There are times, in Visio, when you just need to ensure that the text in a primary shape is synchronised with the text in different secondary shapes … even if they are on different pages of a Visio document. My previous article, Forcing Display Update of Inherited Data Values , describes a method of synchronising the values in Shape Data rows from a central data source in the document, and that allows for the values to be viewed and edited in multiple pages or shapes. However, the text of a Visio shape is different because it is not stored in a single ShapeSheet cell, so how can you display the text of one shape in another?[Read more…] about Automatically displaying Visio shape text in other shapes
bVisual Blog by David Parker
I was going to title this “When is a truth not a truth?” because I have found that Visio can sometimes refuse to apparently update the displayed value in a cell, even though it has been changed. However, this was, in this instance, down to a misunderstanding of the formula evaluation events on my part. Take the scenario where you have some data that you want to be available to all pages and all shapes in the Visio document. There are some built-in Document Properties in Visio that are accessible to all pages and shapes using ShapeSheet functions ( eg TITLE(), SUBJECT(), COMPANY(), Categories / CATEGORY(), Tags / KEYWORDS(), Comments / DESCRIPTION(), Author / CREATOR(), MANAGER() and HYPERLINKBASE()). However, Visio does not have custom Document Properties like the other Office applications. Instead, Visio allows for the addition of User-Defined Cells and Shape Data rows in the DocumentSheet of the document. These can be uniquely named, and Shape Data rows can be given a data type (of sorts), a label, prompt and format.
These values can be accessed via a ShapeSheet function from anywhere within the document, which ensures that you only have one version of the truth. However, there is no non-developer user-interface to edit these DocumentSheet Shape Data values in Visio, so what do you do? And how can you be sure that you are always seeing these centralised values correctly?
I created the following master shape to test how this can be done. It is a group shape that contains a single StartDate Shape Data row, which is used to edit or view the date in the similarly named Shape Data row in the DocumentSheet. For good measure, I also added a similarly named Shape Data row to the page, so the Shape Data window in the page could also be used. I then used Insert / Field to display the values in the ShapeSheet, PageSheet and DocumentSheet:[Read more…] about Forcing Display Update of Inherited Data Values
A reader asked how to fill a shape with a custom fill pattern from a fixed list in of a shape. They had no trouble with the first 25 standard fill patterns, but couldn’t figure out how to apply a custom pattern. So, I shall try to explain how this can be done …[Read more…] about Using Custom Fill Patterns from a List
Now that a version of Visio is being rolled out as part of the commercial subscription of Microsoft 365, what is the difference between it and the Visio Web App that is delivered by Visio Plan 1 and Visio Plan 2 subscriptions?
Moreover, can a Visio diagram created by an M365 user be round-tripped with Visio Web App and Visio Desktop App users?
First of all, lets review the editions of Visio currently available:
- Visio in Microsoft 365 – a web app that is included in M365 for business
- Visio Web App – a web app that requires an extra Visio Plan 1 subscription
- Visio Desktop App – a web-delivered Windows app that requires an extra Visio Plan 2 subscription (includes Visio Web App)
- Visio Professional – a Windows app for a one-time purchase, previously installed via a msi package, now Click-to-Run and called LTSC
- Visio Standard – a Windows app for a one-time purchase, previously installed vi a msi package, now Click-to-Run and called LTSC
I was preparing a new update of my Layer Manager tool, and was constantly coming across a lack of quality control in the sub-shape layer assignment in a number of the master shapes in Microsoft provided stencils. I have mentioned this to Microsoft as a bug before but the problem still persists in Visio for the Desktop today.
The layering capability in Visio is pretty comprehensive but can become complicated to manage … without a third-party tool such as Layer Manager. This is because every element in a Visio page can be assigned to zero, one or multiple layers, and this applies to all sub-shapes within a group shape. So, it is possible to assign layers to a group shape without assigning any layers to the sub-shapes. This means that these shapes are always visible and printable, even if you have hidden the layers assigned to the group. This is exactly the issue with a number of the master shapes in Visio, as in the following Home Plan example available from the Sample Diagrams / Maps and Floor Plans category[Read more…] about Fixing the sub-shape layer assignments of Visio shapes
I have had more than one person ask me how to see the full Layer Manager panel, so I must have not made it clear enough in the help file. Visio has a Developer Mode that is simple to switch on, and provides some extra functionality, including a Developer tab in the ribbon. Layer Manager allows you to setup buttons, both as shapes or within the Layer Sets tab, that quickly changes the settings of multiple layers in the page with a single click. I see the setting up of these Layer Set buttons as a more advanced developer task, but the use of them to subsequently quickly change the view as a non-developer task. It seems that not every Visio-user has discovered the Developer Mode, so some trial users of Layer Manager do not see the full potential.
To avoid this I have added a Developer Mode check box menu item on the Layer Manager drop-down menu that can toggle this setting.[Read more…] about Developer Mode for advanced Layer Manager actions