US Election Special–Vector Visio 2003 – 2010 Icons

Following on from my previous post,, I have saved the stencil that was generated in Visio 2013 back to Visio 2003 – 2010 format … and, guess what? All of the new Bezier Curves got automatically translated to Nurbs, which means they work! (Except for themes … but they can be coloured)


They can be downloaded from : tp://

Perhaps someone would like to make Data Graphic icons from them ? :

Assigning Shape Layers from a List in Visio

A Visio user recently asked if it is possible to assign shapes to layers from a list. In his case, he has an Excel table which he has exported shapes and their text using Visio’s Shape Reports feature, to which he has added a column named Layer, and he wants to assign the shapes to these layers. In this article, I demonstrate how this can be done.

I decided to use my MVP Session Wheel diagram ( see ) for this example because it already has some layers assigned.

I created a new Shape Report called Presenter Shapes, where I filtered all shapes on the current page to those where the Presenter Shape Data row exists, and the Presenter actually has a value:


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Creating Shape to Page Hyperlinks Automatically using Link Data to Shapes

I demonstrated how to import hyperlinks into Visio shapes in a previous post – see, however, one of my readers wanted to know if the same mechanism can be used to create an hyperlink to another page in the same Visio document, rather than to an external web page. Well, it can be done … with a little preparation.

The Link Data to Shapes feature will by default only create external links because it pushes values from designated Shape Data fields into Hyperlink rows. You can designate Shape Data columns by ticking the Data Type / Hyperlink checkbox:


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Visio Date Format Pictures Affect Data Entry via the Calendar Popup

I have been creating roadmaps in Visio lately, and the client is only concerned with the months and years, so I thought it would be sensible to use a Date Format Picture to display only the month and year in the Shape Data window. What I did not expect is that the mere existence of this Date Format Picture would alter the actual date stored in the cell. In this blog, I layout my concerns about the Calendar popup that is provided for Date type Shape Data rows.

In the following example, I have created a shape, coloured pale orange below, and added 25 Date type Shape Data rows. I have not applied any format to Property1, but then I have applied each of the 17 suggested Date Format Patterns provided on a drop-down list in the Define Shape Data dialog. Finally, I added a further 7 patterns manually. I then selected Today as the value for every single Shape Data row:


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Make Your Own Visio Data Graphic Icons Sets … automatically

In my last post, I showed how you can actually have up to six icons in a Visio Data Graphics Icon Set ( see ), and I finished by saying that I would now show how to create new icon sets from existing shapes … automatically. In fact, I will show you how to do it with existing SmartShapes or with images.

I was asked to make KPI icons from six weather images:


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Making Timelines with Dates Earlier than 1900 in Visio

I was asked recently about making Visio timelines with dates earlier than 1900, which is the start of time as far as Microsoft Office products are concerned, so I thought I’d try to adapt one of my approaches used on other projects. In this case, I am assuming that the data is coming from an Excel worksheet, and I will use the Link Data to Shapes feature in Visio Professional/Premium. Visio Standard users can still make the timelines manually, or could attempt to use the older Database Wizard.

Create the data source in Excel

The first decision I made was not to use date fields in Excel or Visio because of the 1st Jan 1900 is the start of everything issue. Therefore I created a table in a worksheet that splits the Start and End dates in Year, Month and Day columns:

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Linking Excel Ranges to Visio Shapes

I have often linked Excel worksheets and ranges to Visio over the years. I used the Database Wizard initially, but have been using the Link Data to Shapes feature since Visio 2007. I had noticed that I sometimes didn’t get a full list of the available ranges when trying to link in Visio, so I decided to investigate why.

Firstly, I created a sample Excel 2010 worksheet with a header row, and three rows of data in Sheet1.


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