Readers of my blog will know that I use the layers in Visio pages to change the display for different scenarios. My macro to toggle layers on/off has been very popular, and I have written an add-in to manage layers that is widely used. However, I was recently asked if the layer settings can be controlled from linked data. Linking data in Visio has been available in all desktop editions, except Standard, since 2007, and I have written many articles and two books extolling this feature, but I haven’t so far controlled layer settings with it, so this article describes how this can be done … as shown in the following screen recording![Read more…] about Controlling Visio layers with linked data
Visio has the ability to refine the options for snapping shapes to just grids, but this does not necessarily mean that shapes will automatically position themselves on a grid, or that the size is a multiple of a grid. What if you want some shapes to always be positioned on a fixed grid, and the width and height to always be a multiple on the horizontal and vertical grids respectively? What if you want the grid to start at the top left rather then the default bottom left? Fortunately, the ShapeSheet of the page and shapes can provide this ability, without the need for any external code.
[Read more…] about Really Snapping to Grids in Visio
You can set the page to have Fixed horizontal and vertical grids, each with different minimum spacing, if necessary. You can set the grid and ruler origins using the Ruler & Grid dialog, but it will be always relative to the bottom left corner of the page. So this can be a problem if you change the print margins or the page size, if you really want the grid origin to remain in another position, like top left.
You can just leave the Grid for snapping, and even change its strength to Strong, and even enter a larger number manually. This can help with snapping to the grids, but it is not enforced to be exclusive to the grids.
I often create Visio masters with a fixed number of Shape Data rows, and sometimes I get requests to modify them because of changes in business needs. Well, my previous posts about Graph Databases got me thinking if it would be possible to embed JSON text in Visio shapes in some sort of meaningful way. Then the user could enter just attribute-value pairs at will, without the need for me to modify their master shape. Alternatively, the data could be inserted into the shape from a database, such as SQL server. So, in this article I discuss the suitability of JSON text in Visio shapes.[Read more…] about Using JSON text in Visio shapes
One of the most frequently used components of Visio is the Organization Chart Wizard (OrgChWiz), but it is also one of the most frustrating because of its apparent inflexibility. I was recently asked how to use different table column names with the wizard because the originating ODBC source could not be touched. Well, I have previously used Access to modify and enhance tables in this situation, but the OrgChWiz is quite old, and does not like using the newer Access queries as a data source unfortunately. If the basic table column names do not match the default column names in the organization chart shapes, then there may be superfluous Shape Data rows created on each shape and the ability to change the shape style is compromised, and the Shape Data rows get quite confused!
[Read more…] about Aliasing Data Columns for Visio Organization Chart Wizard
The Organization Chart template opens with the Belts – Organization Chart Shapes stencil open by default, although the Master shapes used can be replaced with those on one of the other nine using the Org Chart / Shapes gallery:
I was recently exploring the ShapeSheet formulas available in Visio that affect colors, and I decided that I needed to make a shape that I can change the fill color, tint, shade and tone of dynamically. This allows me to copy the formulas from a Shape Data row value for pasting into a ShapeSheet cell.[Read more…] about Understanding Visio’s Color Formulas
I wrote an article last year for Microsoft, using Visio to explain some bits of messaging and encryption (see Musings on MVP Open Day 2016 at Bletchley Park.pdf ). I finished the article with an unexplained image of a word, well the solution was obviously “BOWIE”, as written on the cover of his final album, Blackstar, released exactly one year ago today.[Read more…] about A Blackstar alphabet in Visio