Dev Luv: Identify Visio Shapes By ID, Not Name

The name of a Visio shape is not unique on a page. The name is only unique in its container. Visio developers often try to identify shapes or types of shapes using the Shape.Name property. This can cause problems for two reasons: users can modify the shape’s Name property using the Format | Special dialog…


The Difference Between Visio’s Two Resource Toolkits

Visio 2003 has two resource toolkits which have similar names. The Microsoft Office Visio 2003 Resource Kit Tools targets the IT professional who is deploying Visio 2003 in a corporate environment. This toolkit is free for download, and contains tools and documentation to simplify deployment across multiple clients. For example, the toolkit contains a setup…


Visio for Enterprise Architects Versioning (and other responses to blog feedback)

Readers of my last blog on conceptual architecture shapes asked why they couldn’t find the new networking shapes with the latest version of Visio for Enterprise Architects (10.0.5110). Releases of Visio for Enterprise Architecture (VEA) and Microsoft Office Visio are not synchronized. VEA ships with Visual Studio and therefore ships on the Visual Studio release…


Great Shapes for Conceptual Architecture Diagrams in Visio (Part 1)

I’ve gotten multiple requests from blog readers to show how to get the same visual quality as seen in architectural diagrams posted on MSDN articles. Typically the Microsoft authors of MSDN articles use Visio to create the diagram. The diagram is then touched up for color or effects by a designer before posting on MSDN….


Dev Luv: Four Best Practices When Event Handling in Visio

1.       Avoid Holding onto Multiple Visio Objects: If you need to keep track of Visio, pages, documents or shapes, use IDs instead of objects.  A given shape can always be associated with a tuple <document ID, page ID, shape GUID>. 2.       Use AddAdvise/IVisEventSink Event Handling: AddAdvise/IVisEventSink is more efficient than using IConnectionPoint since the solution…


Network Shapes and Auto-discovery Bundle for Visio 2003

We’ve put together a kit with two Visio partners, Fluke Networks and Altima Technologies, that provides an auto-discovery tool and lots of manufacturer-specific network shapes. Fluke Network’s LAN MapShot is an auto-discovery tool that crawls your network and puts together 13 different kinds of network diagrams in Visio 2003. Here’s an example of a Visio…


Christmas and Batman (in Visio)

Alexey Nichkov, a creative and expert Visio user, put together this varient on the person shape as a post on my last blog. I love it! Especially the Batman and Robin. The JPG takes a while to download so be patient — it’s up there. Alexey has other cool stuff at: — the site is in Russian but you…


Visio “Person” Shape

If you type “person” or “user” in the Find Shape or Search for Shapes window in Visio, you get the following results. I’m not fond of the majority of these options.   I think the best shape to use to represent a single user, customer, citizen, or person in general is this one:   It’s…


Visio Books and Resources

If you’re new to Visio, check out the Step-by-Step with Visio 2003 book. It provides an introduction to the product and comes with a CD with exercises. If you’re somewhat familiar with Visio but interested in getting more out of the product, the Visio 2003 Inside Out book is pretty good. It’s targeted at the…