Embedding multiple language texts in one document in #Visio

A few years ago, I was asked to write an add-in for Visio that could switch the text in each flowchart shape between different languages. The client required 5 different alternate languages to be supported, and they had the same 99 page Visio document copied 5 times, and each time there was an edit to be done, then it had to be repeated in each document. So, I wrote an add-in that allows for multiple language texts and page names to be stored in a single document, and added the optional use of Bing Translator. Well, the Bing Translator is now Microsoft Cognitive Services Text Translator, and my add-in installer needed to be updated for later versions of Visio. I am pleased to say that it now works for all versions of Visio since 2010, and for all languages that Visio supports, and it can be downloaded and tried for 30 days from MultiLanguageText.aspx .

MLT01

Problems viewing and printing embedded #Dwg files in #Visio

I recently had to buy a Dwg file of a residential area for a planning application. I naturally wanted to use this Dwg file to scale in Visio, and everything looked great. The property lines were slightly jagged because of the scaling, but were quite acceptable. However, when it came to printing or saving as Pdf, I discovered a big problem … the Dwg image was either completely absent or extremely jagged!

I tested 5 different products for creating pdfs from Visio, and none of them were usable. I tried saving as Oxps, and using Visio Online, or just printing … not good either. Only Visio itself and Visio Viewer rendered satisfactorily!

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The different Drawing scale shapes in #Visio

I have been working with drawing scales in Visio for over twenty years, and have been aware that the stencils presented to you can be different for Metric and US Units drawings. However, I have only recently realised that there is a marked difference in capabilities between the Drawing scale shape that is presented in the Metric Annotations stencil from that in the US Units version! This can be important for those of us that work in both scale systems. The US Units version of the Drawing scale shape allows the user to choose between four different scale systems, but the Metric version only displays the one scale system.

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What is the future of #Visio on the desktop?

Microsoft are about to announce sweeping changes to their worldwide software sales channels as they continue to emphasise that the future is in the cloud. We expect that this will mean a restructuring away from traditional desktop application sales. Visio has been one of these desktop applications for many years, and has a large, and mostly loyal, following. We Visio developers have been excited by the large number of advances in Visio features released over the past year or so, but has it moved quickly enough towards the cloud to save it from the deep cuts that are threatened? I hope so.

I recently created a short survey about learning Visio (A short survey about learning #Visio ) and these are the results that I have had so far:

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Switching Metric and US Units in #Visio floor plans

I recently wrote an article comparing Metric and US Units in Visio for floor plans (see Metric vs US Units in #Visio floor plans). The intention was always to create right mouse actions on a Visio floor plan border shape to provide many alternative page sizes and scales. I have now done this, with the help of Excel and LinqPad.

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A short survey about learning #Visio

I have been a Visio user and developer for over 20 years, and I am aware that there are many long standing Visio users out there who love it too, but there are also some who experience frustrations. This can be down to expectations brought over from using other applications, or just understanding the best way to achieve something from the multiple options available. When it comes to Visio development, I believe it comes down to three possible separate skills :

  • Shape, stencil and templates (aka understanding the ShapeSheet)
  • Automation (using VBA to write macros, or other languages to write add-ins or add-ons)
  • Online Integration ( web pages and apps with Visio Online )

I was inducted into the world of Visio development with 5 days training in Paris in 1996, which was split evenly between the first two areas above. There was no online integration possibilities in those days, but it is now an increasing demand. The recent announcement of Visio integration with Power BI has created a lot of excitement on Twitter.

There used to be Microsoft exam for Visio developers back in 2007, but has since been retired. It used to count towards a Microsoft Partner competency, but there is no personal certification for Visio, so there currently no Partner competency Visio skills count towards. I think this is an oversight, but what do you think? I have created a short survey whose results I will forward to Microsoft, and share on this blog (if enough people actually complete the survey) :

Survey : How easy is it to learn Visio?

 

 

 

Metric vs US Units in #Visio floor plans

First of all, as a Brit, I have to point out that US Units in Visio should really be called Imperial Units 🙂 I was born pre-decimalisation (note the s not a z!) and have had a mixed vocabulary ever since. I think about distances in feet, yards and miles not in millimetres, metres and kilometres. I weigh myself in stones and pounds, not kilograms.

As a trained (but lapsed) building architect, I can convert between metric and imperial lengths and areas fairly well, and have got used to changing glibly between both systems. I used to draw on Imperial size paper (wonderfully called Double Elephant), and spend many hours folding freshly printed, but dangerously smelling, dyelines. Imperial/US Units paper sizes are not all the same ratio between the side lengths like Metric paper sizes are. So, this creates a problem with Visio…

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