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What are some of the main use cases for each of the Salesforce Flow Builder's Auto-Layout and Free-Form?

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For very simple flows, auto-layout is a quick way to visually organize the page. Free-form is generally better to get a layout that is useful as a screenshot for documentation or arrange the components in a way that makes it easier to follow a flow with more than a handful of components.

Personally, I have never found auto-layout useful and immediately switch to free form.

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    Auto-Layout also has restrictions on how nodes can be connected, so it ceases to be useful for any reasonably complicated flow.
    – sfdcfox
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 17:18
  • That said, if you are approaching this complexity, perhaps a flow isn't the best tool for the job and Apex would be better...
    – Phil W
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 19:32
  • I actually quite like auto-layout since things are nicely lined up. Free form can be really messy, visually.
    – Phil W
    Commented Jun 28, 2022 at 19:33
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The main reason I use auto-layout is that when you use a subflow in a flow, it is as easy as clicking the button "Open Referenced Flow" to open up the subflow from the parent flow. For free-form flows, you have to open up the subflow element, check what is the name of the subflow and then navigate to the flows list view and open it from there. I also like how the loop elements render in auto-layout :-)

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