Visio 2007 Standard and Professional

The most common set of questions in the newsgroups asks about the difference between Visio Standard and Visio Professional.  For Visio 2007, Microsoft has published a handy guide detailing the differences between the two editions.  There are breakdowns by feature and by diagram type. http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/visio/FX101757911033.aspx There are a couple points worth making here.  First, for those using…

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Microsoft Office Visio 2007 Released

Yesterday Visio 2007 was made available to business customers along with the rest of the 2007 Office System.  Retail availability for Visio 2007 will be January 30, 2007. What’s so great about Visio 2007?  Our primary investment focuses on visualizing business information.  We’ve made it significantly easier to bring your business data into Visio and…

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Smarter Paste between Pages

The Visio Product Team uses Visio for a number of tasks.  A common task is creating storyboards to show how a user might construct a diagram.  If you’ve ever seen one of those “behind the scenes” documentaries for a movie, you’ve seen the storyboarding process.  Each step the user takes is captured on a separate…

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Hyperlink Problem in Internet Explorer 7

We’re seeing quite a few reports in the newsgroups about a new issue involving hyperlinks in Visio’s HTML output and Internet Explorer 7. Basically, clicking a hyperlink in a drawing saved as HTML from Visio 2003 results in an error that says “Internet Explorer cannot open the Internet site. Operation aborted.”       In…

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Flattening Groups

To continue our exploration of best practices for shape development we will look at grouping in this post.  Grouping is a convenient way of packaging shapes and is the mechanism for creating many complex shapes.  Visio offers a number of capabilities for groups, from special interaction behaviors to shape transform changes.  It’s not surprising to…

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More on Inheritance and Performance

In the previous post we looked at the difference between using instances of master shapes versus using masterless shapes.  Visio masters store shape information centrally, reducing memory and increasing performance.  Shapes on the page inherit their properties from the master shape until the user makes a local change to override the inherited values.  Today we…

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Master Benefits

One of the things we’d like to accomplish with this blog is to highlight some performance optimizations that shape designers and developers should consider adopting as best practices.  Unfortunately designing highly efficient shapes and solutions is a bit of a black art in Visio.  Today we will look at the fundamental issue of using masters. Master…

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Staying in Bounds

In the previous two posts we looked at the capabilities of the SetAtRef function in the Shapesheet.  This function along with the helper functions SetAtRefExpr and SetAtRefEval allows a shape designer to keep one or more cells synchronized.  One important detail that was omitted was the fact that all three functions were introduced in Visio…

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More on SetAtRef

In the previous post we examined how the SetAtRef function could be used to keep two Shapesheet cells synchronized.  Today we will explore a few advanced capabilities of SetAtRef for manipulating cell values.   Our scenario is a shape with a custom property called Size.  We would like this property to control the Width of…

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Text Control Handles

Shape control handles offer users convenient ways to take advantage of the intelligence built into the shape by a designer.  Perhaps the most common use for a control handle is to link it to the text on a shape.  While Visio provides the Text Block Tool for manipulating shape text, this tool is not very…

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