Paying my dues
Links to all the Visio articles
Various useful formulae for use in Visio shapesheet cells
- Resizing shape's width with text:
Set cell Width = GUARD(TEXTWIDTH(TheText))
- Resizing shape's width with text, but with a minimum size (10mm in this case):
Set cell Width = GUARD(MAX(TEXTWIDTH(TheText), 10mm))
- Resizing shape's height with text:
Set cell Height = GUARD(TEXTHEIGHT(TheText,Width))
- Resizing text with the shape:
Set cell Character -> Size = 10 pt*Height/0.75 in
- Resizing text with the shape (with minimum and maximum values):
Set cell Character -> Size = MIN(48 pt, Max(4 pt,10 pt*Height/0.75 in.))
- Level text - text that is always horizontal, sometimes called 'gravity text':
Set cell Text Transform -> TxtAngle = -ANG360(Angle)
- Using an Action to toggle a cell
1. Create a section -> Actions
2. in the Menu cell add the text that you want to appear on the shape's right click menu (typically set the text to "Toggle")
assume we wish to toggle cell "User.Toggle":
3. in the Action cell add the formula =SETF(GetRef(User.Toggle), NOT(GetRef(User.Toggle)))
Now when we select Toggle on the shape's menu the value in cell User.Toggle will alternately be TRUE and FALSE.
Books about Visio
Microsoft Visio 2013 Business Process Diagramming and Validation by David J. Parker
David has a knack of taking an almost unknown aspect of Visio and making it accessible to mere mortals.
If you try using diagram validation within Visio just from the menus you would import the flowchart rules into your diagram, if it's a flowchart then you might make some progress, if not then you'll just shrug your shoulders and say, yes, fine, what do I do next, then ignore diagram validation for the rest of your life. There are no explanations, no menus to help you change the validation rules. Nothing. Almost as if whoever put it all together couldn't be bothered.
David's book starts at the beginning and takes you through all the steps with more information than you think possible to create diagrams that can be validated, not just plain old flowcharts, but UML, BPMN and all the others; but there is so much more, so much about the internals of Visio, SharePoint, new stuff in the Visio SDK. Go on, have a look.
David's book on Amazon
How to remove extraneous layer information from a shape master
(Instructions for Visio 2003/Visio 2007 - for Visio 2010 the menus are different)
- Load the stencil, put into edit mode, open the master
- Select the shape's contents (Control-A)
- menu Format -> Layer
- If you are now asked to enter a leyer name then the shape has a blank layer name! Enter a name (anything - it will be removed later) and press OK
- On the Layer dialog click None then OK
- menu View -> Layer Properties and tick Remove Unreferenced Layers, then click OK
- Close the shape, click OK to update the shape
- When done, close the stencil.
Adding a timestamp when code-signing template/document macros
When you code-sign a Visio template or document (from within the VBA editor: menu Tools -> Digital Signature) the document gets signed and all
seems fine, except, when your digital certificate expires the documents you signed will also expire and the user will get all sort of horrible
warning notices and the macros will no longer work. The missing information that needs to be applied is a timestamp from the certificate's
authority. It would be so nice if the signing process were to give you some warning that you need to add the following in the registry:
- Use the registry editor to create:
- If your certificate is from Comodo, add key:
"TimeStampURL" = "http://timestamp.comodoca.com/authenticode"
If your certificate is from Verisign, add key:
"TimeStampURL" = "http://timestamp.verisign.com/scripts/timstamp.dll"
Other signing authorities have similar URLs.
- Set key "TimeStampRetryCount" = 5
- Set key "TimeStampRetryDelay" = 5
Adding blank space around connector text
When you add text to a connector, if the text is over the top of the line of the connector then the line is hidden 'under' the text, like so:
If you want to add more space around the text then you'd think this could be done with the text formatting, but not so.
You can add extra space characters in front of your text, that works, but adding spaces after the text is ignored.
The secret to getting the spaces after the text reconised is to edit the connector text, then at the far right-hand end,
-> More Symbols
-> Special Characters
and select Non-breaking space
Article added 6th November 2015
3rd-party additions for Microsoft Visio
There are various lists available of 3rd-party Visio stencils and add-ons, all of which seem to be totally out
of date and full of dead links. I shall endeavour to keep this list up to date, please inform me of any changes
or additions. Email me
- Aresti System Aerobatic Drawing Software contains all the figures from the Aresti System (Condensed) Aerobatic Catalogue, Templates for all IAC & CIVA aerobatic Forms, and many automated sub-routines for rapid paperwork preparation - commercial
- Computer games
- Arcade Controls Visio stencils in Visio 4 format for arcade controls - joysticks, buttons, etc - warning: this website is really bad on the eyes - free
- John C. Brown castle and cave shapes for dungeons and dragons - free
- John C. Brown sci-fi spaceship deck design - free
- Computer hardware
- Computer networks
- Computer software
- Educational shapes
- Electrical/Electronics engineering
- GUI design
- House and home
- Industrial automation
- Opto 22 Shapes for Opto 22's automation products - free
- Information Architects
- Beacon16 iPhone wireframe and mockup shapes - free
- Cloud shapes by John Goldsmith of Visual Signals - free
- Jesse James Garrett A visual vocabulary for describing information architecture and interaction design - free
- Nick Finck Wireframe, Sitemap and Process Flow shapes - free
- Peter Van Dijck shapes from Information Architecture For Designers - free
- Petro-chem engineering
- Tools and utilities
- cData a tool by David Parker of bVisual - a collection of five extra windows with data capability for Visio - commercial
- celMaker a tool by David Parker of bVisual - to help developers copy custom properties, user-defined cells, actions and connection points from one master to another - commercial
- Data Legends for Visio a tool by David Parker of bVisual which adds essential legends for External Data - commercial
- Document Imager for Visio 2010 a tool by David Parker of bVisual to export a selection of pages, automatically named consistently into a folder of your choice - commercial
- Graham Wideman Visio Developer's Survival Pack - free
- Multi-Language Text for Visio a tool by David Parker of bVisual to maintain multiple language shape text or page names in the same document - commercial
- Rules Tools for Visio 2010 Premium Edition a tool by David Parker of bVisual to enable users to write custom validation rules to suit their own purposes - free
- Visio Super Utilities by Paul Herber - a collection of useful utilities for Visio - commercial with free trial
- Visual Risk Analysis a tool by David Parker of bVisual - commercial
- visViewer a tool by David Parker of bVisual - a Visio file viewer - free
- 3D Visioner a 3D addon for Visio - commercial
- Create an installer for your Visio stencils/templates - an online tool - free tool created by Nikolay
- Visio TreeView - template for quick drawing the structure of folders and files on the disk.
- TreeMap Visio Template - similarly VisioTreeView plus TreeMap function - comparative map size of folders and files.
- ShapeComparer - a stencil with a master shape which is connected between two of shapes and transmits data from one to another.
- Connection server - tool for analysis of Visio diagramms. The utility is made as ActiveX dll, containing the class clsConnServ. Dll can be attached to the macro or program.
- Insert PDF in Visio - tool to convert PDF files into editable Visio content - commercial.