I use Visio Cross-Functional Flowcharts a lot, but there is one thing that really bugs me … you can move function bands\swimlanes around, but you can’t move the phases\separators in the same way. The phases/separators are containers just like the function bands\swimlanes, so why can’t I move them? Actually, it is quite understandable when you realise what is actually going on … both are contained within the Cross-Functional Flowchart (CFF) shape, but there are list containers between each band and the parent CFF shape.[Read more…] about Moving Phases/Separators in Visio Cross-Functional Flowcharts?
I was recently asked if a second function header bar can be added to the swimlanes in the cross-functional flowchart templates in Visio. Some swimlanes can get quite wide, so it can be useful to have a duplicate function header shape on the far-side too. It is quite simple to duplicate the existing function header sub-shape and then change its position to the opposite side of the swimlane.[Read more…] about Adding a second Function header bar to Visio swimlanes
Back in the early 1990s, there was an application called ABC Flowcharter that was the market leader for diagramming business flowcharts, but some of the brains behind Aldus PageMaker saw an opportunity to create something smarter, and left to write the Visio product, with the stated aim to overtake ABC Flowcharter within 2 years. They did it in just 18 months and Visio expanded to cover more types of diagramming, especially organization charts and network diagramming. Visio became the default vector-based, data-diagramming application for the desktop, and so Microsoft acquired the company in 2000, who started to integrate it with Microsoft Office applications. Many imitators on the desktop tried to emulate Visio, but most fell by the wayside. There were constant requests for Visio to work on Apple Macs, but Microsoft resisted making a Mac specific version, and instead started to make Visio work in a web-browser, so it can work anywhere on any modern device. There are literally millions of lines of code on Visio, so it was never going to be straightforward or easy, but now we do have a light edition of Visio provided to all M365 business subscribers, and two extra subscription levels for more features and capabilities. We still have desktop Visio Standard and Professional, but the edition that straddles both the desktop and web is Visio Plan 2. It has some desktop only features delivered via web-services, and an enhanced browser-based editing experience. Visio Plan 2 is the edition for heavy or advanced users, but any of the desktop editions can be viewed as a design studio for content that can be used by the browser users because of Visio’s unique ShapeSheet feature that contains Excel-like formulas to control the properties of the shapes. Almost all of these formulas work in the web browser, but desktop Visio is required to write the formulas initially. This means that powerful customizations are possible without any web-scripting, and achievable by anyone who can write formulas in Excel!
So, this new book focuses on the original driver for Visio, process flowcharts, and explains how the different Visio editions can be used to create, edit, collaborate, comment, present, automate, export them, and finally how to customize them. Find out more at Visualize Complex Processes with Microsoft Visio![Read more…] about My new book on Visualizing Processes with Microsoft Visio has launched
I was recently contacted by a reader, Stanley M. Max (Towson University lecturer), who had started creating a Visio map of the 27 countries in the European Union in 2020, along with the demographics culled from Wikipedia. He wanted to know if the map and stats could be combined to make a more appealing presentation. Well, that prompted me to not only combine the data and country shapes, but to explore ways in which a presentation of the map can be made more interesting in Visio. So, I added data and hyperlinks to the shapes, and set up a page property for the selected country which automatically highlights the country shape, statistics, and header, to which I added flags. So, the user can either set the page country using the Shape Data window for the page, or context menu of each country, or simply by double-clicking.[Read more…] about Interactive Demographics of the European Union in Visio
I am delighted to share the link to my recent demonstration and conversation with fellow MVP Peter Ward about Visio in Teams. We discussed more than just Visio … and I look a bit like Max Headroom![Read more…] about Teams Tuesday Podcast Recording about Visio
A few years ago, I wrote an article about messaging and encryption inspired by a visit to the National Museum of Computing in the UK. I developed a Morse Click shape to demonstrate how Visio can be used to represent and learn Morse Code. However, I never published the shapes here, and my good friend John Marshall recently wrote an article about Braille in Visio, so I thought I should explain how I made the Morse Click shapes, and I took the opportunity to enhance the shapes with some accessibility features that I have learnt since I originally designed them. I have also changed the shapes to be Visio Web friendly, which means, for example, removing shape effects.
I think I learnt Morse Code as a Cub Scout, but forgotten it in the half-century since. Its evolution, and its use today still makes very interesting reading. Each letter comprises of between one and four short or long clicks, whilst each number has five such clicks. Generally, the most used letters have lesser clicks, with ET being the lowest number, presumably to save an extra terrestrial money on a phone call home!
There are just two master shapes of interest here, Morse Click and Morse Click Rack, and a couple of page Shape Data rows. The Morse Click shape can be anyone of the 36 characters with a simple Shape Data value change, whilst the Morse Click Rack is a list shape and can spell out the words of up to 26 Morse Click shapes within it.[Read more…] about Understanding Morse Clicks with Visio