In the previous post I looked at a method of dividing up a group shape using a grid system layout, to allow you to position child shapes in a simple and flexible way. One of my motivations for considering this is to try and create a flexible system for laying out icons around a shape when Data Graphics are not an option.
Placement of sub-shapes within a group can sometimes become complex. The logic that determines their size and position can get buried in the individual shapes making it harder to get a clear view of what’s happening. One answer to this problem is the use of a grid system and I thought I’d explore this approach over the next couple of posts.
If you’re designing a Visio solution to work across multiple versions, it can often be a little tricky to remember when a particular ShapeSheet function first appeared on the scene. I regularly find myself reaching for the SDK and so I’ve put together a quick reference that I can look up the information a little faster:
In general Visio shapes have always supported a single solid colour and if you want two or more colors you need to group shapes together. There are some tricks using shadow offsets to add another color, but by and large it’s one color per shape. Visio 2013 changes that by introducing gradients and, aside from the standard use for gradients, this allows you to create regions of different colors across the shape.
Visio formulae can get quite complex and you can sometimes find yourself writing long strings across multiple shapes to achieve a particular outcome. I thought I’d jot down a quick post about one helpful tool, which I came across via Scott Hanselman’s annual(ish) tools list, called NimbleText.
NimbleText is a free tool that allows you to parse and manipluate text and is a great help for getting your strings into a Visio consumable state.
The ‘Calendar’ stencil has some great shapes like ‘Month’ and ‘Multiple Week’ for scheduling and planning. The template and stencil are part of a solution that includes an AddOn called Time Solution (‘ts’) and this is effectively a builder to create and write to all of the day sub-shapes (not to mention the Outlook import feature).
One thing I miss, though, is an easy way to print out multiple months that clearly show the difference between one month and the next. I care less about whether a month breaks across pages and more about being able to easily identify each one.
So, in this post I’ve built a shape that takes a start date and displays the following thirty four days…
Almost four years ago I reviewed a new book by Visio MVP David Parker. It was about Process Diagramming and Validation. The Validation part of this was a new feature in Visio 2010 and only available in the top edition, 'Premium'. In the interim, Visio 2013 has emerged and the available editions are back to two - 'Standard' and 'Professional' and this means that Validation, along with Structured Diagramming, are now available to a much wider section of the Visio user base.
Having been dealing with themes in Visio 2013 recently, I’ve found that while the gallery works ok, I’d often like a ‘cheat-sheet’ to quickly layout all of the various color options. So, here’s one I made earlier…
Sometimes, when designing a shape in Visio, you want to allow a user to make changes to your shape such as color, size or position, but also have some mechanism for returning the shape to a default state. In this post I’m going a explore a method that works with Visio’s master inheritance functionality.