Using MailTo Protocol in Visio Shapes

A newsgroup question asked whether you can send an email from a Visio shape, so I thought it was time to document an example of just that..

In this example, I have added four Shape Data rows for the Address, Subject, CC and BCC fields…


However, I have used the Screen Tip cell for the message body because it is the only out-of-the-box dialog that allows you to enter multi-line text into a Shape Cell.


To open the Screen Tip via the right mouse menu, I added the formula =DOCMD(1685) to an Actions row.

To force the Hyperlink.Address cell of the new Hyperlink.Mail row to update whenever any of the values in the four Shape Data rows or the Screen Tip is changed, I added the following formula to a new User-defined cell called, MailToTrigger:


That’s it! Just enter email addresses, a subject and body, then your mail client will be opened pre-filled from the right-mouse menu of the VIsio shape, or, of course, from a SaveAs web page.

You can read about the MailTo protocol here:

Old Trafford in Deep Zoom

Sometimes in life you get opportunities that you just have to take …. and one just came to this old Manchester United supporter … a chance to watch my team play from a corporate box against Arsenal … and I could take my son, Krysh, too!  We only needed a draw to win the Premier League (again) … and a draw is what we got! Like an earlier post, I took lots of photos and patched them together using Microsoft Image Composite Editor.  I love that tool!

Just in case you have never heard of Old Trafford .. it is in Manchester, England … just here:

Map picture


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An Interview on TechNet about Visio

I was interviewed by Microsoft when I was at the MVP conference in March. I rambled on about some of my experiences with Visio over the years.  It has now been published for all to see at 


In case you are wondering, the shirt was from the 1998 Visio Conference, which was pre-Microsoft.  It’s probably time that I had a new wardrobe!

Seattle Trip May 2009

I went to see the latest version of Visio last week at Microsoft Campus in Redmond, but, as usual, chose to stay in Seattle because it is such a great city.  I love to walk down to Pike Place market in the morning to ponder over which specialist food to select, or to smell the flowers as they are arranged for the day’s pickings.  So, with a piroshky (Russian pastry) and coffee I strolled to the little park at the end to contemplate the day.  The view across Puget Sound is fantastic and I wanted to capture it to share with my friends.  I only have a handy little digital camera, but fortunately, I recently became aware of a handy little application called Microsoft Image Composite Editor ( ) .  MICE patches your photos together to make a larger panorama, and then you can export it into many different formats.

I have saved four panoramas for viewing using Deep Zoom in Silverlight 2.

Seattle Trip May 2009
Seattle Trip May 2009

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