Where is Waldo?

With Visio 2010, Visio has now joined the other core Office apps and now supports the ribbon. With the old menus, I ended up turning almost all of them on and wasting screen real estate. So in a way, I like the new ribbon. Of course, the first question asked always starts with, “where is the button for…”. There is a download from Microsoft that will help you navigate, but the Visio team was prepared for questions about the location of commands. If you click on the File Ribbon and choose Options and then Customize ribbon, you are presented with choices for changing the ribbon. In the drop down box below “choose commands from: “ select “All Commands”. Now if you scroll down the list of commands, you should be able to find the command you are looking for. If you hover over the command, you will be presented with the actual location of the command on the ribbon. If you start from the top of the list, do not get discouraged, the first none commands are “Not in the Ribbon”

Don’t forget to check out the forums for free help with your questions. If the volume of questions is sufficient in the Answers forum, may be w will get a forum to ourselves rather than sharing with Access, Project and InfoPath.

Review of David Parker’s new book

Visio is almost twenty years old and for the last few versions, Microsoft has been extending Visio’s capabilities beyond being the standard for drag and drop diagramming applications. In the beginning, Visio lead the way with it’s ability to quickly create business diagrams with intelligent shapes. Rather than worrying about the details of drawing shapes, the user could concentrate on how the shapes interacted. With Visio 2010, Microsoft laid the groundwork for validating the diagrams. As a new feature, Microsoft made sure that the validation process was well defined, but only created basic rule sets.

With this book, “Microsoft Visio 2010 – Business Process Diagramming and Validation”, my fellow Visio MVP, David Parker has explained how the new validation feature works and provided tools for analysing and creating your own rules. This is more than a rehash of Microsoft documentation, he has worked with the people who created the validation feature to make sure the book contains a good overview of the rule creation process so that anyone can create their own validation rules. The book walks you through the creation of some dot net programs to analyse rule sets and other programs for actually implementing some of the rules. It also provides some good background into the Visio object model and the Visio Shapesheet so that developers new to Visio are not totally lost. The examples David provides make a good starting point for rule developers.

The 314 pages of this book are well written and provide a good insight into a new and very useful feature of Visio 2010. Microsoft will be embellishing this feature in future versions, but for those who can not wait and need to create their own rules, this is the book.