Microsoft Visio is a most useful and versatile diagramming application that has the additional ability to include business information with every single graphical shape. Although Microsoft Visio is fairly inexpensive, and widespread, there are, unbelievably, still some people who need to view Visio documents but do not have the actual application available. There are others who may already have Visio but need to be able to easily copy images and data for use in other applications.
Microsoft Outlook users may have noticed that a Visio document viewer is available to view Visio documents received as email attachments, however there is little that can be done apart from viewing the graphics. Certainly, there is no ability to see the shape data, or the multiple hyperlinks, that may be locked into each shape.
Microsoft SharePoint 2010+ users may be more fortunate, if they have an Enterprise Client Access License, because they can view some later Visio files stored on SharePoint using a web browser via the Visio web Access control in a web part.
This leaves many users within an organization unable to view Visio documents that have been created for them, unless each file is printed or saved into another format, such as PDF, XPS, or published as a web page. Converting a live Visio document into another format means that it is immediately out of date because it always has to be re-exported if and when it changes.
Microsoft introduced the Microsoft Visio Viewer in 2002 and has updated it to provide support for Visio versions 5 through to 2013. The viewer does have layer control; the first hyperlink on each shape; and shape data (the business information stored with each shape). It is free, and provides the ability to use Visio files as a portable format that can be viewed by non-Visio users. However, it needs to be hosted into another application, such as Outlook or a web-page browsed with Microsoft Internet Explorer. This is not always convenient and it has some limitations.
Therefore, bVisual has created the visViewer application to enable the viewing, and interrogation of the data, for all Microsoft Office users, regardless of whether they have a Microsoft Visio licence. Not only is it useful for non-Visio users who need to use the Visio files more interactively, it can be a companion for Visio users who need to view Visio files quickly, and copy some information or pictures simply. visViewer requires the free Microsoft Visio Viewer to be installed first but adds so much more power because the graphics, data and hyperlinks in Visio documents can be searched, filtered and exported to any other application, such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel, or directly out to Pdf documents.
Do not expect the full capabilities of Microsoft Visio from a viewer ... you will need to use Microsoft Visio for that!
visViewer requires the FREE Microsoft Visio Viewer 2013:
Available from http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=35811
* Microsoft Outlook 2010+ users should already have Microsoft Visio Viewer installed
The 4th edition is a complete re-write of the 3rd edition.