Creating an Org Chart without the Org Chart Wizard

Microsoft Office Visio has had an Org Chart Wizard for as long as I can remember (and I have been using Visio since 1996).  It has gone through several iterations, but basically it provides a simple way to create personnel hierarchies from a variety of data sources.  It even has a command line interface so that the charts can be created with a minimum of user interaction.  This is great, but it is limited.  Firstly, it does not take advantage of the new Link Data to Shapes and Data Graphics in Visio 207 Professional; secondly, it only does direct reports with just one type of layout; and thirdly, you cannot refresh the diagram easily.  Therefore, I thought it would be interesting to overcome some of these obstacles using the new features of Visio 2007 Professional and with a little code.

Visio installs a sample OrgData.xls Excel spreadsheet in the folder <Program Files>Microsoft OfficeOffice12SAMPLES1033 by default, so I have copied this file and slightly amended it.

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Posted in Visio. 34 Comments »

Copying Data from one Shape to Another

A recent newsgroup question asked for example code to demonstrate how shape data can be copied from one shape to another via a connector between the two.  This is something that others might want to do also, and not just by connecting shapes, but also by selection since you might change your mind about which shape to use, but you have already entered a lot of information on the original shape.  A good example of this might be when diagramming a network and needing to change between one type of server and another.  So, in this blog, I will demonstrate how shape data can be transferred by connection or by selection, and how to limit the transfer to rows that match by name or by label.

Note that Shape Data is the new name for Custom Properties in Visio 2007.

Firstly, I should explain why it may be necessary to match by name or by label:  In the following screenshot, you can see the Shape Data window, Define Shape Data dialog, and the ShapeSheet for a Server shape.  I have ticked “Run in developer mode” in Tools / Options / Advanced, otherwise I would not be able to see the Name, Sort key, Ask on drop or Hidden in the dialog.

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Posted in Visio. 15 Comments »
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