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