I recently revised my chess and checkerboard Visio documents to work in Visio for the Web (Visio Plan 1), but now that Microsoft are providing a version of Visio free to M365 business users, I need to make some further adjustment to get them to work for these users who do not have a Visio Plan 1 or Plan 2 license. The problem is that Microsoft restricts the capabilities of the free version by white-listing Visio masters. So, the answer is to delete the masters … then the Visio document becomes editable in Visio for M365!
So, what is the downside?
Firstly, the size of the Visio document will increase when the masters in the Document Stencil are deleted.
The size is increased because Viso must remove all the inheritance of the formulas in the ShapeSheet of each shape. For example, the images below show some of the ShapeSheet of a single Chess Piece where it is an instance of a master, and where it is not. In the inherited version, there is extraordinarily little blue text to be seen. The blue text indicates that the value is stored locally in the shape, and in this example, it is only for the position and the specific shape color and icon data. However, every single formula is blue in the version without masters because Visio cannot inherit anything, so must store it all locally with the shape. Therefore, the file gets larger!
This is just a small Visio document, but on larger ones, with more shapes and more masters, this can become a genuine problem.
Secondly, the ShapeSheet developer has lost the ability of making simple edits to the master shape and having them automatically inherited by all instances, in all pages. For me, this is a fundamental issue, however, there may be some Visio diagrams that may be suitable for publishing to M365 users by removing the masters. The chess and checkerboard diagrams are suitable for this because they do not need to be maintained once published.
So, now a Visio for M365 user can edit these Visio documents and play chess or checkers with other users. Of course, the Shapes panel can be minimized because no other masters are required to enjoy them, and the shapes still retain their smartness, as described in the previous articles.
Download the files to your own OneDrive for Business, Teams, or SharePoint Online folders.
Masterless Online Checkerboards.vsdx
I look forward to the day when we can make custom masters for Visio for M365 users!
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