Insert Text Box


    Every once in a while a new feature idea comes along that is so unique and compelling that it revolutionizes the way people work.  Insert Text Box is not such a feature.  Adding text to a diagram is nothing new in Visio.  However, usability studies have shown that adding text is one of the more challenging tasks for new users.  Thus we added Insert Text Box to Visio 2007 to make diagramming a little more approachable.


    Insert Text Box command 


    Insert Text Box is a menu command that invokes Visio's Text tool.  Choosing the command is the equivalent of clicking on the Text tool in the Standard toolbar.  We found that new users were not aware of the little 'A' toolbar button.  In contrast, most users were aware of PowerPoint's Insert Text Box command, and many would look for a similar command in Visio.  Now that command exists.


    One significant difference between the Insert Text Box command and the Text tool is that you can only insert one text box at a time with the command.  Once the text box is created, Visio automatically switches back to the Pointer tool.  With the Text tool you remain in text mode until you manually switch back to the Pointer tool.  The one-shot method solves another problem for new users - not knowing about the Pointer tool.  Even after users discovered the Text tool, they did not always realize that they had to switch back to the Pointer tool at some point.


    Microsoft Office Visio 2007 - now with text box insertion technology.  Buy it today.


Comments (5)

  1. JoeNuts says:

    Is it better to use a separate text shape/block for labelling existing shapes, than just adding text to an existing shape?

    I can’t figure out how to keep lines from crossing over my labels, and was thinking about grouping a text block with my stencils.

    The problem is that I have many individual stencils (computers), and the Visio layout algorithms seems to not take into account the shape size.

    Fooling around with BlockSize/AvenueSize/LineToNode make small improvements, but really don’t solve the problem.

    Any ideas?

  2. Visio Team says:

    We definitely recommend adding text directly to shapes.  Many shapes have a yellow control handle that allow the text to be repositioned if necessary.  Otherwise you can find the Text Block Tool (underneath the Text tool in the Standard toolbar) to reposition text.

    Mark Nelson

  3. JoeNuts says:

    Mark, thank you for the response.

    But, the problem with adding text directly to shapes is that the Automatic Layouting doesn’t take the text’s width/height into account. SO, you end up with shapes overlapping text when you have multi-line and width text.

    Even if I manually reposition the text, the next time I do a Layout, overlaps seem inevitable. Nevermind the annoying and unnecessary connector lines going right through the text, rendering it unreadable.

    For example, if you create a few servers in a Basic Network Diagram, and give one of them a three line label… and then do a layout. The shapes will immediately overlap the text.

    In short: Layout and Text don’t mix. The only solution I’ve found is to create a text block and group it with the shape, and replace all my masters with the grouped shapes.

    Any suggestions would be helpful…

  4. eshahba says:

    How can I disconnect the automatic capability that doesnt allow for the shapes to overlap?

  5. Sam says:

    I like the jocular intro to this article 😉  and it did help me to notice the "text tool" which I had overlooked.

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