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Using Microsoft VISIO 2010


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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

How This Book Is Organized 2

Using This Book 3

Special Features 4

About the USING Web Edition 4

1 Introducing Visio 2010 5

What Is Visio? 5

Getting Started: Creating a Simple Flowchart 6

Creating a Simple Visio Flowchart 7

What Kinds of Diagrams Can Visio Create? 9

Examples of What Visio Can Do 12

Connected Diagrams 12

Block Diagrams 13

Measured Drawings 15

What Visio Isn't 16

Understanding Visio 2010 Editions 17

What's New in Visio 2010? 17

Updated User Interface 17

Enhanced Diagramming Features 18

Getting Around in Visio Using the Fluent UI 20

The Ribbon 20

The Quick Access Toolbar 25

Right-click Context Menus 27

The Backstage Area 27

Status Bar 28

Working in the Visio Drawing Window 30

Task Panes 31

Page Tabs 32

Ruler & Grid 32

Multiple Drawing Windows 32

Getting a Handle on Shapes 33

Working Faster with Keyboard Shortcuts 37

Summary 38

2 Working Around the Diagram 39

Getting Started with a New Drawing 39

Navigating the Template Gallery 39

What Happens When You Start from a Template? 41

Creating a Blank Drawing 42

Creating a New Drawing from an Existing Drawing 44

Using Templates Online 46

Saving Diagrams 48

Saving Documents Using Save As 48

Saving Documents Using Save & Send 49

Configuring Auto Save 49

Finding and Managing Shapes 49

Navigating the Shapes Window 49

Quick Shapes-Accessing and Managing Frequently Used Shapes 51

Opening Other Stencils 53

Searching for Shapes 55

Saving Favorite Shapes 59

Managing and Organizing Your Favorite Shapes 60

Editing Existing Stencils 61

Creating a Custom Master Shape and a Custom Stencil 62

Understanding the Document Stencil 64

Managing and Styling Pages 66

Inserting Pages 66

Working with Background Pages 69

Inserting Backgrounds, Titles, and Borders 73

Renaming Pages 74

Reordering Pages 74

Controlling Page Size and Orientation 75

Setting Page Scales 77

Using Themes to Change the Look of Pages and Documents 79

Using the Theme Gallery Control 79

Setting Themes, Theme Colors, and Theme Effects 82

Applying Themes to Pages versus Documents 82

Preventing Theming 83

Setting Color Palettes and Themes 83

Using Visio Windows 84

Managing Windows 86

Using Full-Screen View 88

Summary 89

3 Organizing and Annotating Diagrams 90

Containers and Lists 90

Containers 90

Lists 95

Groups 100

Creating a Grouped Shape 101

When Not to Use Groups 103

Editing Inside a Group 103

Callouts 105

Using Visio 2010's New Callouts 105

Using Legacy Callout Shapes 108

ScreenTips on Shapes 110

Adding ScreenTips to Shapes 110

Strategies for Using ScreenTips 111

Headers and Footers 112

Inserting Fields into Shape Text 114

Inserting Text Fields in Shape Text 115

Layers 117

Basic Layer Skills 117

Practical Application of Layers 120

Visio Layers for Power Users 121

Markup & Review 122

Comments 123

Markup 124

Ink 126

Summary 127

4 Connecting Shapes 129

Understanding Visio Connectors 129

Connecting Basics 129

Using the Connector Tool 133

Connectors Are Shapes, Too! 134

Connecting to Shapes versus Points on Shapes 135

Connecting Shapes in Multiple Ways 138

How Do I Connect Thee? Let Me Count the Ways 138

AutoConnect Arrows 139

Dragging, Splitting, and Deleting 140

Changing the Appearance of Connectors 142

Formatting Connectors 142

Changing Routing Style for Connectors 143

Controlling Line Jumps for Connectors 145

Manually Editing Connector Paths 147

Adding and Editing Connection Points 148

Adding and Removing Connection Points to Shapes 149

Summary 151

5 Aligning, Arranging, and Laying Out Shapes 152

Aligning and Arranging Shapes 152

Using the Dynamic Grid to Align Shapes as You Draw 152

Using Auto Align & Space to Clean Up Connected Diagrams 156

Aligning and Distributing Shapes Using Position Functions 157

Using the Grid, Ruler, and Guides 162

Nudging Shapes 164

Controlling Front-to-Back Positioning 165

Laying Out Shapes 167

Using Visio's Layout Features 167

Fine-tuning Layout 173

Summary 177

6 Working with Individual Shapes 178

Copying and Duplicating Shapes 178

Constraining Drag and Repeating Copies 179

Creating a Table of Boxes 179

Quickly Formatting a Table of Boxes 181

Resizing and Rotating Shapes 182

Resizing 2D Shapes 183

Resizing 1D Shapes 183

Rotating 2D Shapes 183

Formatting Individual Shapes 185

Changing Line, Fill, and Text Attributes 185

Which Formatting Attributes Can Be Edited? 186

Curing Menu Cascade-itis 187

Finding More Options 189

Formatting Groups 190

Setting Default Formatting 192

Working with Text 192

Creating and Editing Text Blocks 193

Editing and Formatting Text 196

Text Resizing Behavior 200

Using Special Shape Features 201

Right-Click Actions 202

Shape Data Fields 202

Control Handles 203

Hyperlinks 204

Action Tags 206

Double-Clicking 206

Importing Graphics 207

Using Images as Shapes in Visio 207

Adding Clip Art to Your Diagrams 211

Adding Excel Charts to Your Diagrams 213

Importing Vector Graphics 214

Importing AutoCAD Drawings 215

Summary 219

7 Working with Data 220

Introducing Shape Data Fields 220

Exploring Shape Data 220

Types and Uses of Shape Data 223

Creating and Using Shape Data Fields 224

Adding Simple Data Fields 225

Choosing Shape Data Field Types 226

Creating Lists and Controlling Formatting 227

Saving Sets of Shape Data Fields 229

Displaying Shape Data in Shape Text 232

Shape Data Labels versus Names 234

Creating Reports 237

Introducing the Report Definition Wizard 238

Grouping and Totaling Items in a Report 241

Using Reports with Other Documents 244

Linking External Data to Shapes 245

Preparing the Data 246

Preparing the Light Bulb Shape for Data Linking 247

Using the Database Wizard 248

Using Link Data 257

Introducing Data Graphics 262

What Is a Data Graphic? 262

Creating Data Graphics 264

Applying Data Graphics to Shapes 267

Other Data-Enabled Solutions in Visio 268

Summary 270

8 Tips for Creating Specific Types of Diagrams 271

Tips for Creating Process and Flowchart Diagrams 271

Working with Autoresizing Flowchart Shapes 271

Connecting to Decision Shapes 272

Creating Subprocesses to Drill Down to Details 273

Managing Swimlanes and Phases in Cross-functional Flowcharts 275

Numbering Shapes 277

Validating Diagrams 277

Business Process Diagrams (BPMN) and SharePoint

Workflows 278

Tips for Creating Network Diagrams 279

Logical Network Diagrams 279

Rack Diagrams 280

Tips for Creating Block Diagrams 282

Blending Block Shapes Together 282

3D Perspective Block Diagrams 283

Corner Rounding and Other Tips for Architecture Block Diagrams 284

Tips for Creating Timelines 286

Tips for Creating Organizational Charts 287

Drawing and Editing Org Charts by Hand 288

Generating Org Charts from Data Using the Wizard 290

Using Walls, Windows, and Doors in Office and Space Plans 293

Creating Building Plans Using Wall Shapes 293

Using Window, Door, and Space Shapes with Walls 295

Dimension Lines 297

Summary 299

9 Printing 300

Printing Basics 300

Printing from the Backstage Area 300

Print Preview 304

Experimenting with Printing Without Wasting Trees 307

Understanding Printing 310

Keeping Print Variables in Mind 310

Looking at a Complicated Print Job from a Simple Document 311

Headers and Footers and Print Margins 314

Printing Scenarios 316

Printing Part of a Diagram 316

Selectively Printing Elements in a Drawing 316

Printing Tiled Drawings 318

Printing Complex, Mixed-Orientation Drawings 321

Printing Any Size Drawing on Any Size Paper 322

Printing Multiple Drawings on a Single Sheet 325

Printing Scaled Drawings at Reduced Size 328

Printing High-Quality Materials 329

Summary 332

10 Sharing, Publishing, and Exporting Visio Diagrams 333

Sending Visio Files in Email 333

Sending a Visio File via Email 333

Creating Web Pages from Visio Drawings 334

Saving as Web Page 335

Exploring Visio-Generated Web Pages 337

Fine-tuning Web Pages and Battling Bugs 340

Saving as PDF or XPS Files 346

Saving a PDF or XPS Document 346

Saving Visio Files in XML Format 347

Saving Files in Older Visio Formats 348

Using Visio Graphics with Other Applications 349

Copying from Visio 349

Default Paste Behavior 349

Using Paste Special and Matching Themes Across

Applications 350

Using Visio Graphics Outside Office 352

Exporting Visio Graphics to Other Formats 352

Saving Bitmapped Images 353

Saving to Vector Formats 356

Working with SharePoint 357

Working with Files in Document Libraries 357

Introducing Visio Services for SharePoint 2010 360

Cleaning Up Documents 361

Setting Document Properties 361

Removing Personal Information 362

Reducing File Size 363

Summary 364

Index 365

The following chapter can be accessed online at

11 Developing Custom Visio Solutions PDF: 1

Introducing the Notes Shape PDF: 1

Using the Developer Ribbon Tab PDF: 2

Creating SmartShapes with the ShapeSheet PDF: 3

Introducing the ShapeSheet PDF: 3

Creating Smart Geometry in the ShapeSheet PDF: 5

Understanding Visio's Coordinate System PDF: 9

Controlling Grouped Shapes with the ShapeSheet PDF: 10

Linking Subshape Text to Shape Data Fields PDF: 14

Modifying the Text Block Using the ShapeSheet PDF: 17

Adding Right-Click Actions to the SmartShape PDF: 18

Introducing Automation and VBA Code PDF: 20

Exploring the VBA Development PDF: 20

Using the Macro Recorder to Generate Code PDF: 24

Calling VBA Code from a SmartShape PDF: 27

Distributing Templates and Stencils PDF: 29

Creating a Template with a Document Stencil PDF: 29

Creating a Separate Stencil for Shape and Code Delivery PDF: 32

Creating a Template with a Separate Stencil PDF: 35

Locating Visio Development Resources PDF: 35

Books About Visio Development and Customization PDF: 36

Websites About Visio Development and Customization PDF: 36

Summary PDF: 37

About the Author

Chris Roth has always enjoyed creating pictures of any kind and absolutely enjoys the combination of computer technology with graphics. He has been working with Visio since The Beginning in 1992, when he was part of the Visio 1.0 team at then-extant Visio Corporation. Since then, he's continuously been busy helping customers incorporate diagrams, drawings, and visualizations into their daily business and to develop custom graphical solutions based on Visio.

A Microsoft Visio MVP since 2002, he has presented sessions at several Visio conferences and has written more than 250 articles about Visio for his "Visio Guy" website (, which he launched in 2006.

Originally from Seattle, he currently lives with his wife and baby daughter in Munich, Germany. Away from family, laptop, and relaxing Bavarian beer gardens, he plays trombone with the TT Orchestra and the wind ensemble Pullacher Blasmusik.

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