A Page Grid with Labels

Over a year ago, I wrote a blog about Page Grids and Off Page References ( see https://blog.bvisual.net/2011/09/02/page-grids-and-off-page-references/ ), and I promised to accommodate page margins. In addition, a user commented that a matching printable grid would be useful …. so here is an update. In this blog I provide an updated Off-page reference master, along with new GridLines and GridLabel masters.

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Adding More Smartness to Visio Connectors

Whenever I have been asked why I like Visio so much, I have usually cited its ability to connect shapes together; its ability to link to data; and its programmability. Visio 2010 formally added a structured diagram concept and API, and the premium edition introduced diagram validation. So many different types of Visio diagrams require elements to be connected together correctly, and I often have to add a little extra into the connectors to make them smarter.

What is a connector?

A connector is a Visio shape that has 1-D behavior. The most used example is the Dynamic connector shape, which not only connects elements together, but can also re-route itself according to the layout and routing options selected for a page.

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A Visio Logic Gate with Logic

I was recently asked how I would approach improving the Logic Gate 2 in the Circuits and Logic template, on the Analog and Digital Logic stencil. Well, this had resonance with me because I had often wondered why these shapes were not smarter than they are, so I looked more deeply into the shape construction to see how the Logic Gate 2 shape works, and how it could be improved so that the values of the inputs could be set and the logic applied to provide the correct output value. Eventually, similar improvements can be applied to all of the master shapes so that the connected logic diagram responds to input value changes.

The Existing Shape

The Logic Gate 2 shape has Shape Data rows to provide some configuration. Firstly, you can change the number of inputs from 2 to 5, and the number of outputs from 1 to 3:

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Improvements to Line Caps in Visio 2013

I am currently developing a Visio 2010 shape which has multiple geometry sections in it, and thought I should check it in Visio 2013. To my surprise, I found a difference in the rendering of the shape’s line caps, and I thought that I had found a bug in Visio 2013, but further investigation revealed that Visio 2013 has fixed a bug in Visio 2010 (and earlier)…

I create a square shape with an inscribed triangle and changed it’s  weight to 6 pt in order to exaggerate the effects of different Line Caps in my test shape. Notice that the Line Cap can be one of three values : Round, Square or Extended, which is equivalent to 0,1 or 2 in the LineCap cell in the ShapeSheet.

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Visio 2013 is released to manufacture (RTM)

Well, it looks like Microsoft Office 2013 has been released to manufacture ( see http://blogs.office.com/b/office-news/archive/2012/10/11/office-reaches-rtm.aspx ). I think that includes Visio 2013 too, even though Visio dropped the Office prefix for the Visio 2010 release.

All I need now is a Surface so that I can draw with my fingers! I must admit that I used to use a Pen and Tablet when I was a CAD user many years ago, but have stuck with a mouse for quite a while now, although I hate drawing or writing freehand with it.

I am pretty sure that my handwriting has got a lot worse because I use a keyboard so much (and probably my spelling too). I used to sketch with chalk or a pencil, but years of pushing a plastic rodent, and clicking its ears have probably reduced my dexterity.

So, I am really looking forward to Visio 2013 on a Windows 8 Surface …

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