Category Archives: 11315

Visio RULES!

With Office 2010, the Visio team has added some nice new features to Visio 2010. One of the new features is the ability to apply rules to a Visio diagram. As a teaser, the team has created some rules for flowcharting and laid the ground work for users to create their own rules.

Fellow Visio MVP David Parker was intrigued with this new feature that he researched it and built on this ground work and created a set of tools to make it easier to take advantage of this new capability within Visio 2010. There was enough material there for a book. In fact, he actually wrote the book on it. Currently the book is in the hands of the publishers and when it is released, it has a place on my shelf between my dog eared copies of Graham Wideman’s books and Bonnie Biafore’s Visio Bibles, next to David’s previous book on Data Visualization.

David does an excellent job covering the techniques needed to create rules and provides some good examples on how to create them. Rather than just providing tools, he actually walks you through the creation of these tools. He has also created a new website www.VisioRules.com which he plans to use as a clearing house for information and other things about the new rules feature. Currently it is only a place holder, but once it is fully up and running, it will be another website worth bookmarking. 

So it sounds like we have a new slogan. It may be that “Dot Net Rocks” but “Visio RULES!”

Multiple copies while Duplex printing

Visio has a problem with duplex printing.

If you ask for multiple copies while duplex printing, you only get one copy. This is rather annoying, but the problem is not with duplex printing. The issue is with the collate option. You can duplex print a Visio document and request mutiple copies and your document will print the correct number of pages, only if you do not select collate. Of course, the pile of paper generated is useless. What is printed on the front and back of the first piece of paper is two copies of page 1.

There is a knowledge based article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/924114 but that indicates that the issue is that collate is not checked. The only workable solution is to set the copies to 1. Sounds like a Henry Ford answer.  You can get any colour you like, as long as it is black. You can print as many copies as you like as long as the number of copies is 1.

Update: This is fixed in Visio 2010 (almost). Though the printing is correct, it appears that you get an extra page if you duplex a document with an odd number of pages. An even number of pages prints fine with no extra page.

Something New for Visio 2010 – Containers

Have you ever wanted to add an area around a group of shapes? For example, you want to identify a group of computers that belong to the draughting department? Simple, you just draw a shape around a group of shapes, but the problem arises when you want to expand or shrink the shape that encloses the group of shapes.

With Visio 2010, is a new concept called containers that will automatically stretch or shrink depending on the shapes contained.

Visio 2010 – Developer Mode

With Office 2007, the main apps introduced the ribbon and with Office 2010, Office introduced the ability to customize the ribbon. Since the ribbon was a major shift in the UI experience, it made sense that  only the key apps should “test the waters” and the other apps should wait till the next release. It was basically a “too many cooks spoil the broth” scenerio.

With Visio 2010, Visio acquired the Ribbon AND ribbon customization.  One problem with menus in Visio 2007 was their placement was not optomized and it was possible to leave gaps. So the introduction of the ribbon meant a better placement of the buttons and only displaying the relevant ones. (Of course, relevancy is subject to interpretation)

With the introduction of the ribbon, there were some major changes in the UI. One noticable one is the removal of the “Use Developer Mode” checkbox in the Options menu. The user can now directly customize the ribbon to enable the buttons that were added by the old “Use Developer Mode” option checkbox.

There is an alternate way to get to code. On the View tab, the last group is Macros. You can then access or create VBA macros.