT
A decision chart (or tree) is a flow chart that uses graphics to explain whether or not to perform a certain action in a certain situation. At each point the reader must decide yes or no, then follow the appropriate path until the final goal is reached.