Difference Wiki

Diagram vs. Figure: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on January 8, 2024
A diagram is a simplified drawing showing the appearance, structure, or workings of something, while a figure is a general term for any illustrative representation, including diagrams.

Key Differences

A diagram is specifically designed to explain, simplify, or represent complex information or processes, often using symbols or abstract shapes. A figure, however, can be any type of illustration, ranging from graphs to photographs, used to supplement or explain content.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 08, 2024
Diagrams are typically used in scientific, technical, and educational materials to clarify concepts or show relationships. Figures, in contrast, can be found in a wide range of contexts, including academic texts, reports, and artistic works, serving various illustrative purposes.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 08, 2024
The purpose of a diagram is to convey information in a clear, visual format, focusing on the simplification and abstraction of data. A figure, on the other hand, might not only serve to inform but also to decorate, emphasize, or provide a visual break in the text.
Huma Saeed
Jan 08, 2024
Diagrams often require specific conventions or standards, such as in engineering or architecture, to accurately represent information. Figures, being more diverse, can include anything from simple sketches to complex photographic images, without such stringent standards.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024
In academic or professional writing, diagrams are frequently numbered and referred to in the text to explain specific points. Figures, being a broader category, encompass these diagrams but also include other forms of visual representations.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A simplified drawing explaining a concept
Any illustrative representation
Sumera Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Usage Context

Scientific, technical, educational
Broad, including academic and artistic contexts
Huma Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Purpose

To clarify, simplify, and represent information
To illustrate, decorate, or emphasize content
Sumera Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Standards

Often follows specific conventions
More diverse, no strict conventions
Sumera Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Examples

Flowcharts, circuit diagrams
Graphs, photographs, diagrams
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024
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Diagram and Figure Definitions

Diagram

A graphical representation of data.
The sales report included a bar diagram of quarterly profits.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

Figure

A numerical symbol or amount.
The report showed figures exceeding the initial estimates.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

Diagram

A symbolic representation of information.
The electrician used a wiring diagram to install the new lighting.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

Figure

A person's form or shape.
The artist captured the figure's elegance in the sculpture.
Huma Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

Diagram

A plan, sketch, or outline to show how something is made or works.
The architect drew a diagram of the building layout.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

Figure

An illustration in a book or paper.
Figure 3 shows the trends over the past decade.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

Diagram

A drawing used to explain how something works.
The manual had a diagram to assemble the furniture.
Janet White
Dec 14, 2023

Figure

A notable or well-known person.
She is a prominent figure in the field of neuroscience.
Janet White
Dec 14, 2023

Diagram

A simplified drawing showing a structure or system.
The biology textbook contained a diagram of the human circulatory system.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

Figure

A representation of a human or animal form in art.
The ancient vase was adorned with figures of mythical creatures.
Harlon Moss
Dec 14, 2023

Diagram

A plan, sketch, drawing, or outline designed to demonstrate or explain how something works or to clarify the relationship between the parts of a whole.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

Figure

A written or printed symbol representing something other than a letter, especially a number.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

Diagram

(Mathematics) A graphic representation of an algebraic or geometric relationship.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

Figure

Figures Mathematical calculations
Good at figures.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 14, 2023

FAQs

What is a diagram?

A diagram is a simplified drawing used to explain a concept or system.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

What is the main purpose of a diagram?

To simplify and visually represent complex information.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Can a diagram be a figure?

Yes, a diagram can be a type of figure.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

What is a figure?

A figure is any illustrative representation, including diagrams, in a text.
Huma Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Can a figure be a photograph?

Yes, photographs can be considered figures.
Harlon Moss
Jan 08, 2024

Is a graph considered a diagram?

Yes, a graph is a type of diagram.
Harlon Moss
Jan 08, 2024

Do figures include textual representations?

No, figures are typically non-textual, visual representations.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Can a diagram show quantitative data?

Yes, diagrams like graphs can represent quantitative data.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Are figures important in research papers?

Yes, figures are crucial in research papers for illustrating key points.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Are figures always visual?

Yes, figures are visual representations, such as images or graphs.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

Can figures be used in artistic contexts?

Yes, figures can be used in both artistic and academic contexts.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Are diagrams always technical?

Diagrams are often technical but can also be used in non-technical contexts.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Are all figures numbered in texts?

In academic and formal texts, figures are usually numbered for reference.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

Do diagrams need labels?

Diagrams often require labels to clarify their components.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Do diagrams require specific skills to create?

Creating diagrams often requires understanding of specific conventions and skills.
Harlon Moss
Jan 08, 2024

Is it necessary to refer to diagrams in text?

In academic and professional writing, diagrams are usually referenced in the text.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024

Are diagrams used in instruction manuals?

Yes, diagrams are commonly used in manuals to explain assembly or operation.
Sumera Saeed
Jan 08, 2024

Can a figure be purely decorative?

Yes, some figures may serve a decorative purpose.
Janet White
Jan 08, 2024

Can figures help in understanding complex concepts?

Yes, figures can aid in visualizing and understanding complex ideas.
Harlon Moss
Jan 08, 2024

Can figures be misleading?

If not accurately represented, figures can potentially be misleading.
Aimie Carlson
Jan 08, 2024
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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