Multiline text in Visio Shape Data

The Shape Data (nee Custom Properties) dialog and window only provides a single line to view or edit text values. It is a great shame because the value can be up to 64k characters, and long text can be pasted into it. I, and many others, have complained about this for many years to Microsoft, but nothing has been done to rectify this. Of course, I do develop custom user interface components for many customers, but that is not always desirable. Therefore I sometimes re-purpose standard Visio elements to provide the ability to view or edit multi-line text in Shape Data rows.

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Writing a WeekNum(…) function for Visio

I needed to display the week number of dates in a Visio project of mine, but there is no WeekNum(…) function built-in, so I had to write one, and allow for the date that the week numbers begin in to be varied from 1st January.  I also needed to allow for the week numbers to go backwards from the specified week number begin date.

Excel has a WeekNum(..) function, which can take an optional parameter for the day of the week to begin on, and an IsoWeekNum(..) function, and the following table shows the values change for the first 35 days of the year:

Excel Week Num Formulas

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Changing Visio Shape Size and Angle with Linked Data

I was recently laying out a computer room floor plan to scale in Visio, from survey data of the cabinets\racks within it, and it occurred to me that I could work a bit smarter than I first thought. Originally, I was going to just add lots of rectangles, size them, rotate them, and label each them with their name. Then I thought, why not use the Width, Depth and Name columns from the survey data to do most of the work for me? It was so simple to do, and only took a few minutes, so I thought I would share my methodology because it demonstrates how easy it is to work smarter with Visio….

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Enhancing the Built-In Containers in #Visio

The concept of Structured Diagrams was introduced in Visio 2010 to provide core functionality for a variety of the templates in Visio, such as the Cross-Functional Flowchart, BPMN Diagram and Wireframe Diagram. This is primarily evident as Containers, Lists and Callouts and they can be customized (see Custom Containers, List and Callouts ), as shown in some of my previous articles ( see https://blog.bvisual.net/?s=container). One example of this extension can be found in all of the flowchart shapes that placed into a swimlane in a cross-functional flowchart. They have a Shape Data row, Function, that automatically inherits the text entered into the header of the swimlane. In another example, a Visio user can use Insert / Diagram Parts / Container to visually group other shapes together, and update the header text of the container. Well, I often do want my custom shapes to inherit the text of a container, so, in this article, I show how the built-in containers can be enhanced to provide this ability.

InheritingContainerText

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Really Snapping to Grids in #Visio

Visio has the ability to refine the options for snapping shapes to just grids, but this does not necessarily mean that shapes will automatically position themselves on a grid, or that the size is a multiple of a grid. What if you want some shapes to always be positioned on a fixed grid, and the width and height to always be a multiple on the horizontal and vertical grids respectively? What if you want the grid to start at the top left rather then the default bottom left? Fortunately, the ShapeSheet of the page and shapes can provide this ability, without the need for any external code.

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Using EVALCELL() in #Visio to calculate Workdays

I recently agreed to calculate the number of workdays between two dates in Visio, without realising how difficult it is. Excel users are lucky because it has the NETWORKDAYS() function, but Visio users are not so fortunate. However, Visio does have the EVALCELL function which can be extremely useful in cases like this. I got the inspiration from one of the answers in StackOverflow for a SQL user who also needed a solution.

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Understanding Visio’s Color Formulas

I was recently exploring the ShapeSheet formulas available in Visio that affect colors, and I decided that I needed to make a shape that I can change the fill color, tint, shade and tone of dynamically. This allows me to copy the formulas from a Shape Data row value for pasting into a ShapeSheet cell.

ColorFormulas.gif

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