Replacing Images in #Visio Shapes by Changing Data

I wrote an article last year about Swapping Images in a #Visio Shape manually, but I want to be able to do this whenever a Shape Data value changes. This is because I use I invariably use shapes linked to data. I also want to be able to have multiple images within a single grouped shape, and all of them changing when their referenced Shape Data values change. I believe that this will be more adaptable for a lot of scenarios than trying to repurpose Data Graphic Icon Sets ( see  Make Your Own Visio Data Graphic Icons Sets … automatically). I also discovered that the Shape.ChangePicture(…) function can just as easily work with urls as it can with network file paths, so even more possibilities are opened up! For example, the Visio Online JavaScript API has the ability to overlay an image ( see ShapeView.addOverlay(…)).

So, I have created some macros to provide quick and easy selection, positioning and updating of images within a group shape.

personphotosbydata

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Power up your #Visio diagrams

It’s a new year, and Microsoft Visio Online Plan 2 continues to be updated monthly. There is plenty to get excited about, for example, broken links in Data Visualizer can now be repaired automatically. Also, I am pleased to report that I have written a white paper on using Visio in Power BI effectively! This downloadable guide explains how to combine Visio drawing pages and Power BI data to create great interactive data visualizations, and can be requested from Power up your Visio diagrams.

preview-lightbox-cta-02

I will also be doing a webcast about this subject, so be sure to sign up for notification!

My #SurfaceBook 2 video connections

I was tidying up my office recently, and came across an old magazine cover that I was on back in 1992. In those days, I was a consultant for a company called Isicad, and I am working on a £30,000+ Unix workstation. I have a small monitor for the Unify database on the left, and a large CRT monitor the CAD system, and a tablet with a stylus for interaction with the drawing. I also had more hair than I do now, which probably started going when I turned up to do some demos in Milan on a workstation that was supplied by the German arm of the company … only they didn’t leave a built one … just loads of boxes with parts, and that also included the circuit boards! I had to build it afresh whilst being instructed over the phone, and with my foot firmly hooked around the radiator because I didn’t have an earthing strap! Well, that picture started me thinking about my current workstation, which is a £3,000 Microsoft Surface Book 2, and how I have to connect to video displays nowadays!

IMG_2888 (Edited)

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Reading the registry for #Visio settings

I love writing Visio automation code, but I really don’t like writing setup & deployment scripts. There are so many variables : What Visio version, which edition? Which bitness (x86 or x64)? What are the user settings for the paths of stencils or templates?

So, I decided to write myself some C# functions that can be used in custom actions for an installation writing application, such as Advanced Installer. I think of the methods as being in one of three phases, Installation; Functionality and Configuration. The registry has three different areas to search within, Classes Root (HKCR); Local Machine (HKLM) and Current User (HKCU). In addition, the best way to get the true file version of Visio is to use FileInfo on the executable. The following screenshots are from a Cross-Functional Flowchart of the functions that get values for variables, and use them in other functions, until, eventually, the current user settings can be read.

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Fixing the layers problem with callouts in #Visio

I recently re-discovered an issue with callouts in Visio for a couple of projects that I am working on, and so I had to find a fix. The problem is that the callouts become dis-associated from their target shapes if either the layer visibility of the callout or the target shape is toggled off, and then back on again. This will result in a diagram with shapes without any connected callouts, so moving any of the target shapes will not move their associated callouts with them! I initially came up with a workaround that involved some jiggery-pokery with sub-shapes and layers, but it seems that the problem could have easily been averted if Microsoft had incorporated one specific User-defined Cell from the very start…

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Support for the #Visio JavaScript API in #SharePoint Modern Framework, and more

It was the last day of the #MSIgnite conference today, and the video of the final presentation about Visio was worth staying for, even though some of it was content I knew about, and have mentioned in previous posts this week ( see Dive into the world of data-driven operation intelligence with Microsoft Visio, Excel and Power BI). However, there was some content I was particularly pleased to see, and that was about support for the Visio Online JavaScript API support in Modern SharePoint Framework. I have pulled out some of the key slides below, but check out the full session for more information.

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The hardworking Microsoft Visio product development team have worked hard to almost match all of the functionality of the old server-side Visio services control, but they haven’t quite got everything. So I cheered when I hear that support for html overlays are in the roadmap to be supported! All I ask for now (almost) is layer control, and I will be very happy.

They also stated that they will be enabling all this functionality for non-SharePoint web sites in the future!

Go to http://aka.ms/voapireference got more details.

 

Immersive #MixedReality is coming to #Visio

I used to be a building architect that worked with 3D modelling, and then I worked for a CAD company that sold expensive systems much more easily when its 3D capabilities where demonstrated, rather than the then revolutionary database-linking was shown. The reality was that the 3D was barely used in practice because it was seen as a nice to have, rather than an essential. The data-linking to 2D was its core capability, but it was difficult to setup and customise. It was the ability of Visio graphics to link to data, and the ease with which it could be customised, that caused me to switch to using Visio back in the 90’s.

We have come a long way since then, and Microsoft have stated that Mixed Reality is one of its three main bets, along with Artificial Intelligence and Quantum Computing. So, at #MSIgnite we saw many previews of the virtual future, including:

Intro to Microsoft Layout

Visio Immersive: Visio in 3D and Mixed Reality

ImmersiveVisio

The first video explains the difference between Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality, and  Virtual Reality very well. It also introduces the preview add-in for Visio that allows you to export diagrams into the 3D world.

The second video demonstrates how the 3D export from Visio works along with a couple of example immersive demos of a factory floor and an office. Visio is used to diagram more than the measured world, so it is just as easy to export a network diagram, process flows or organisation charts, for example.

The far right of the diagram above from the Visio session shows the intent to provide overlaying data in these 3D environments. Now this could be big, and provides an easy way to create a digital twin.

Exporting to 3D from Visio is not new, for example the excellent 3D Visioner, but the might of Microsoft will be stiff competition.

I haven’t got an MR headset yet, so I am hoping that there will be some flash sales soon….

 

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