Developing Microsoft Visio Solutions

( 1 )

Overview

This book introduces the Microsoft Visio drawing and diagramming software environment and provides programmatic information about using Visio as a development platform, including details about using formulas to design Visio SmartShapes symbols that model real-world objects and behavior. It also contains information, tips, and techniques for using the Microsoft Visual Basic® and Visual C++® development systems and the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programming environment to incorporate Visio as a component ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (15) from $4.14   
  • New (5) from $43.01   
  • Used (10) from $4.14   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 4 of 5
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$43.01
Seller since 2010

Feedback rating:

(53)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
"New, ships through UPS and DHL. Excellent customer service. Satisfaction guaranteed!! "

Ships from: STERLING HEIGHTS, MI

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$60.64
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(0)

Condition: New
Hardcover New in new dust jacket. Brand New US edition, 3-5 days shipping!

Ships from: foxboro, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$70.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(146)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$94.50
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(259)

Condition: New
Brand New Item.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 4 of 5
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

This book introduces the Microsoft Visio drawing and diagramming software environment and provides programmatic information about using Visio as a development platform, including details about using formulas to design Visio SmartShapes symbols that model real-world objects and behavior. It also contains information, tips, and techniques for using the Microsoft Visual Basic® and Visual C++® development systems and the Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programming environment to incorporate Visio as a component in other applications. Because Visio is a graphics product, the book includes many illustrations for shape developers, as well as code examples and samples.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735613539
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press
  • Publication date: 6/16/2001
  • Edition description: Book & CD-Rom
  • Pages: 660
  • Product dimensions: 7.42 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software—any time, any place and on any device.
Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

2 Creating Visio Shapes

The best Microsoft Visio solutions often begin on the drawing page, where you design shapes. Although you could define much of the custom behavior that a solution might need with programming, you'll get superior results faster by taking advantage of the built-in functionality of Visio shapes. If you design intelligence into your shapes, you can build a more flexible solution that requires less coding and maintenance in the long run.

Think of shapes as components that can be used to construct a diagram with little or no additional effort by the user. Each shape should, if possible, represent a real-world object; the user's main task will be to choose the shape from the stencil, and having it represent something familiar will help the user choose correctly. Put as much functionality into the shape as possible—within reason. A shape that does many things might be more confusing and harder to use than several shapes that each do one thing, and simpler shapes perform better in Microsoft Visio.

This chapter explores the different means of acquiring shapes for your solutions. Although drawing them yourself is always an option, you can also import graphics from other programs, convert metafiles into shapes, scan images to use as shapes, and adapt existing shapes for your own use. Later chapters provide greater detail about controlling shapes through formulas and other techniques.

Visio Shape Anatomy

Shape anatomy loosely refers to the geometry and user interface that make a shape appear and behave on the drawing page in particular ways. The term shape can refer to one line, arc, or spline; a series of segments; several shapes grouped together; or an object from another application. These shapes differ in their geometry in sometimes subtle and sometimes obvious ways that you need to know about, because these differences can affect how users work with your shapes. The four general shape anatomy considerations are as follows:
  • Whether a shape is closed or open, which primarily affects how a shape can be filled
  • Whether a shape is one-dimensional (1-D) or two-dimensional (2-D), a choice with fundamental impact on shape appearance and behavior
  • The type of shape handles, which are user interface elements tied to shape geometry that tell users visually how to interact with a shape
  • Whether the shape is a group, which affects how users edit the group and its member shapes, among other things

When you create new shapes for a solution, you define the shapes' anatomy to provide the visual clues your users will need to interact with your shapes. For example, shapes for doors, windows, desks—things that are built to standard industry sizes—can be locked against sizing so users don't accidentally stretch the shapes inappropriately as they are working with them.

Figure 2-1 A single line is a shape, and so is the table with chairs, a Visio master shape composed of simpler shapes grouped together. (Image unavailable)


NOTE:
A master is a shape in a stencil that you use to create instances, or shapes, based on the master. Instances inherit many of their characteristics from the master.

This section defines the elements of shapes that are the starting point for both designing your own shapes and revising existing ones.

Closed and Open Shapes

A shape can be made up of multiple line, arc, or spline segments called paths, each of which can be closed or open. Only a closed path can be filled with a color or pattern, and only an open path can be formatted with line ends.

Figure 2-2 The rectangle represents four line segments in a closed path filled with a pattern. The lines represent open paths to which line ends have been applied. (Image unavailable)

Shapes can also have more than one path. An important consequence of this is that you can design a shape with multiple paths, some open and some closed, to create cutout regions (for example, a doughnut shape with a hole that cannot be filled with a color or pattern). Or you might create a shape, such as the recycle symbol below, composed of several paths.

Figure 2-3 The recycle shape represents four paths, A, B, C, and D. Only the fourth path, D, is closed, indicated by the way color fills the shape. You can create similar shapes by combining geometry (on the Shape menu, point to Operations, and then click Combine). (Image unavailable)

For details about creating shapes with multiple paths, see Creating and Controlling Merged Shapes in Chapter 6, Grouping and Merging Shapes.

 1-D and 2-D Shapes

A shape can be one-dimensional (1-D) or two-dimensional (2-D).

A 1-D shape behaves like a line and displays endpoints that you can drag to resize the shape when you select it with the Pointer tool. You can glue the endpoints of 1-D shapes to the sides of 2-D shapes to create connecting lines that stay in place when the shapes are moved.

Figure 2-4 A 1-D shape has two endpoints. Some 1-D shapes also have other handles, such as this arc's control point. (Image unavailable)

A 2-D shape behaves like a rectangle and displays selection handles that you can drag to resize the shape when you select it with the Pointer tool.

Figure 2-5 A 2-D shape has handles on all four sides and can be closed (like the ellipse) or open (like the zigzag line).  (Image unavailable)

You can change 1-D shapes to 2-D and vice versa. For details, see Converting 1-D and 2-D Shapes in Chapter 8, Working with 1-D Shapes, Connectors, and Glue. For details about ways to control 2-D shape geometry, see Chapter 5, Controlling Shape Geometry with Formulas.

Shape Handles

Shapes come with a variety of handles, which provide you with methods of modifying shape appearance. A handle is a control that appears on a selected shape. Handles differ depending on the type of shape and the tool used to select it. For example, select a shape with the Rotation tool to display the rotation handles so that you can rotate the shape. The following table illustrates the most common shape handles used for editing shapes.

Overview of shape handles

Handle name Appearance Behavior
Selection handles (Image unavailable) Appear when you select a 2-D shape with the Pointer tool . Drag corner selection handles to resize the shapes proportionally. Drag side selection handles to resize that side of the shape.
Endpoints (Image unavailable) Appear when you select a 1-D shape with the Pointer tool. The direction of the shape (for routing purposes) is shown by a begin point (A) and end point (B). Some 1-D shapes also have selection handles (C). (For details, see How 1-D and 2-D Shapes Differ in Chapter 8, Working with 1-D Shapes, Connectors, and Glue.
Rotation handles (Image unavailable) Round corner handles (A) that appear when you select a shape with the Rotation tool . The pin (B) marks the center of rotation. To rotate a shape, drag a corner handle. To change the center of rotation, drag the pin to a new location.
Vertices (Image unavailable) Diamond-shaped handles (A) that appear when you select a shape with the Pencil , Line , Arc , or Freeform tool. To reshape a shape, drag a vertex with the tool used to create the shape. The vertex turns magenta to indicate that it's selected. To add or delete segments, add or delete vertices using one of the previously mentioned tools.
Control points (Image unavailable) Appear on lines, arcs, and freeform curves when you select them with the Pencil tool. Drag control points (A) to change the curve or symmetry of a segment.
Eccentricity handles (Image unavailable) Adjust the angle and magnitude of an elliptical arc's eccentricity. To display eccentricity handles (A), first select an arc. Then select the Pencil tool and click the control point at the center.

You can add special-purpose handles to shapes to provide additional functionality, and program additional behavior for some handles, as the following table indicates.

For details about See
Connection behavior and connection points Understanding Connection Points in Chapter 8, Working with 1-D Shapes, Connectors, and Glue
Controlling rotation through formulas Controlling How Shapes Flip and Rotate in Chapter 5, Controlling Shape Geometry with Formulas
Formulas used to program control handles Making Shapes Flexible with Control Handles in Chapter 7, Enhancing Shape Behavior
Padlock handles and ways to protect shapes Using Locks to Limit Shape Behavior in Chapter 5, Controlling Shape Geometry with Formulas

Shapes in Groups

Many Microsoft Visio masters are groups. At a glance, a group doesn't necessarily look much different from any other shape. However, groups have unique behavior that you need to know about to create your own and to anticipate how your users will interact with them. A key advantage of grouping is that you can work with a group as a single object, but independently format the member shapes of the group.

You can group any combination of shapes. Groups can also include guides, other groups, and objects from other programs.


NOTE:
A master is a shape in a stencil that you use to create instances—or shapes—based on the master. Instances inherit many of their characteristics from the master.

Figure 2-6 Some Visio shapes are groups—that is, sets of shapes grouped to form single shapes. (Image unavailable)

To find out if an object is a group

  • Select the object. On the Format menu, click Special. If the object is a group, the dialog box indicates Type: Group below the master name.
  • For details about working with existing Visio groups, see Revising Existing Groups later in this chapter. For details about group formulas, see Creating and Controlling Groups in Chapter 6, Grouping and Merging Shapes.

Drawing New Shapes

To represent custom objects that are particular to your business, or to apply your own copyrights, you must build shapes from the ground up. You can draw new shapes line by line, of course, but you can also take advantage of timesaving techniques developed by the Microsoft Visio shape creators.

One way to create your own shapes is to use the drawing tools in Visio. In addition, Visio includes unique commands and tools that simplify the process of creating more complicated geometry. For example, the Union and Combine commands create one shape from several other shapes, and the Fragment command breaks up shapes into smaller parts that you can rearrange, edit, or discard.

This section reviews the Visio drawing tools and key shape development techniques.

Using the Drawing Tools to Create Shapes

Drawing from scratch begins with the Visio drawing tools on the Standard toolbar. These tools resemble others you might have encountered, with some key additions. The Pencil tool is especially powerful because you can use it to draw both lines and arcs. As you begin to move the mouse, the Visio engine quickly calculates the path along which the pointer appears to be traveling. If the path of the mouse is straight, the Pencil tool draws a straight line segment. If the path curves, the Pencil tool draws an arc. As you draw, you'll see how Visio interprets the movements of the tool you're using....
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
Pt. 1 The Visio Development Environment
1 Introduction to Developing Microsoft Visio Solutions 3
Pt. 2 Developing Visio Shapes
2 Creating Visio Shapes 31
3 Visio Masters, Stencils, Templates, and Documents 51
4 Visio Formulas 65
5 Controlling Shape Geometry with Formulas 93
6 Grouping and Merging Shapes 119
7 Enhancing Shape Behavior 135
8 Working with 1-D Shapes, Connectors, and Glue 161
9 Designing Text Behavior 183
10 Managing Styles, Formats, and Colors 207
11 Arranging Shapes in Drawings 233
12 Scaled Shapes and Measured Drawings 253
13 Packaging Stencils and Templates 261
Pt. 3 Extending Visio with Automation
14 Automation and the Visio Object Model 283
15 Programming Visio with VBA 295
16 Working with Visio Document, Page, and Shape Objects 325
17 Automating Formulas 347
18 Drawing with Automation 363
19 Automating Connections in a Visio Solution 385
20 Integrating Data with a Visio Solution 403
21 Handling Visio Events 421
22 Customizing the Visio User Interface 447
23 Using COM Add-ins in a Visio Solution 491
24 Using ActiveX Controls in a Visio Solution 511
25 Using the Visio Undo Manager in Your Program 523
26 Packaging a Visio Automation Solution 535
27 Programming Visio with Visual Basic 549
28 Programming Visio with C++ 563
App. A Properties, Methods, and Events by Object 587
App. B ShapeSheet Section, Row, and Cell Indices 609
Glossary 621
Index 637
Read More Show Less

First Chapter

Chapter 2.|Creating Visio Shapes
  • Visio Shape Anatomy
    • Closed and Open Shapes
    •  1-D and 2-D Shapes
    • Shape Handles
  • Drawing New Shapes
    • Using the Drawing Tools to Create Shapes
    • Drawing Closed Shapes
    • Drawing Shapes by Repeating Elements
    • Creating Groups
    • Merging Shapes to Create New Ones
    • Importing Graphic Images
    • Editing Imported Metafiles and Bitmaps
    • Converting Imported Metafiles to Shapes
  • Adapting Existing Visio Shapes
    • Revising Existing Shapes
    • Revising Existing Groups
    • Shape Copyrights

2 Creating Visio Shapes

The best Microsoft Visio solutions often begin on the drawing page, where you design shapes. Although you could define much of the custom behavior that a solution might need with programming, you’ll get superior results faster by taking advantage of the built-in functionality of Visio shapes. If you design intelligence into your shapes, you can build a more flexible solution that requires less coding and maintenance in the long run.

Think of shapes as components that can be used to construct a diagram with little or no additional effort by the user. Each shape should, if possible, represent a real-world object; the user’s main task will be to choose the shape from the stencil, and having it represent something familiar will help the user choose correctly. Put as much functionality into the shape as possible—within reason. A shape that does many things might be more confusing and harder to use than several shapes thateach do one thing, and simpler shapes perform better in Microsoft Visio.

This chapter explores the different means of acquiring shapes for your solutions. Although drawing them yourself is always an option, you can also import graphics from other programs, convert metafiles into shapes, scan images to use as shapes, and adapt existing shapes for your own use. Later chapters provide greater detail about controlling shapes through formulas and other techniques.

Visio Shape Anatomy

Shape anatomy loosely refers to the geometry and user interface that make a shape appear and behave on the drawing page in particular ways. The term shape can refer to one line, arc, or spline; a series of segments; several shapes grouped together; or an object from another application. These shapes differ in their geometry in sometimes subtle and sometimes obvious ways that you need to know about, because these differences can affect how users work with your shapes. The four general shape anatomy considerations are as follows:

  • Whether a shape is closed or open, which primarily affects how a shape can be filled
  • Whether a shape is one-dimensional (1-D) or two-dimensional (2-D), a choice with fundamental impact on shape appearance and behavior
  • The type of shape handles, which are user interface elements tied to shape geometry that tell users visually how to interact with a shape
  • Whether the shape is a group, which affects how users edit the group and its member shapes, among other things

When you create new shapes for a solution, you define the shapes’ anatomy to provide the visual clues your users will need to interact with your shapes. For example, shapes for doors, windows, desks—things that are built to standard industry sizes—can be locked against sizing so users don’t accidentally stretch the shapes inappropriately as they are working with them.

Figure 2-1 A single line is a shape, and so is the table with chairs, a Visio master shape composed of simpler shapes grouped together. (Image unavailable)


NOTE:
A master is a shape in a stencil that you use to create instances, or shapes, based on the master. Instances inherit many of their characteristics from the master.

This section defines the elements of shapes that are the starting point for both designing your own shapes and revising existing ones.

Closed and Open Shapes

A shape can be made up of multiple line, arc, or spline segments called paths, each of which can be closed or open. Only a closed path can be filled with a color or pattern, and only an open path can be formatted with line ends.

Figure 2-2 The rectangle represents four line segments in a closed path filled with a pattern. The lines represent open paths to which line ends have been applied. (Image unavailable)

Shapes can also have more than one path. An important consequence of this is that you can design a shape with multiple paths, some open and some closed, to create cutout regions (for example, a doughnut shape with a hole that cannot be filled with a color or pattern). Or you might create a shape, such as the recycle symbol below, composed of several paths.

Figure 2-3 The recycle shape represents four paths, A, B, C, and D. Only the fourth path, D, is closed, indicated by the way color fills the shape. You can create similar shapes by combining geometry (on the Shape menu, point to Operations, and then click Combine). (Image unavailable)

For details about creating shapes with multiple paths, see Creating and Controlling Merged Shapes in Chapter 6, Grouping and Merging Shapes.

 1-D and 2-D Shapes

A shape can be one-dimensional (1-D) or two-dimensional (2-D).

A 1-D shape behaves like a line and displays endpoints that you can drag to resize the shape when you select it with the Pointer tool. You can glue the endpoints of 1-D shapes to the sides of 2-D shapes to create connecting lines that stay in place when the shapes are moved.

Figure 2-4 A 1-D shape has two endpoints. Some 1-D shapes also have other handles, such as this arc’s control point. (Image unavailable)

A 2-D shape behaves like a rectangle and displays selection handles that you can drag to resize the shape when you select it with the Pointer tool.

Figure 2-5 A 2-D shape has handles on all four sides and can be closed (like the ellipse) or open (like the zigzag line).  (Image unavailable)

You can change 1-D shapes to 2-D and vice versa. For details, see Converting 1-D and 2-D Shapes in Chapter 8, Working with 1-D Shapes, Connectors, and Glue. For details about ways to control 2-D shape geometry, see Chapter 5, Controlling Shape Geometry with Formulas.

Shape Handles

Shapes come with a variety of handles, which provide you with methods of modifying shape appearance. A handle is a control that appears on a selected shape. Handles differ depending on the type of shape and the tool used to select it. For example, select a shape with the Rotation tool to display the rotation handles so that you can rotate the shape. The following table illustrates the most common shape handles used for editing shapes.

Overview of shape handles

Handle name Appearance Behavior
Selection handles (Image unavailable) Appear when you select a 2-D shape with the Pointer tool . Drag corner selection handles to resize the shapes proportionally. Drag side selection handles to resize that side of the shape.
Endpoints (Image unavailable) Appear when you select a 1-D shape with the Pointer tool. The direction of the shape (for routing purposes) is shown by a begin point (A) and end point (B). Some 1-D shapes also have selection handles (C). (For details, see How 1-D and 2-D Shapes Differ in Chapter 8, Working with 1-D Shapes, Connectors, and Glue.
Rotation handles (Image unavailable) Round corner handles (A) that appear when you select a shape with the Rotation tool . The pin (B) marks the center of rotation. To rotate a shape, drag a corner handle. To change the center of rotation, drag the pin to a new location.
Vertices (Image unavailable) Diamond-shaped handles (A) that appear when you select a shape with the Pencil , Line , Arc , or Freeform tool. To reshape a shape, drag a vertex with the tool used to create the shape. The vertex turns magenta to indicate that it’s selected. To add or delete segments, add or delete vertices using one of the previously mentioned tools.
Control points (Image unavailable) Appear on lines, arcs, and freeform curves when you select them with the Pencil tool. Drag control points (A) to change the curve or symmetry of a segment.
Eccentricity handles (Image unavailable) Adjust the angle and magnitude of an elliptical arc’s eccentricity. To display eccentricity handles (A), first select an arc. Then select the Pencil tool and click the control point at the center.

You can add special-purpose handles to shapes to provide additional functionality, and program additional behavior for some handles, as the following table indicates.

For details about See
Connection behavior and connection points Understanding Connection Points in Chapter 8, Working with 1-D Shapes, Connectors, and Glue
Controlling rotation through formulas Controlling How Shapes Flip and Rotate in Chapter 5, Controlling Shape Geometry with Formulas
Formulas used to program control handles Making Shapes Flexible with Control Handles in Chapter 7, Enhancing Shape Behavior
Padlock handles and ways to protect shapes Using Locks to Limit Shape Behavior in Chapter 5, Controlling Shape Geometry with Formulas

Shapes in Groups

Many Microsoft Visio masters are groups. At a glance, a group doesn’t necessarily look much different from any other shape. However, groups have unique behavior that you need to know about to create your own and to anticipate how your users will interact with them. A key advantage of grouping is that you can work with a group as a single object, but independently format the member shapes of the group.

You can group any combination of shapes. Groups can also include guides, other groups, and objects from other programs.


NOTE:
A master is a shape in a stencil that you use to create instances—or shapes—based on the master. Instances inherit many of their characteristics from the master.

Figure 2-6 Some Visio shapes are groups—that is, sets of shapes grouped to form single shapes. (Image unavailable)

To find out if an object is a group

  • Select the object. On the Format menu, click Special. If the object is a group, the dialog box indicates Type: Group below the master name.
  • For details about working with existing Visio groups, see Revising Existing Groups later in this chapter. For details about group formulas, see Creating and Controlling Groups in Chapter 6, Grouping and Merging Shapes.

Drawing New Shapes

To represent custom objects that are particular to your business, or to apply your own copyrights, you must build shapes from the ground up. You can draw new shapes line by line, of course, but you can also take advantage of timesaving techniques developed by the Microsoft Visio shape creators.

One way to create your own shapes is to use the drawing tools in Visio. In addition, Visio includes unique commands and tools that simplify the process of creating more complicated geometry. For example, the Union and Combine commands create one shape from several other shapes, and the Fragment command breaks up shapes into smaller parts that you can rearrange, edit, or discard.

This section reviews the Visio drawing tools and key shape development techniques.

Using the Drawing Tools to Create Shapes

Drawing from scratch begins with the Visio drawing tools on the Standard toolbar. These tools resemble others you might have encountered, with some key additions. The Pencil tool is especially powerful because you can use it to draw both lines and arcs. As you begin to move the mouse, the Visio engine quickly calculates the path along which the pointer appears to be traveling. If the path of the mouse is straight, the Pencil tool draws a straight line segment. If the path curves, the Pencil tool draws an arc. As you draw, you’ll see how Visio interprets the movements of the tool you’re using.

Figure 2-7 To draw a shape, use one or more of the drawing tools on the Standard toolbar. (Image unavailable)

Overview of drawing tools

To draw this Use Description
(Image unavailable) (Image unavailable) The Line tool is the best tool for drawing shapes composed only of straight lines. To constrain a line to any 45-degree angle, hold down the SHIFT key as you drag.
(Image unavailable) (Image unavailable) The Arc tool draws arcs that are always one-quarter of an ellipse.The direction you drag the mouse determines which way the arc bows.
(Image unavailable) (Image unavailable) The Freeform tool works like a pencil on paper. Select it and drag to draw freeform curves (splines). For smoothercurves, turn Snap off before you draw. (On the Tools menu, click Snap & Glue, and then clear the Snap check box. For other spline options, on the Tools menu, click Options, and adjust the Freeform drawing controls on the Advanced tab.)
(Image unavailable) (Image unavailable) The Pencil tool draws both lines and arcs. If you move the pencil in a straight line, it draws a line. If you move it in a curve, it draws an arc. Each arc is a portion of a circle; its size is determined by the distance you move the mouse. The SHIFT key constrains this tool to either any 45-degree angle line, or to the current portion of a circular arc.
(Image unavailable) (Image unavailable) The Rectangle tool drawsrectangles and squares. To draw asquare, hold down the SHIFT key asyou drag.
(Image unavailable) (Image unavailable) The Ellipse tool drawsellipses and circles. To draw a circle, hold down the SHIFT key as you drag.

TIP:
Using the Pencil tool to create a line or arc produces the same result as drawing with the Line tool or Arc tool. Using any of these tools, you can edit shapes after they are drawn by selecting and dragging an endpoint, control point, or vertex.
Drawing Closed Shapes

To create a shape that can be filled with a color or pattern, the shape must be closed.

To close a shape

  • Drag the endpoint of the last segment you create over the vertex at the beginning of the first segment you create, and then release the mouse button.

Figure 2-8 The process of drawing a closed shape: Line A is drawn first. Line B is drawn starting from the endpoint of line A. Line C is drawn from the endpoint of line B to the begin point of line A. (Image unavailable)

You might find it easier to connect the closing vertex if snapping is enabled (on the Tools menu, click Snap & Glue, and then select Snap on the General tab).

For details about using formulas to close shapes, see Hiding Shape Geometry in Chapter 6, Grouping and Merging Shapes.

Drawing Shapes by Repeating Elements

If you want to create a repeated series of lines or shapes with equal spacing, you can use the following technique.

To duplicate shape elements quickly

  1. Select the elements.
  2. To create the first copy, press the CTRL key while you drag the elements to the position you want.
  3. Press F4 to repeat the creation of copies of the selected elements with the same offset value.
  4. This technique also works when more than one shape is selected.

Creating Groups

When you need to create shapes with complex geometry or that include multiple styles and formats, you can create a group. A group combines several individual shapes or other groups into a new Visio shape with components that can still be edited and formatted individually. Create a group when you want several shapes to move and size together, yet retain their individual formatting attributes.

To create a group

  1. Select the shapes you want to group.
  2. On the Shape menu, point to Grouping, and then click Group.

NOTE:
If you want to create a master composed of several shapes, it’s best to group the shapes. If you don’t create the group, Visio groups the shapes when a user drags the master into a drawing—an additional step that can increase the time required to create an instance of the master.

For details about group behavior and formulas, see Chapter 6, Grouping and Merging Shapes.

Merging Shapes to Create New Ones

A great drawing technique you can use is to draw simple shapes, and then use one of the shape operation commands to merge the parts into a single shape. Using the Operations commands on the Shape menu, you can create shapes with cutout areas or fillable regions that you can format. Using whole shapes as a starting point can also be much more efficient than trying to draw something with many lines and arcs.

The following table describes the shape operation commands and gives examples of their results. For details about these operations and how they differ from grouping shapes, see Groups versus Merged Shapes in Chapter 6, Grouping and Merging Shapes.

Results of using the different shape operations

Command Result Example
Fragment Creates new shapes from intersecting lines and 2-D shapes that overlap. (Image unavailable)
Combine Creates a new shape from selected shapes. If the selected shapes overlap, the area where they overlap is cut out (discarded), creating a cookie-cutter effect. (Image unavailable)
Union Creates a new shape from the perimeter of two or more shapes. The shapes can be touching, overlapping, or nonadjacent. The new shape results from the mathematical union of the regions covered by the original shapes. (Image unavailable)
Subtract Creates a new shape by subtracting the area where selections overlap the primary selection. (Image unavailable)
Intersect Creates a new shape from the area where the selected shapes overlap, eliminating nonoverlapping areas. (Image unavailable)
Join Creates one shape of paths that are touching at their ends. Join assembles individual segments into one or more continuous paths, the number depending on the configuration of the selected shapes. (Image unavailable)
Trim Splits selected objects at their intersections, including where a shape intersects itself. It creates a new shape for each piece. If shapes are split open, they lose their fill. (Image unavailable)
Offset Creates a set of parallel lines or curves to the right and left of the original shape. (Image unavailable)

Importing Shapes from Other Programs

If you wish, you could just create a shape out of your existing graphic files, clip art, or paper sketches, you can—by pasting a compatible image, importing a file, or scanning an image and then importing the scanned file. When you import an image, you create a Microsoft Visio graphic object. When you link or embed an image, you create an OLE object. On the drawing page, both graphic and OLE objects work on the whole like other Visio shapes, and you can use them to create masters.

Many files you import into Visio drawings as graphic or OLE objects are stored as Microsoft Windows metafiles, an exchange format used to store vector-based graphics. Raster-based graphics from BMP and DIB files are stored as bitmaps. You can edit both metafiles and bitmaps on the drawing page much like other shapes by moving, rotating, resizing, and adding text, geometry, or custom properties. And you can create a master from a metafile or bitmap. However, to provide additional editing capabilities, you can convert metafiles (but not bitmaps) to Visio shapes.

Importing Graphic Images

The simplest way to bring graphic images into a Visio drawing is to insert, or import, them. The result is a graphic object in either metafile or bitmap format, depending on the format of the original image.

To import a graphic image

  • On the Insert menu, point to Picture, and then click From File. Select the file you want to import and then click Open.
  • The image is imported as a new graphic object in metafile format (if the original graphic was vector-based) or bitmap format (if the original graphic was a BMP or DIB file).

You can also open graphic files directly by clicking Open on the File menu, and then choosing the appropriate format for Files of type.

For most files you import, an import settings dialog box is displayed, where you can specify how you want the imported file to appear in a drawing. For example, if you’re importing a file in PCT format, you can specify whether to retain gradients and background and how to translate colors.

To find out if an imported graphic object is a metafile or a bitmap

  • Right-click the object, point to Format, and then click Special. The dialog box indicates Type: Metafile or Type: Bitmap.

Because the data can go through up to two translations before it appears in the Visio drawing—one when you export from the other program, and one when you import into the Visio drawing—the picture might not look exactly the way it does in the original program.

With some vector-based graphics, such as Adobe Illustrator (.ai) and Encapsulated PostScript (.eps) files, lines might appear jagged in the Visio drawing. You may get better results with these file formats if you convert them to Visio shapes. For details, see Converting Imported Metafiles to Shapes later in this section.


TIP:
You can import files in more than 20 formats. For a complete list, click Open on the File menu or click Picture on the Insert menu, and see the Files of type list.

Editing Imported Metafiles and Bitmaps

You can work with imported metafiles and bitmaps, as well as OLE objects, in much the same way you do any Visio shape. Type to add text, use the drawing tools to rotate and resize objects, and so on. You can apply a line style to change the appearance of the object’s border. If the object includes some empty space, such as a background, you can also apply a fill style, color, or pattern.

Bitmap images have additional properties that you can set via the ShapeSheets window to control brightness, contrast, and other attributes.

To access image properties

  1. Select the imported bitmap.
  2. On the Window menu, click Show ShapeSheet.
  3. In the ShapeSheet window, scroll to see the Image Properties section.

NOTE:
If the Image Properties section is not visible, right-click the ShapeSheet window, click View Sections, select the Image Properties check box, and then click OK.

For details about each cell, select the cell, and then press F1.

Converting Imported Metafiles to Shapes

You can convert a graphic object in metafile format to a group or individual Visio shapes that can be formatted. Convert a metafile when you want to edit its component objects like individual shapes, apply fill color and patterns, or create intershape dependencies by writing formulas. Typically, you would convert a metafile to a group so that you could move it as a unit; however, if that’s not an issue, convert it directly to shapes.


NOTE:
If a metafile contains a bitmap as a component, it cannot be converted. Bitmaps cannot be converted to Visio geometry because, in a bitmap, Visio cannot determine what part of the object is a line, what is text, and so on.

To convert a metafile to a Visio group

  1. Select the metafile.
  2. On the Shape menu, point to Grouping, and then click Convert to Group.

To convert a metafile to Visio shapes

  1. Select the metafile.
  2. On the Shape menu, point to Grouping, and then click Ungroup.

To convert a shape back to a metafile

  1. Select the shape, and then press CTRL+C to copy it.
  2. On the Edit menu, click Paste Special, and then click Picture (Enhanced Metafile).

Adapting Existing Visio Shapes

You don’t have to start from scratch to create your own shapes. In fact, it’s usually easier and faster not to. You can save time by finding an existing Microsoft Visio shape that resembles what you need and then modifying it.

There’s an art to revising existing shapes and groups. This section provides tips for editing existing objects. For details about using the tools mentioned, see the Microsoft Visio Help (on the Help menu, click Microsoft Visio Help). For details about how the drawing page representation of a shape compares to its ShapeSheet representation, see Examining a Shape in a ShapeSheet Window in Chapter 4, Visio Formulas.

Revising Existing Shapes

To revise the geometry of almost any shape, select it with the Pencil tool , and then drag, add, or delete vertices. To change curves, drag a control point or a point’s eccentricity handles.


TIP:
You can select multiple vertices and move them as unit to easily preserve their relative position to each other.

Figure 2-9 One way to reshape a shape is to drag a vertex (A) with the Pencil tool. (Image unavailable)

Figure 2-10 To add a segment, point to where you want to add the segment, hold down the CTRL key, and click with the Pencil tool (A). Then you can drag the new vertex with the Pencil tool to the position you want. (Image unavailable)

If you want fewer segments in a shape, delete the segments you don’t want.

Figure 2-11 To delete a segment, select a vertex with the Pencil tool (A), and then press DELETE. The segment that the vertex is associated with is deleted. The remaining segments are reshaped accordingly. (Image unavailable)

How the Visio engine redraws the shape when you delete a vertex depends on whether the vertex is at the beginning or end of an open shape, the order that the segments were created in, and whether the segment that follows the vertex you delete is a line or arc. After you delete segments, you might need to adjust the shape by dragging vertices and control points until the shape appears the way you want.

Figure 2-12 To change the curvature of an arc or freeform curve, drag a control point (A) until the segment appears the way you want. (Image unavailable)

Revising Existing Groups

You can take a group apart to see how it works and to revise it; however, you don’t actually need to do this to revise a group. You can revise its member shapes by selecting each member shape in the drawing window.

A group can include guides and objects from other applications as well as shapes, and a group can include text and geometry independently of its member shapes. Each object in a group as well as the group has its own set of formulas, so when you ungroup shapes, you lose the group’s formulas. However, if you ungroup a group that contains text or geometry, the Visio engine converts that text or geometry into a new shape.


IMPORTANT:
If you convert a Visio drawing containing groups to a version of Visio earlier than Visio 2000, any text or geometry associated with a group (rather than its member shapes) will be lost.

You can edit a group and its member shapes directly on the drawing page by selecting the group or member shapes. You can also open a group in the group window.


NOTE:
When you select a group on the page, its selection behavior can vary. The group might be selected first, a group member might be selected first, or you might be able to only select the group and not its members.

To change the selection behavior for a group, click Behavior on the Format menu. Under Group behavior, in the Selection list, you can set the group to be selected as Group first (the group can be selected before its members), Group only (only the group can be selected, not its members), or Members first (the members of the group can be selected before the group).

If a group’s selection behavior is set to Group only, users will be able to select the group, but not its members.

To open a group in the group window

  1. Select the group.
  2. On the Edit menu, click Open Group. (If you have named the group by using Special on the Format menu, the group name follows the command Open; otherwise, the command reads Open Group.)

Figure 2-13 You can edit a group in the drawing window or the group window to work with its member shapes independently. Changes you make in the group window are also reflected in the drawing window. (A) The group in the drawing window with a member shape selected. You can edit the group’s member shapes either on the drawing window or in the group window while preserving any formula dependencies among shapes. (B) Shapes in the group window appear as if they were independent, not grouped. (C) Moving a shape off the page in the group window moves it outside the group’s alignment box.  (Image unavailable)


TIP:
After editing a group in the group window, you might need to re-adjust the width and height of the group so its selection rectangle tightly encloses all the group’s shapes. To do this, select the group. On the Shape menu, point to Operations, and then click Update Alignment Box. For details, see Using Alignment Boxes to Snap Shapes to a Grid in Chapter 11, Arranging Shapes in Drawings.

For details about group behavior options, including the ability to drop shapes on top of a group to add them to the group (making the group a "drop target"), see Modifying a Group in Chapter 6, Grouping and Merging Shapes.

Ungrouping groups of shapes

Ungroup a group to end the association between member shapes and work with them independently. Ungrouping discards the group’s formulas. If you ungroup an instance of a master, the shape no longer inherits characteristics from the master.

To ungroup shapes

  1. Select the group.
  2. On the Shape menu, point to Grouping, and then click Ungroup.

Shape Copyrights

Any shape that you create by revising a native Visio shape will retain the Visio copyright. If you distribute a master with this copyright to another user, that user must have a license to use a stencil that contains the original master.

If you want to distribute a shape free of copyright restrictions, you must create it from scratch. When you create shapes this way, you can apply your own copyright to it, either before or after you create a master from the shape.

To copyright a shape (or see if an existing shape has a copyright)

  • Right-click the shape, point to Format, and then click Special.

IMPORTANT:
The copyright is a write-once field. Before adding a copyright, make a copy of the shape as backup in case of a typing error.
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 1 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(1)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 14, 2002

    Review for this booK by SleeK tuNic - AleX

    This book is really grate and very helpful really. I strongly recomend it, specially for those begginers haha..

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)