Desktop Visio has a tremendous ability to assign shapes to none, one or more layers, and the efficient use of them can make a drawing so powerful by toggling layers visibility or locking certain layers whilst working on other layers. The same drawing can be used, displayed or printed for many different purposes just by changing the layer settings. Visio layers can also have a color assigned, and its transparency, without affecting the original colors, so layers can be quickly set to grayscale, for example, to make other layers more visible, and bring attention to them. My LayerManager add-in for Visio has become quite a popular aid to working with layers, and now I have added layer color editing and multiple selection capabilities to the Page Layers tab![Read more…] about Editing Visio Layer Colours with LayerManager
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
I work a lot with layers in Visio, and written an add-in, LayerManager, to assist, but I was asked an interesting question recently: How can shapes by assigned to layers automatically from a list in Excel? So, I thought I would present my solution. This particular request was for a Timeline diagram, where the Milestone shapes are to be on specific layers. So, I just used one of the samples provided with Visio.[Read more…] about Assigning Visio Shapes to Layers from Excel Table
If you are one of the increasing number of Power BI users that have discovered that the Visio Visual gives you the great ability to include Visio diagrams in your dashboard, then you may have come across the following error, ‘We can’t open your file in Visio because it exceeds the shape count limit’ in Power BI’, when you try to embed a Visio document. This can be frustrating, but here is a deeper explanation of what is happening … and how you can usually overcome it.[Read more…] about Overcoming ‘We can’t open your file in Visio because it exceeds the shape count limit’ in Power BI
I use layers in Visio a lot. Maybe it is because I originally used CAD, and created facilities and cable management layouts linked to data. I know that some of my fellow Visio MVPS don’t use layers very much at all, mainly because they create process diagrams, I guess, but careful use of layers in a diagram can provide multiple views of the same base information. However, Visio has a more complex layering system than any CAD program that I used, so I have always created my own layer management tools. I have decided to package my utility together as an add-in that others may want to use too.
I have made some short videos explain the issue with layers in Visio, and how I solved it.
What’s the issue with layers in Visio?
Making it simple to toggle layer settings
Saving and recalling multiple layer settings easily
The add-in can be downloaded from my company website : LayerManager
I have put some licensing into the add-in, but 30 days are allowed for free.
Here is some of the genesis of this add-in : Toggling layers on and off