In a previous post we discussed the fact that a Visio document can become bloated over time by accumulating masters, styles, layers, fonts and colors that are no longer used in the diagram. Often the file size impact is minimal, but not always. Visio 2007 includes a new feature called Remove Hidden Information that lets users purge these unused items from their documents. You can find this feature in the File menu.
Remove Hidden Information actually provides two services. First, Visio will offer to remove personal or sensitive information such as comments, reviewer markup and referenced file paths. Visio can also strip out cached data recordsets. Removing personal information is a good thing to do before publishing a document outside your organization.
Second, Visio will offer several ways to reduce the file size by deleting unused items. The preview picture may not be essential to your document. Master shapes can account for the most significant size impacts in the document. Themes and data graphics are new to Visio 2007 but are based on master shapes. Styles can be large in quantity if not also size. This doesn't cover every type of item that can bloat a document, but these are the critical items.
For those designing shapes or solutions, you may find it desirable to exclude your masters from deletion. Some solutions count on their master shapes existing in a document whether currently in use or not. Visio allows shapes to set a flag to prevent Remove Hidden Information from deleting them. Add the User-defined cell User.msvRHIPreventRemoval to the page sheet in the master and set the value to 1.
We've been hoping to add this feature to Visio for some time, and it is great to see it included with Visio 2007.