Creating a Multi-shape

Earlier this week we began creating a digital clock shape.  In the previous post we used Visio’s shape operations feature to construct a digit shape for our clock.  Today we will add a behavior to the digit to make it display any numeral required.  Then we will complete the clock shape.     Our digit…


Building Shapes the Easy Way

Shape design is somewhat of an art in Visio.  There are so many things that go into creating professional-looking content that a certain level of expertise is required.  One of the goals of the Visio Insights blog is to provide that expertise in an understandable format.  Another goal is to demonstrate best practices to help…


Error #318 Explained

Every once in a while we hear from a user who has encountered a cryptic error message in Visio and is left helpless.  Most of Visio’s error messages are somewhat explanatory, though we continue to improve their wording.  However, there is another set of messages that report “internal errors”.    Internal errors are usually problems…


Going Around the Block

In a previous post, we mentioned that Visio 2003 introduced a shape rotation handle to quickly allow rotation of shapes.  This eliminated the need to switch to a dedicated rotation tool.  You can rotate a shape by selecting it and dragging the rotation handle around to a new position.   One of the more subtle…


Visio File Formats

Visio has been around for over 15 years, and there have been many product versions released.  One of the biggest issues that can impact users from release to release is a file format change.  Changes in Visio’s file format can be painful for customers because people must often share documents with others who are using…


ScreenTips to HTML

Today is a holiday in the US, so we’re republishing this topic from a newsgroup post not too long ago. Summary: You can add the User.visEquivTitle cell to your shape and provide a string that will display as a tooltip in HTML web output.  The shape must also have at least one custom property for…


Getting to Know Your Neighbors – Quickly

Visio’s SpatialNeighbors property is useful for finding shapes that are nearby other shapes or that overlap other shapes.  It can be used to programmatically answer the question “What did I drop my shape on top of?”.   Unfortunately, the SpatialNeighbors property can be extremely slow under certain circumstances.  In real world scenarios, searching might take…


Going Off the Page

In an ideal world every business process would each fit on a single page.  Users have employed a variety of techniques to squeeze more information into a finite space.  Ultimately some business process diagrams must span across more than one page.  To maintain connectivity between the pages, Visio provides the Off-page reference shape.    …


Cutting Corners

One of the challenges in Visio shape design is striking a balance between custom behavior and standard behavior.  The shape designer has one notion about how a shape should be used, and users often have a different notion.  Ideally the shape designer allows as much flexibility as possible without destroying the meaning of their shape….


After Further Review

Several users have encountered a situation in Visio 2003 where the Reviewing toolbar is always shown.  Even once you turn off the toolbar, it reappears the next time the document is opened or the next time the Visio application is launched.      Here are some possible explanations and remedies.  You may need to try…