Though this is not really Visio related, I would like to talk about the Zune HD I acquired in February. So far I like the device, but as an MVP I cannot keep my mouth shut when it comes to talking about ways to improve.
The Zune designers for the desktop software should take a look at the Data Graphics in Visio. The podcast collections could be improved by adding a Data Graphic like feature to the podcast labels to indicate if it is to synced, how many times and how many podcasts are kept. The current method required you to select a collection and then click the settings button.
One of the features of PowerPoint 2010 is that you can save a presentation as a WMV file. When the file is added to the video collection on the Zune HD, the forward and backward buttons will take you to the transition point on the next or previous slides in the presentation. This makes for a very nice portable PowerPoint presentation device. Of course, you have to obey the standard presentation rules and avoid busy slides. If the slide is not readable on the Zune HD it is definitely too busy for a regular presentation.
One thing that got me hooked on Visio from the beginning was that you were not limited to the shapes that were supplied by the product, You could create shapes from scratch, modify existing shapes or wrap an image from any source into a Visio shape. So, I am always on the hunt for new shapes that are available on the internet.
Recently, I came across a set of well made shapes and was able to get in touch with the creator. Though the shapes looked good, they did not have any of the smarts that can be associated with Visio shapes. The Visio shapes were just foreign images that could not be changed or coloured. The shapes were originally created in Adobe Illustrator and imported into Visio. I tried using other export options from Illustrator, but none allowed me to ungroup the shapes in Visio so the shape can be disected into individual elements that be recombined.
Thanks to Enric Mañas, a PowerPoint MVP, I found out that it is possible to disect the shape by using PowerPoint. The file needs to be first saved as an EPS in Illustrator. The EPS file is then inserted into a new PowerPoint slide and then saved as a WMF file. The WMF file is then inserted in to a Visio drawing and this new shape can then be ungrouped.
So if you need to manipulate a shape created in Adobe Illustrator, use PowerPoint to convert an EPS file to a WMF file.