Convert a group to 1D and insert an image

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Thumbnail for introIn a recent post we discussed some of the techniques for using 1D shapes.  We received an excellent question from a visitor who asked:

 “I’ve played with the techniques mentioned. However, I can’t seem to find the way to insert an image onto the line as suggested in the article. Can you please elaborate?”

Sure.  To illustrate the point, I’m going to describe a simple manual method for inserting an image into a 1D shape to insert into an …Continue reading

Linking from Visio shapes to more information

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ShapeLink_TrippLite_smallTo get the most value from Visio it’s important to understand how Visio shapes can be much more than clipart when properly designed.  The shapes can be programmed through their ShapeSheets to behave in ways that will automate and facilitate the drawing process.  One of the most powerful behaviors is the ability to link to external information via the Web through specially designed Hyperlinks.  In other words, we can give you the ability to simply click on the shape and gain …Continue reading

Is Visio a sensible alternative to CAD systems?

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Many of the companies we work with at Visimation use Visio as a low cost and more sensible alternative to CAD systems like AutoCAD, MicroStation, ProE, and more.  While CAD has its strengths, we find that as many as 80% of CAD users can perform their work more efficiently and at lower cost if they were to use Visio.  Of course it all depends on what you need to do with a graphics system.  In this article I’ll share our experience regarding why companies choose to use Visio in lieu of CAD.  …Continue reading

5 things you may not know about MapShapes

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Our MapShapes have been very popular since we introduced them in 2008.  Now that we’ve posted two articles on how to use Visimation MapShapes to create maps and visualize data, I just want to summarize by responding to 5 most frequently asked questions we’ve received about MapShapes.  I hope this information helps you to determine if MapShapes will be valuable to you in your work:

What versions of MapShapes are available and what versions of Visio are supported? 

 

US_China_thumbWe currently offer MapShapes …Continue reading

Visimation MapShapes illustrate data in Visio 2007

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USCensus2010_dataWhile it’s useful just to view geographic maps in Visio, the information becomes even more valuable when linked to data in Visio 2007. We’ll show you how to do this using Visimation MapShapes and you can use similar techniques to link data with any Visio 2007 diagram.

First, where do you find good data? Businesses that collect data about their operations or customers can link those data to Visio if they are stored in a structured data file like Excel, Access, SQL Server, …Continue reading

Creating maps in Visio more effectively with MapShapes

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Map of United States grouped by US Census Region Map of United States grouped by US Census Region

ShapeSource (www.ShapeSource.com) attracts thousands of visitors looking for Visio shapes and add-ons. What would you think is the most popular download? What type of shapes are requested most? The product downloaded most often is our free US Map stencil and we receive more requests for Visio map shapes than any other type of shape with the exception of network …Continue reading

Simulating 3D with isometric Visio shapes

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Tripp Lite isometric

Tripp Lite isometric

In our last post I discussed 1D Visio shapes and their powerful connection features that ease the task of creating drawings of objects assembled into systems.  In this article I’ll describe a variation of 2D Visio shapes that are drawn to look like 3D views.

Visio includes in the box several stencils with objects drawn in an isometric style.  Wikipedia has an excellent overview of the isometric projection technique if you are interested.  The appeal of isometric …Continue reading

Creating Well Connected Assemblies with 1D Visio Shapes

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A 1D line with and without height

A 1D line with and without height

Visio shapes can be either 1D (one dimensional) or 2D (two dimensional).  Unfortunately, there is no 3D shape although you can produce a “3D-like” 2D drawing by using the same methods as you would on paper… isometric, axonometric, perspective, etc.  Most Visio drawings that simulate 3D are drawn as isometrics… but I digress and will cover that in a future post.

…Continue reading

Why are my Visio files so large?

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This Document Stencil contains over 100 unused master... the only one used is at the lower right

Something we’ve heard often over the years from various clients, customers, and users is, “There’s not much in my drawing… why is the file so big?”  Of course, there can be several reasons for this but one of the most common is the concept of “unused master shapes.”  Huh? I’m glad you asked.

The icons on a Visio stencil represent what’s formally known as Master …Continue reading

Copying a Visio graphic as a metafile can improve performance

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Visio has the capability of creating almost photo-realistic graphics with as much detail as you want.  However, the more detail (i.e. lines, gradient color fills, shading, etc.) in a shape, the more sluggish it will be when you move it around a page or drop it from a stencil.  One key reason for this is also one of Visio’s most powerful features… the ShapeSheet.  Every geometric element, such as a line or polygon, has a calculation engine behind it known as the ShapeSheet.  Each time you move a shape, the cells in …Continue reading