I’ve been running Visio Pro for Office 365 on another machine for a while now but I’ve recently upgraded my main machine from Visio Professional 2013 and I thought I'd jot down my experience.
Just to keep you on your toes the naming of the products can be a little confusing – there’s the two traditional outright purchase options plus the O365 version, which is paid for on a subscription basis:
- Visio Standard 2016
- Visio Professional 2016
- Visio Pro for Office 365
The main benefit of the O365 version is the monthly updates that you get, which is great news if you’re in charge of your own installation, but also, from an admin perspective, offers a great deal of flexibility over how the updates are deployed.
In addition to the main deployment channels (‘Current’, ‘First Release for Deferred’ and ‘Deferred’) MS also makes two other channels (‘InsiderFast’ and ‘InsiderSlow’) available via the Office Insiders program, where you get early (prior to ‘Current’) builds including all of the latest features. As an example, here’s Shashank Gandhi from the Visio product team talking about the Data Visualizer feature:
One thing to bear in mind is that old msi (Windows Installer) versions of Office don’t all play nicely with the newer C2R (Click to Run) ones and if you think that might be an issue for you, then you can see the various supported mix and match scenarios here:
- Supported scenarios for installing different versions of Office, Visio, and Project on the same computer
So, back to my upgrade – I thought I’d take the opportunity a lose a couple of older versions of Visual Studio while I was in my clean up phase and so it went something like this:
- Uninstalled older Visual Studio versions (not required as VS supports side-by-side installs, but a good opportunity to tidy up)
- Copied the Visio 2013 SDK help file, which no longer ships in the 2016 version (C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\VisSDK\Docs\VisSDK.chm)
- Copied Visio.officeUI plus other officeUI files that contain ribbon customizations (C:\Users\[UserName]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Office\Visio.officeUI)
- Uninstalled Visio 2013 SDK
[Update 19-04-2017 - prior to uninstalling Visio 2013 you might want to take a copy or the various path strings found under File / Options / Advanced / File Locations if you've been using these as they don't get automatically migrated across to the O365 version.]
- Uninstalled Visio Professional 2013
- Uninstalled Office Professional 2013
- Installed ‘Office 365 Pro Plus’ and ‘Visio Pro for Office 365’ using the Office Deployment Tool described here How Office 365 commercial customers can get early access to new Office 2016 features. (I opted for ‘InsiderSlow’, this being my primary machine and I’ll let my other machine ride the bleeding edge.)
- Installed Visio 2016 SDK
- Added local VisSDK.chm help file back to its original path as per step 2 (Note – the file does contain a couple of mistakes that have been corrected in the more authoritative online version, but I still like a local copy of the the ShapeSheet reference)
- Installed Visual Studio 2017
I have to say that installations always make me a little nervous and this is based on bad experiences that are firmly etched in my mind. Having said that, this was a pretty seamless and stress-free experience and everything really just worked. The .officeUI file, which I’d copied for safe keeping, wasn’t required with all of my previous customizations appearing as before in the new 2016 UI. All of my VSTO addins, which I had expected to require some attention also worked straight out of the box – no re-installation required.
I know that MS have one or two people working on this sort of thing, but all the same I think it’s pretty impressive how smooth the upgrade procedure can be.