#Visio custom visual preview for #PowerBI available for all!

Yesterday, I wrote about using #MSFlow with #Visio ( Updating data sources from #Visio using #MSFlow … easily! ), so it is fitting to announce that the Visio custom visual for PowerBI is now available from the Microsoft store, and that it works with PowerBI Desktop! This means that everyone can make use of my guidelines in my other recent article at Previewing the #Visio Custom Visual in #PowerBI !

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Updating data sources from #Visio using #MSFlow … easily!

Most of my posts have been about using Visio as a data consumer by linking Visio shapes to data, but Visio can be the best place to create some data from. For example, an office layout can have personnel or equipment shapes within a workstation area, or space shapes are used to define areas which are used for calculating the space usage chargeback reports. There are non-facilities management related examples too, as the only consideration is what is the best way to create relationships, measure lengths, or calculate areas. These are all tasks that are best done by just moving, resizing, connecting or containing shapes interactively in the Visio interface. In this article I will explain how Microsoft Flow can be used update a data source simply from a Visio document.

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Anchoring scaled shapes to page corners in #Visio

I have read that other users have bemoaned the lack of a anchor to top left, or something similar in Visio, so I thought I would demonstrate the issue, then propose a solution. In particular, there are some master shapes on the Annotations and Title Blocks stencils in the Visio Extras category that you would expect to have this capability, but don’t. Wouldn’t it be useful to have the ability to keep the shape size and anchor position to page bottom left, bottom right, top right or top left? This would mean that the page size or scale could be changed, but the annotations and title blocks could remain anchored.

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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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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?

 

 

 

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