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…


How It All Began

We’re going to wrap up our look at Visio’s essential features with the most significant innovation of all – the SHAPE.   Essential Feature: Shapes A central concept in Visio is assembling a diagram from a pre-packaged set of content.  Users do not need to construct drawings from scratch using geometric primitives, nor do they…


Intelligent Diagrams

This is the sixth topic in a series discussing the essential features that make up the Visio application.   Essential Feature:  Extensibility Part of the original vision for Visio was that you could use it to make almost any kind of drawing.  Rather than focus on being just a flowcharting application or just a floor…


Retooling for Success

This is the fifth topic in a series discussing the essential features that make up the Visio application.   Essential Feature:  Drawing Tools Visio bills itself as a diagramming application, and Drag & Drop is the core feature that makes Visio easy to use.  However, Visio is also a pretty good drawing application and has…