About the AuthorBonnie 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 sheexperiences, from CAD systems for structural steel fabrication to speech-enabledapplications for telephone service field technicians and systems to manage hydroelectric power. While she’s sometimes tough on her clients, she is a far worsetaskmaster for herself.Bonnie has written several books, including Troubleshooting Microsoft Project 2002(Microsoft Press) and The NAIC Stock Selection Handbook (NAIC). Since August 2000she has been writing for Better Investing magazine a monthly column called WebWatch, which delves into the use of the World Wide Web for investing and how todevelop good investing habits and smart and safe computer practices.She is well known for her clear explanations of technical topics, whether it’s theinscrutable workings of computer software or the enigma of high finance. Sheapplies her education from MIT and Columbia University to digest technical topicsand then puts her organizational skills and humor to work to present material thatengages 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 StructuralEngineering, she is well versed in using Visio for architecture and engineering andintegrating it with CAD applications. As a project manager and consultant, she constantly applies Visio to office productivity problems. As a software project managerand 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 andautomation features.
CreditsSenior Acquisitions Editor Vice President and PublisherJim Minatel Joseph B. WikertDevelopment Editor Executive Editorial DirectorJames H. Russell Mary BednarekTechnical Editors Project CoordinatorBonnie Watts Erin SmithScott AmblerGraphics and Production SpecialistsProduction Editor Beth BrooksEric Newman Carrie FosterLauren GoddardCopy Editor Heather PopeLuann RouffQuality Control TechnicianEditorial Manager Charles SpencerMary Beth Wakefield Brian H. WallsVice President & Executive Proofreading and IndexingGroup Publisher TECHBOOKS Production ServicesRichard SwadleyVice President andExecutive PublisherBob Ipsen
To my agent, Neil Salkind, who always believes I’m betterthan I am and then helps me prove him right.
PrefaceVisio®2003 Bible is a comprehensive guide to Microsoft’s popular diagramming software. Covering both Visio Standard and Visio Professional, this bookexplains Visio fundamentals as well as advanced techniques applicable to any typeof diagram. It also describes in detail how to use each of the specialized templatesthat Visio Standard and Visio Professional offer.Visio 2003 includes significant changes and enhancements as well as many newfeatures. Many templates and shapes have been improved to look and behave moreconsistently. Visio 2003 offers several new and improved collaboration tools, suchas ink and markup, along with numerous productivity enhancements. However,several features have been discontinued, including the Forms template, the VisioNetwork Equipment Sampler, and a few wizards and tools. Visio 2003 Bible identifiesthese new features, enhancements, and changes and differentiates the capabilitiesavailable in both the Standard and Professional versions versus those availableonly in Visio Professional.Visio 2003 offers a powerful combination of simple concepts and straightforwardtools with far-reaching application. Whether you want to communicate basic business processes or highly specialized technical topics, Visio offers tools to simplifyyour work. This book strives to follow the same model. It explains Visio’s conceptsand basic tools in a way that helps beginners get started and more advanced usersget better. In addition, the book includes dozens of chapters on specialized templates that describe how the template, tools, and shapes support the work requiredand simplify typical tasks.Is This Book for You?Visio 2003 covers a lot of ground, and this book is right there with it. If you useVisio or want to start using it, you can benefit from reading this book. Beginnerscan learn the basic concepts and techniques that are the foundation of Visio’spower in every field and then apply those techniques to create the type of diagramsthey need. Readers with some Visio experience can learn how to increase their productivity, use specialized templates and employ advanced techniques to draw moreeffectively or customize solutions. Advanced users can learn about new features,changes, and how to replace the features that have been discontinued in Visio 2003.
x PrefaceAlthough the book is fast paced, beginners can learn to use Visio, while moreadvanced users can notch up their productivity by following step-by-step instructions and applying tips and techniques. Readers in a hurry will appreciate the topicorganization that makes it easy to find a solution as well as Tips and Cautions thathelp solve problems quickly.Conventions Used in This BookTo help you get the most from the text and keep track of what’s happening, a number of conventions are used throughout the book:✦ When important terms are first introduced, they are highlighted in italic.✦ Characters that need to be typed in are in bold.✦ Keyboard strokes appear as follows: Ctrl+A.✦ URLs, filenames, directory names, and other program elements are contrastedfrom regular text in a monospaced font like this.Icons Used in This BookFollowing is a brief description of the icons used to highlight certain types of material in this book:Tip This icon highlights helpful hints, time-saving techniques, or alternative methodsfor accomplishing tasks.Note This icon identifies additional information about the topic being discussed.NewFeatureCross-ReferenceCaution This icon alerts you to potential problems or methods that can impede your workif not used properly.This icon points you to other chapters or books that contain additional informationabout a topic.This icon emphasizes new or significantly enhanced features in Visio 2003.
Preface xiHow This Book Is OrganizedVisio 2003 Bible contains 41 chapters, divided into seven parts. In addition, thebook is accompanied by a Web site (www.wiley.com/compbooks/biafore) thatprovides links to all the Web sites referenced in the book and a link to downloadable sample Visio files you can use to practice what you’ve learned. The followingsections provide an overview of each part of the book.Part I: Understanding Visio FundamentalsPart I introduces the features that distinguish Visio 2003 from the 2002 version aswell as Visio’s basic concepts and techniques. The first chapter provides an overviewof Visio 2003’s new features and explains concepts such as templates and stencils,drag and drop drawing, and the components of the Visio interface. Chapters 2 and 3explain how to work with Visio files, drawing tools, drawings, and drawing pages.Chapters 4 and 5 show you how to produce diagrams by creating and editing shapesand connectors. Chapters 6 and 7 introduce techniques to improve the appearanceand readability of diagrams using text and formatting.Part II: Integrating Visio DrawingsVisio 2003 includes many new and improved integration features, as explained inthis part. Chapter 8 discusses methods for linking and embedding elements in Visioor linking and embedding Visio objects into other applications. Chapter 9 describesmethods for importing and exporting data to and from Visio, in addition to techniques for publishing Visio diagrams to the Web. Chapter 10 covers techniques andprocedures for linking Visio shapes with data to dynamically update Visio drawingsbased on data stored in other applications.Part III: Using Visio for Office ProductivityPart III is the first of three parts in this book that cover specialized templates. Itbegins with Chapter 11, which describes new and existing tools for collaboratingwith others, a critical element to office productivity. Chapters 12 and 13 cover templates for building block diagrams and charts and graphs. Chapter 14 explains themany productivity tools, shapes, wizards, and data-sharing features for documenting organizations in the Organization Chart template. Chapters 15 and 16 explaintools and techniques for documenting flowcharts and business processes. Chapter17 discusses Visio’s tools for documenting and scheduling projects. Chapter 18describes the Visio Brainstorming template.
xii PrefacePart IV: Using Visio in Information TechnologyPart IV describes the tools, wizards, and shapes that make Visio the most populartool for documenting software systems and networks. Chapter 19 provides detailedinstructions for modeling and documenting databases and database systems usinga variety of notations. Chapter 20 describes how to document software systems withthe Unified Modeling Language using the modeling tools available with the UMLModel template and how to create different types of UML diagrams. Chapter 21 introduces several additional templates for documenting software systems. Chapter 22describes Visio’s template for mapping Web sites. Chapter 23 describes techniquesfor creating effective network diagrams and identifies the network features nolonger available in Visio 2003.Part V: Using Visio for Architecture and EngineeringVisio 2003 works for scaled drawings as well as it does for diagrams. Part Vcovers Visio’s tools for scaled drawings and discusses what Visio can and can’tdo for architectural and engineering drawings. Chapter 24 is an introduction tothe concepts that underlie scaled drawings, such as scale, units, and dimensions.Chapter 25 describes different methods for creating scaled drawings and how touse layers to manage information. Chapter 26 describes procedures for addingbasic plan components, such as walls, windows, doors, and furniture, as well ashow to create other types of architectural and engineering plans. Chapter 27 discusses how to use Visio’s Space Plan template to plan space and manage facilities.Chapter 28 describes Visio’s tools for integrating Visio and CAD drawings, whichare all based on AutoCAD file formats. Chapter 29 covers Visio’s ElectricalEngineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Process Engineering templates.Part VI: Customizing Templates, Stencils, and ShapesPart VI returns to Visio concepts and techniques with a focus on customization.Chapter 30 discusses how to create and customize templates so you can start newdrawings with the settings you want. Chapter 31 describes techniques for creatingand customizing stencils to create custom collections of built-in shapes, shapesyou’ve modified, or custom shapes you’ve developed. Chapter 32 discusses techniques for customizing shapes or creating your own and explains how to use custom properties to store data. Chapter 33 digs deeper into customizing shapes byshowing you how to modify fields in Visio ShapeSheets or write custom formulas tocontrol shape appearance and behavior. Chapter 34 explains the benefits and techniques for formatting with styles and describes how to create custom line patterns,fill patterns, and line ends. Chapter 35 describes techniques for customizing or creating your own toolbars and menus. Chapter 36 introduces the techniques availablefor automating Visio, including macros and writing add-ins.
Preface xiiiPart VII: Quick ReferencePart VII includes helpful information and reference lists. Chapter 37 describes theprocess for installing Visio 2003. Chapter 38 provides different sources of help available for Visio 2003, both within the product and online. Chapter 39 identifies additional sources for customized and specialized templates, stencils, and Visio-basedsolutions. Chapter 40 is a reference to the most helpful keyboard shortcuts. Chapter 41 identifies the templates that Visio Standard and Visio Professional provideand the stencils each one opens.
AcknowledgmentsBooks are a collaboration of people and talents — and the final product is allthe better for it.My thanks go to my editors, Jim Minatel and James Russell, for their confidence andsupport; to my technical editors, Bonnie Watts and Scott Ambler, for making surethat the information in this book is not only accurate but practical; and to my copyeditor, Luann Rouff, for making sure the whole ball of wax is readable. Thanks alsoto Teresa Stover, whose meticulous writing and readable style push me to improve.In addition, my gratitude goes to my husband, Peter Speer, who took care of our lifewhile I wrote this book. Finally, thanks to our dogs, Emma and Shea, who protectedmy feet, if not our computer cables, these many months.
P A R TUnderstanding IIVisio ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦In This PartFundamentals Chapter1Getting Startedwith VisioChapter 2Getting Startedwith DrawingsChapter 3Working withVisio FilesChapter 4Working with ShapesChapter 5Connecting ShapesChapter 6Working with TextChapter 7FormattingVisio Elements✦ ✦ ✦ ✦
C H A P T E RGetting Started 11with Visio ✦ ✦ ✦ ✦Humans are visual creatures, so it isn’t surprising thatwe visualize and communicate our ideas, designs, andfinal products graphically. In the past, high-quality graphicswere the work of professional graphic artists and illustrators,but with Visio 2003, anyone can produce informative andattractive diagrams, drawings, and models. Visio is so straightforward that you can use it to capture the fast-paced output ofbrainstorming sessions or the frequent changes made to initial designs and models. At the same time, Visio is powerfulenough to develop sophisticated models, and precise enoughto document the details of existing systems.Visio 2003 is like a good friend with expertise in dozens offields. It jumpstarts your efforts with solutions designedspecifically to produce different types of drawings. Visio templates set up your work environment with menus of specialized tools, sets of predefined shapes, and drawing settingssuch as page size and orientation typical for the type of drawing you want to create. Visio stencils categorize thousands ofpredefined symbols by industry, drawing type, and application. These Visio SmartShapes have built-in behaviors andproperties to help you quickly assemble drawings and collectinformation.Simplicity and convenience are key to Visio’s power. To construct a drawing, you drag and drop predrawn shapes fromstencils onto drawing pages. Defining relationships betweenshapes is as easy as dropping one shape onto another ordragging and dropping connectors onto shapes. Specializedtools help lay out drawings and perform typical tasks. Thesimplicity of integrating Visio with tools such as MicrosoftOffice, AutoCAD, Adobe Framemaker, and database management systems makes it easy to maintain drawings and documentation of systems.In This ChapterDiscovering featuresnew to Visio 2003Identifying whichversion of Visioyou needLearning the basicconcepts behindVisio’s powerExploring thecomponents ofVisio’s interface✦ ✦ ✦ ✦
4 Part I ✦ Understanding Visio FundamentalsWhat’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 includesnew and improved features to boost your productivity and enhance collaborationwith others. You can send Microsoft feedback about the product or rate the usefulness of help topics and templates.FeatureNew Look for the New Feature icon throughout this book to learn more about what’snew and improved.New and Improved Shapes and TemplatesThe Visio team expands the scope of the product with every release. Visio 2003introduces the following new templates and shapes:✦ Business Process templates — New templates for event-driven processchains, fault tree analysis, and work flow, plus a new home for other businessprocess 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 buildingspace plans quickly✦ Detailed Network Diagram (Visio Professional only) — A replacement for theLogical 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 fordesigning Windows XP user interfacesYou’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)
5Chapter 1 ✦ Getting Started with VisioProductivity EnhancementsVisio enhances its reputation for being quick and easy with the following newfeatures:✦ Task panes — You can access many of Visio’s most popular features on tennew 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, animproved 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 themwithout switching drawing tools. To select multiple shapes, you can choosefrom 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 drawingtypes to help you select an appropriate template. Microsoft Office Onlineincludes additional templates and clip art, as well as starter drawings thatalready contain basic content to get you going. For an introduction to Visio’sfeatures, 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’shelp resources, with a few more on the Visio Help menu and online. You canpause the pointer over a shape on a stencil to view a description and access aHelp link.✦ Customer feedback — You can help improve future versions of Visio bychoosing to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program, inwhich Microsoft collects information about your hardware configuration andhow you use Microsoft Office programs. In addition, you can provide feedbackabout programs, the effectiveness of help topics, templates, and MicrosoftOffice 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 othertools. New interface elements such as ShapeStudio and the Formula Tracingwindow make it easier to create SmartShapes. (Visio Professional only)Collaboration and SharingCollaboration and the subsequent sharing of documents are key initiatives forMicrosoft today. Visio 2003 includes a number of new features to simplify collaboration with your colleagues:
6 Part I ✦ Understanding Visio Fundamentals✦ Track markup — You can propose changes to drawings and review thechanges proposed by your coworkers. Each person’s changes appear in aunique color on a separate overlay.✦ Ink — You can add hand-drawn shapes or handwritten notes to drawingsusing a tablet PC or any computer with an electronic pen device. You canedit Ink shapes or add them to stencils just like other Visio shapes.✦ Scalable Vector Graphic format — Visio 2003 now supports the ScalableVector Graphics (SVG) format.✦ Microsoft Office Visio Viewer 2003 — People who don’t have Visio can viewand print your Visio drawings after downloading the Visio Viewer from theMicrosoft Download Center.✦ Document Workspaces—People can collaborate on documents stored inDocument Workspaces, which are Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services sites.Contributors can work on the master copy in the Document Workspace or edittheir own copy, which they can synchronize periodically with the master.✦ Language handling — Visio 2003 supports Unicode, End User DefinedCharacter sets, and the new Chinese character-encoding standard, GB18030.In addition, Multilingual User Interface packs simplify Visio deployment inglobal enterprises by displaying text for the user interface, Help, and wizardsin other languages.Features Discontinued in Visio 2003A few templates and tools are no longer available. However, you can searchMicrosoft Office Online or other Web sites for replacements.Cross- To find other sources for Visio shapes and templates, refer to Chapter 39.Reference✦ Data Flow Model Diagram Model Explorer (Visio Professional only) — TheData 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) — TheDirectory Services Diagram template no longer contains the DirectoryNavigator.✦ Forms — The Forms template is no longer available. You can use Microsoft’snew product, Infopath, to build forms and communicate data.✦ Import Flowchart Data Wizard — You must import data into a flowchart in anearlier version of Visio and save the result in that version. You can then openthe file in Visio 2003.✦ Organization Chart Conversion Utility — You must convert an organizationchart in an earlier version of Visio and save the result in that version. You canthen open the organization chart in Visio 2003.
7Chapter 1 ✦ Getting Started with Visio✦ Visio Network Equipment Sampler (Visio Professional only) — Shapes inthe VNE Sampler are no longer available, but many equipment manufacturersprovide 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’tVisio can be many things to many people. Applied properly, Visio 2003 can help youproduce simple diagrams or complex models. These far-reaching capabilities canbe confusing if you don’t understand how they differ. Even worse, you can becomequite 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 orno associated data. For these drawings, you can simply drag and drop shapes andconnectors in either Visio Standard or Visio Professional. The remaining chaptersin Part I, Understanding Visio Fundamentals, describe the basic tools you need todiagram with Visio.However, Visio Professional can also produce intelligent models and specializeddocumentation for numerous fields, including software engineering, architecture,mechanical and electrical engineering, and business process modeling. Templatesfor these advanced applications contain tools for performing specialized tasks.The shapes contained in the stencils for these templates have smart features —
8 Part I ✦ Understanding Visio Fundamentalsbuilt-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 theenclosed space for occupancy reports. These features are time-savers when youknow how to use them, but can make Visio seem to have a mind of its own whenyou don’t. Parts III, IV, and V of this book teach you the ins and outs of Visio’s moresophisticated solutions.You can draw precise plans to scale with Visio. Visio Standard supports only basicbuilding plans, whereas Visio Professional supports a variety of architectural andengineering plans. Nonetheless, you’ll probably want the extra power of a CADapplication, 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 createshapes faster and more easily in Visio and then import them for use in AutoCAD orother 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 workinto AutoCAD if necessary. Visio also simplifies preparing presentations for largeprojects.Understanding Visio ConceptsVisio enhances your drawing and modeling productivity because so many of its elements include features that incorporate industry expertise. Most of the time, youdon’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 theconcepts that make Visio so powerful, you can prevent problems and maintain yourproductivity.Using Templates and StencilsIn 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 yourhome. In Visio, templates are solutions that facilitate the construction of a specifictype of drawing. Each template comprises settings, stencils, styles, and specialcommands 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 stencilsonto your drawing page.
9Chapter 1 ✦ Getting Started with VisioWhen you create a drawing based on a template, Visio does the following things:✦ Opens stencils with shapes — Visio opens stencils that contain the shapesyou need for the type of drawing you are creating.✦ Includes styles — Visio provides special formatting styles typical for thecurrent drawing type. For example, a construction project created from afloor 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 templatecontains a special toolbar, Visio floats the toolbar in the drawing area.✦ Specifies settings — Visio specifies settings typical for the type of drawing.For basic block diagrams, Visio uses letter-size paper, portrait orientation,one-to-one scale, and inches for measurement units. For site plans, it specifiesa 36" × 42" architectural drawing size in landscape orientation, a scale of 1inch to 10 feet, and measurement units of feet and inches.✦ Displays rulers and grid — To make positioning shapes easy, the rulers andgrid take into account the scale and units for the drawing. For example, ablock diagram shows inches on the rulers with each grid cell equal to one-quarter inch. Conversely, rulers for a site plan display feet in the rulers witheach grid cell equal to ten feet.Dragging and Dropping Shapes to Create DrawingsVisio’s philosophy is elegantly simple — you construct drawings by dragging anddropping predefined shapes onto drawing pages. Although working with Visio canseem like copying clip art into a document, Visio shapes are much more powerful,quickly transforming a blank page into a professional document with a few applications of drag and drop.What Makes Shapes SmartVisio shapes can represent many things: ideas, processes, components of a model,and real-world objects such as people, places, and things. Visio calls themSmartShapes because they have built-in properties and behaviors that give themintelligence. As you work on a drawing, shape behaviors help you position theshapes and connect them appropriately to other shapes. For example, when youplace a door shape in a wall, the door lines up with the wall and creates an openinginto a room, as shown in Figure 1-1. That same door might contain properties tomodify the shape or identify it, also shown in Figure 1-1. For example, one doorproperty specifies whether the door is centered in the wall. Other door propertiescan define a door’s dimensions, its catalog number, or its associated room number,so you can produce a schedule of the doors you need and where they belong inyour building.
10 Part I ✦ Understanding Visio FundamentalsDoor shapes can create openings in wallsFigure 1-1: Shapes include behaviors and properties that give them intelligence.Cross-ReferenceTo learn about how to define properties and behaviors for shapes, see Chapter 32.In Visio, predrawn shapes are called masters, which are stored and categorized instencils. When you drag and drop a master from a stencil onto your drawing page,you create a copy, which is called an instance of that master. Each instance inheritsits master’s behaviors, so it knows how to act when you add it to your drawing. Italso inherits its master’s properties, so you can assign unique values to an instance.Using Handles to Manipulate ShapesShapes have other features to help you position, resize, and connect them to oneanother. When you select a shape, Visio marks these features with colored graphics,as illustrated in Figure 1-2. Shapes include the following types of handles:✦ Selection handles — Red or green boxes appear when you select a shape.You can drag these selection handles to resize a shape or attach connectorsto them.✦ Connection points — Blue Xs mark locations where you can glue connectorsor lines.
Chapter 1 ✦ Getting Started with Visio 11✦ Rotation handle — This is a red circle that you can drag to rotate a shape.✦ Control handles — Yellow diamonds that appear on some shapes. You candrag control handles to modify a shape’s appearance — for instance, tochange the swing on a door.✦ Eccentricity handles — Green circles that you can drag to change the shapeof an arc.Shapes can be one-dimensional or two-dimensional. Two-dimensional shapes, such asrectangles and office tables, have selection handles at each corner and the midpointsof each side, which you can drag to modify a shape’s height and width. 1D shapes,such as connectors, lines, and arrows, have end points that you can drag to changethe length of the shape. You can change the length of 1D shapes as well as the widthof some 1D shapes, such as the 1D single arrow. However, you can’t change lengthand width at the same time because a 1D shape doesn’t have selection handles at itscorners.Rotation handleControl handleConnection pointSelection handleFigure 1-2: Visio uses colored marks to identify handles you can use to modify shapes.
12 Part I ✦ Understanding Visio FundamentalsConnecting ShapesRelationships can convey as much information as the elements they connect.Whether you are showing who reports to a manager in an organization or definingthe relationship between two database tables, connections between Visio shapesare important. In Visio, connections not only provide information about a relationship, they also help you lay out and rearrange the shapes on your drawing.Cross- To learn more about connecting shapes, see Chapter 5.ReferenceWhat Connectors DoConnectors are Visio shapes that define the relationships between other shapes.In essence, connectors are lines with shapes attached to each end. When you movetwo connected shapes, the connector between them adjusts to maintain that connection. Likewise, connectors maintain shape connectivity when you use Visio’sautomatic layout tools. For example, you can change the layout of an organizationchart from horizontal to vertical and the connectors alter their paths as theemployee shapes take up their new locations.Connectors have start and end points that define direction for a connection betweenshapes. Which end you connect to a shape can make a big difference in behavior. Forexample, in a database model, the table shape at the start of a connector is the parent, whereas the table at the end of a connector is the child. When you define a one-to-many relationship between those connected tables, the one is associated with thetable at the connector’s start point, and the many belongs to the table at the connec-tor’s end point.Tip When you want to differentiate the predecessor and successor for two connectedshapes, such as in a data flow diagram or project schedule, make sure you gluethe start point of the connector to the shape you are connecting from and the endpoint to the shape you are connecting to.Straight Versus Dynamic ConnectorsStraight connectors are straight lines that connect shapes. They lengthen, shorten,and change their angle to maintain shape connectivity, but they draw straight overshapes that are in their path, as shown in Figure 1-3.Dynamic connectors are smarter. They automatically bend, stretch, and detouraround shapes instead of overlapping them. They can also jump over other connectors to make connections easier to follow on a drawing. By default, dynamic connectors use right angles to bend around shapes. You can change the path of aright-angled connector by moving any of its vertices. You can also add or move
Chapter 1 ✦ Getting Started with Visio 13segments of a right-angled connector by dragging a midpoint of a segment. Curvedconnectors are dynamic as well. You can drag their control points and eccentricityhandles, to modify the shape of the curve.Figure 1-3: You can connect shapes withstraight or dynamic connectors.Using GlueJust as in real life, Visio needs glue to make things stick together. Visio “glue” comesin two varieties: shape-to-shape and point-to-point. Shape-to-shape glue, also knownas dynamic glue, builds dynamic connections between shapes. When you repositionshapes connected with shape-to-shape glue, the end points of the connector moveto the closest available connection points, as shown in Figure 1-4. Point-to-point glue,also known as static glue, keeps the connector end points glued to the specificpoints you selected on the shapes, also illustrated in Figure 1-4. In addition, you cancombine dynamic and static glue, gluing a connector to a shape at one end and aspecific point at the other.By default, you can glue to entire shapes, connection points, or guides. You canchange glue settings to also glue to shape handles, shape vertices, or any point ona shape’s geometry. As you draw a connector, a red box appears around a shapewhen you are connecting to that shape. If you are connecting to a point, the connection point turns red.