Microsoft Visio has a useful Structured Diagramming concept that consists of Containers, Callouts and Connectors. The first of these features make it possible for shapes to know what they are contained within, as a better option to grouping shapes together. Grouping can hide or break the grouped shapes smartness, so Visio provides two ways of allowing shapes to be members of one or more containers. There are a few built-in Container shapes that can be added with the Insert / Diagram Parts / Container gallery, but shape developers can also create their own. Member shapes can be positioned anywhere within the container. There is a second type of container, List, that provides the ability to have ordered member items. There is no ribbon command to add these, but there are a number of these special shapes provided in the OOTB Visio stencils. For example, dragging and dropping a List box shape from the Software and Database / Software / Controls stencil will automatically add three List box item shapes to it.[Read more…] about Referencing Container Data in 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
Back in 2012, my fellow Visio MVPs, Scott Helmers and Chris Roth, and I recorded a series of 24 videos about Visio 2010. They were first hosted on Microsoft’s web site, then they put them up on YouTube, they they got deleted :-(. Well, we have managed to retrieve them, and put them back up on YouTube in a new list :-). Most of them are still very relevant and useful!
The concept of Structured Diagrams was introduced in Visio 2010 and is featured in many of the templates supplied with Microsoft Visio, and in some third-party solutions, like mine. Connectors, callouts, containers and lists are the key parts of a structured diagrams, and there are times when preventing the deletion of members of a container or list is desirable.[Read more…] about Preventing Deletion of Container Members in Visio
The concept of Structured Diagrams was introduced in Visio 2010 to provide core functionality for a variety of the templates in Visio, such as the Cross-Functional Flowchart, BPMN Diagram and Wireframe Diagram. This is primarily evident as Containers, Lists and Callouts and they can be customized (see Custom Containers, List and Callouts ), as shown in some of my previous articles ( see https://blog.bvisual.net/?s=container). One example of this extension can be found in all of the flowchart shapes that placed into a swimlane in a cross-functional flowchart. They have a Shape Data row, Function, that automatically inherits the text entered into the header of the swimlane. In another example, a Visio user can use Insert / Diagram Parts / Container to visually group other shapes together, and update the header text of the container. Well, I often do want my custom shapes to inherit the text of a container, so, in this article, I show how the built-in containers can be enhanced to provide this ability.
You should be aware that I often exploit the fact that Visio creates a local copy of each master shape that it uses within a document. This can be modified and set to match master by name on drop, to ensure that it is the one to use, even if the original Microsoft provided version is used. In this case, I use this trick to create hidden, enhanced versions of the containers that are available in the gallery of containers. Microsoft also do this with the Dynamic connector shape in a number of their own templates.
If you examine the Function Shape Data row of any of the flowchart shapes, then you will find the formula:
Most of my Visio diagrams have simple connections between shapes, and my previous post about connections used a flowchart as an example (see https://blog.bvisual.net/2016/08/09/understanding-visio-connections/ ). However, it has come to my attention that some Visio developers add connection points to sub-shapes of Visio group shapes, and then connect between the sub-shapes. This means that the code in my previous article would need to be adapted to cater for this scenario. It has also meant that I needed to update my free multiSelect Visio add-in needed an update. The updated version (18.104.22.168) is for Visio 2010+, and is available from http://bvisual.net/Products/multiSelect.aspx .[Read more…] about Update to multiSelect & tracing sub-shape connections in Visio