Visio 2003 Bible

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  • Providing comprehensive coverage of Visio's large feature set for technical and engineering professionals, the book begins with a quick introduction to the intuitive interface
  • This book quickly moves into the specialized stencils, shapes, and templates used in software and network design and documentation, engineering disciplines, and project management
  • Features strong coverage of Visio's tight integration ...
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  • Providing comprehensive coverage of Visio's large feature set for technical and engineering professionals, the book begins with a quick introduction to the intuitive interface
  • This book quickly moves into the specialized stencils, shapes, and templates used in software and network design and documentation, engineering disciplines, and project management
  • Features strong coverage of Visio's tight integration with other Microsoft Office products and as well as its interoperability with related products from other vendors, including AutoCad
  • Explores how users in various fields can customize Visio with add-ons to meet their specific needs
  • The author is a structural engineer and Visio user with twenty years of experience in project management
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764557248
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 4/26/2004
  • Series: Bible Series , #143
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 816
  • Sales rank: 1,229,761
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Bonnie Biafore is an author as well as a project management consultant. As a consultant, she enjoys working with different clients and the diversity of projects she experiences, from CAD systems for structural steel fabrication to speech-enabled applications for telephone service field technicians and systems to manage hydroelectric power. While she’s sometimes tough on her clients, she is a far worse taskmaster for herself.
Bonnie has written several books, including Troubleshooting Microsoft Project 2002 (Microsoft Press) and The NAIC Stock Selection Handbook (NAIC). Since August 2000 she has been writing for Better Investing magazine a monthly column called Web Watch, which delves into the use of the World Wide Web for investing and how to develop good investing habits and smart and safe computer practices.
She is well known for her clear explanations of technical topics, whether it’s the inscrutable workings of computer software or the enigma of high finance. She applies her education from MIT and Columbia University to digest technical topics and then puts her organizational skills and humor to work to present material that engages beginners and experts alike.
Her education and work experience make her the ideal author for this Visio book. With a Bachelor of Science in Architecture and a Master of Science in Structural Engineering, she is well versed in using Visio for architecture and engineering and integrating it with CAD applications. As a project manager and consultant, she constantly applies Visio to office productivity problems. As a software project manager and application developer, she has also used Visio to document databases, software systems, and networks. As an engineer, she is fascinated with both the simplicity and power of Visio and enjoys experimenting with its customization and automation features.
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Table of Contents



Part I: Understanding Visio Fundamentals.

Chapter 1: Getting Started with Visio.

Chapter 2: Getting Started with Drawings.

Chapter 3: Working with Visio Files.

Chapter 4: Working with Shapes.

Chapter 5: Connecting Shapes.

Chapter 6: Working with Text.

Chapter 7: Formatting Visio Elements.

Part II: Integrating Visio Drawings.

Chapter 8: Inserting, Linking, and Embedding Objects.

Chapter 9: Importing, Exporting, and Publishing Visio Data to the Web.

Chapter 10: Linking Shapes with Data.

Part III: Using Visio for Office Productivity.

Chapter 11: Collaborating with Others.

Chapter 12: Building Block Diagrams.

Chapter 13: Constructing Charts and Graphs.

Chapter 14: Working with Organization Charts.

Chapter 15: Working with Flowcharts.

Chapter 16: Documenting Business Processes.

Chapter 17: Scheduling Projects with Visio.

Chapter 18: Documenting Brainstorming Sessions.

Part IV: Using Visio in Information Technology.

Chapter 19: Modeling and Documenting Databases.

Chapter 20: Building UML Models.

Chapter 21: Building Software Development Diagrams.

Chapter 22: Mapping Web Sites.

Chapter 23: Creating Network Diagrams.

Part V: Using Visio for Architecture and Engineering.

Chapter 24: Working with Scaled Drawings.

Chapter 25: Creating Scaled Plan Drawings.

Chapter 26: Laying Out Architectural and Engineering Plans.

Chapter 27: Planning Space and Managing Facilities.

Chapter 28: Integrating CAD and Visio.

Chapter 29: Working with Engineering Drawings.

Part VI: Customizing Templates, Stencils, and Shapes.

Chapter 30: Creating and Customizing Templates.

Chapter 31: Creating and Customizing Stencils.

Chapter 32: Creating and Customizing Shapes.

Chapter 33: Customizing Shapes Using ShapeSheets.

Chapter 34: Formatting with Styles.

Chapter 35: Customizing Toolbars and Menus.

Chapter 36: Automating Visio.

Part VII: Quick Reference.

Chapter 37: Installing Visio 2003.

Chapter 38: Visio 2003 Help Resources.

Chapter 39: Additional Resources for Templates and Stencils.

Chapter 40: Keyboard Shortcuts.

Chapter 41: Template and Stencil Reference.


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First Chapter

Visio 2003 Bible

By Bonnie Biafore

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-7645-5724-6

Chapter One

In This Chapter

Discovering features new to Visio 2003

Identifying which version of Visio you need

Learning the basic concepts behind Visio's power

Exploring the components of Visio's interface

Getting Started with Visio

Humans are visual creatures, so it isn't surprising that we visualize and communicate our ideas, designs, and final products graphically. In the past, high-quality graphics were the work of professional graphic artists and illustrators, but with Visio 2003, anyone can produce informative and attractive diagrams, drawings, and models. Visio is so straightforward that you can use it to capture the fast-paced output of brainstorming sessions or the frequent changes made to initial designs and models. At the same time, Visio is powerful enough to develop sophisticated models, and precise enough to document the details of existing systems.

Visio 2003 is like a good friend with expertise in dozens of fields. It jumpstarts your efforts with solutions designed specifically to produce different types of drawings. Visio templates set up your work environment with menus of specialized tools, sets of predefined shapes, and drawing settings such as page size and orientation typical for the type of drawing you want to create. Visio stencils categorize thousands of predefined symbols by industry, drawing type, and application. These Visio SmartShapes have built-in behaviors and properties to help you quickly assemble drawings and collect information.

Simplicity and convenience are key to Visio's power. To construct a drawing, you drag and drop predrawn shapes from stencils onto drawing pages. Defining relationships between shapes is as easy as dropping one shape onto another or dragging and dropping connectors onto shapes. Specialized tools help lay out drawings and perform typical tasks. The simplicity of integrating Visio with tools such as Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, Adobe Framemaker, and database management systems makes it easy to maintain drawings and documentation of systems.

What's New in Visio 2003?

Visio 2003 delivers brand-new templates and shapes as well as significant improvements and enhancements to many existing ones. In addition, Visio 2003 includes new and improved features to boost your productivity and enhance collaboration with others. You can send Microsoft feedback about the product or rate the usefulness of help topics and templates.

New Feature

Look for the New Feature icon throughout this book to learn more about what's new and improved.

New and Improved Shapes and Templates

The Visio team expands the scope of the product with every release. Visio 2003 introduces the following new templates and shapes:

* Business Process templates-New templates for event-driven process chains, fault tree analysis, and work flow, plus a new home for other business process templates

* Brainstorming-A replacement for the Mind Mapping template

* Timeline-A new template for documenting project timelines

* Space Plan Startup Wizard (Visio Professional only)-A new tool for building space plans quickly

* Detailed Network Diagram (Visio Professional only)-A replacement for the Logical Network Diagram

* Rack Diagram (Visio Professional only)-A new template for designing equipment placement in racks

* Windows XP User Interface (Visio Professional only)-A new template for designing Windows XP user interfaces

You'll appreciate the enhancements added to many existing templates and shapes, including the following:

* Calendar

* Organization Chart

* Basic Network Diagram

* Space Plan Import Data Wizard (Visio Professional only)

* Web Site Map (Visio Professional only)

* Electrical Engineering (Visio Professional only)

* Building Plan (Visio Professional only)

Productivity Enhancements

Visio enhances its reputation for being quick and easy with the following new features:

* Task panes-You can access many of Visio's most popular features on ten new task panes, which are docked to the right of the drawing page by default.

* Shape management-You can find shapes faster with Search for Shapes, an improved replacement for the Find Shape feature. You can organize your frequently used shapes on the Favorites stencil or add them to custom stencils, which you can store in the new My Shapes folder for easy access.

* Editing tools-Shapes now include rotation handles so you can rotate them without switching drawing tools. To select multiple shapes, you can choose from the Pointer, Lasso Select, or Multiple Select tools. It's also easier to coordinate colors if you use templates with built-in color schemes.

* Getting started-The Diagram Gallery provides an overview of Visio drawing types to help you select an appropriate template. Microsoft Office Online includes additional templates and clip art, as well as starter drawings that already contain basic content to get you going. For an introduction to Visio's features, you can use the Getting Started Tutorial on the Visio Help menu.

* CAD integration-The DWG Converter produces more accurate Visio representations of your original CAD drawings.

* Help resources-Online help from Microsoft Office Online provides up-to-the-minute help and in-depth articles about Visio and other Office applications. The Help and Template Help task panes provide access to almost all of Visio's help resources, with a few more on the Visio Help menu and online. You can pause the pointer over a shape on a stencil to view a description and access a Help link.

* Customer feedback-You can help improve future versions of Visio by choosing to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program, in which Microsoft collects information about your hardware configuration and how you use Microsoft Office programs. In addition, you can provide feedback about programs, the effectiveness of help topics, templates, and Microsoft Office Online content.

* Features for developers-In addition to a Visio 2003 ActiveX control for incorporating Visio into host applications, developers can increase their productivity with new ShapeSheet functions, keyboard and mouse events, and other tools. New interface elements such as ShapeStudio and the Formula Tracing window make it easier to create SmartShapes. (Visio Professional only)

Collaboration and Sharing

Collaboration and the subsequent sharing of documents are key initiatives for Microsoft today. Visio 2003 includes a number of new features to simplify collaboration with your colleagues:

* Track markup-You can propose changes to drawings and review the changes proposed by your coworkers. Each person's changes appear in a unique color on a separate overlay.

* Ink-You can add hand-drawn shapes or handwritten notes to drawings using a tablet PC or any computer with an electronic pen device. You can edit Ink shapes or add them to stencils just like other Visio shapes.

* Scalable Vector Graphic format-Visio 2003 now supports the Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) format.

* Microsoft Office Visio Viewer 2003-People who don't have Visio can view and print your Visio drawings after downloading the Visio Viewer from the Microsoft Download Center.

* Document Workspaces-People can collaborate on documents stored in Document Workspaces, which are Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services sites. Contributors can work on the master copy in the Document Workspace or edit their own copy, which they can synchronize periodically with the master.

* Language handling-Visio 2003 supports Unicode, End User Defined Character sets, and the new Chinese character-encoding standard, GB18030. In addition, Multilingual User Interface packs simplify Visio deployment in global enterprises by displaying text for the user interface, Help, and wizards in other languages.

Features Discontinued in Visio 2003

A few templates and tools are no longer available. However, you can search Microsoft Office Online or other Web sites for replacements.


To find other sources for Visio shapes and templates, refer to Chapter 39.

* Data Flow Model Diagram Model Explorer (Visio Professional only)-The Data Flow Model Diagram template no longer contains the Model Explorer. However, the UML template still has its Model Explorer.

* Directory Services Directory Navigator (Visio Professional only)-The Directory Services Diagram template no longer contains the Directory Navigator.

* Forms-The Forms template is no longer available. You can use Microsoft's new product, Infopath, to build forms and communicate data.

* Import Flowchart Data Wizard-You must import data into a flowchart in an earlier version of Visio and save the result in that version. You can then open the file in Visio 2003.

* Organization Chart Conversion Utility-You must convert an organization chart in an earlier version of Visio and save the result in that version. You can then open the organization chart in Visio 2003.

* Visio Network Equipment Sampler (Visio Professional only)-Shapes in the VNE Sampler are no longer available, but many equipment manufacturers provide shapes for their equipment on their Web sites.

Visio has dropped support for the following file formats and their converters:

* Adobe Illustrator

* ABC Flow Charter, versions 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0

* CorelDRAW!, versions 3.0 through 7.0

* CorelFLOW 2.0

* Corel Clipart

* Computer Graphics Metafile

* Microstation (DGN)

* MicroGrafx Designer 3.1

* MicroGrafx Designer 6.0 English

* Postscript and Encapsulated Postscript

* Initial Graphics Exchange Specification

* ZSoft PC Paintbrush (PCX)

* Mac Clipboard

* Text Files (TXT) and Comma Separated Values (CSV)

What Visio Is and Isn't

Visio can be many things to many people. Applied properly, Visio 2003 can help you produce simple diagrams or complex models. These far-reaching capabilities can be confusing if you don't understand how they differ. Even worse, you can become quite frustrated if you try to use Visio for tasks for which it wasn't designed.

Many drawings are simple diagrams with some basic connections and little or no associated data. For these drawings, you can simply drag and drop shapes and connectors in either Visio Standard or Visio Professional. The remaining chapters in Part I, Understanding Visio Fundamentals, describe the basic tools you need to diagram with Visio.

However, Visio Professional can also produce intelligent models and specialized documentation for numerous fields, including software engineering, architecture, mechanical and electrical engineering, and business process modeling. Templates for these advanced applications contain tools for performing specialized tasks. The shapes contained in the stencils for these templates have smart features-built-in behaviors and attributes that fit the shapes to their role. For instance, intersecting walls in building plans are smart enough to clean up their overlapping lines. Cubicle shapes might contain properties that identify the people occupying the enclosed space for occupancy reports. These features are time-savers when you know how to use them, but can make Visio seem to have a mind of its own when you don't. Parts III, IV, and V of this book teach you the ins and outs of Visio's more sophisticated solutions.

You can draw precise plans to scale with Visio. Visio Standard supports only basic building plans, whereas Visio Professional supports a variety of architectural and engineering plans. Nonetheless, you'll probably want the extra power of a CAD application, such as AutoCAD, to design and document large or complex plans. Even so, Visio can be a helpful companion to your CAD application. You can create shapes faster and more easily in Visio and then import them for use in AutoCAD or other CAD applications. Team members who don't have access to AutoCAD can create their drawings in Visio using CAD drawings as a backdrop and import their work into AutoCAD if necessary. Visio also simplifies preparing presentations for large projects.

Understanding Visio Concepts

Visio enhances your drawing and modeling productivity because so many of its elements include features that incorporate industry expertise. Most of the time, you don't even think about how much Visio does for you because the templates, stencils, and shapes do just what you would expect. However, some of Visio's specialized capabilities might surprise or even confuse you at first. By understanding the concepts that make Visio so powerful, you can prevent problems and maintain your productivity.

Using Templates and Stencils

In the real world, templates are patterns you use to build something. For example, you could use a standard design for a log house to simplify the construction of your home. In Visio, templates are solutions that facilitate the construction of a specific type of drawing. Each template comprises settings, stencils, styles, and special commands to make your work on a drawing as easy as possible.

Visio stencils are categorized collections of shapes. To continue the house analogy, a Visio stencil is like a catalog of cedar logs and connecting brackets that are available from your local building supply store. To build your home, you order the components you need from the store and assemble them according to your house design. In Visio, you assemble your drawings by dragging and dropping shapes from stencils onto your drawing page.

When you create a drawing based on a template, Visio does the following things:

* Opens stencils with shapes-Visio opens stencils that contain the shapes you need for the type of drawing you are creating.

* Includes styles-Visio provides special formatting styles typical for the current drawing type. For example, a construction project created from a floor plan template includes line styles typically used to dimension architectural plans.

* Automatically displays menus and toolbars-If the template contains a special menu, Visio adds an entry for the menu to the menu bar. If the template contains a special toolbar, Visio floats the toolbar in the drawing area.

* Specifies settings-Visio specifies settings typical for the type of drawing.


Excerpted from Visio 2003 Bible by Bonnie Biafore Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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