A connection point on a shape shows where you can glue connectors. You can add new connection points to any shape, whether it's a Visio shape or one you have created yourself. You can also move an existing connection point to another location on the shape. Perhaps the most difficult part about adding and moving connection points is finding the tool you want. The Connection Point tool is stashed below the Connector tool, as Figure 3-13 shows.
Figure 3-13. The Connector tool appears at the top of the list by default, but if you choose the Connection Point tool, Visio places it on the toolbar.
Follow these steps to add a new connection point:
Follow these steps to move an existing connection point:
In some connected drawings, it's more common to glue 2-D shapes to each other than to join them with connectors, and in many technical drawings, connection points provide meaningful information about the objects or components they connect. For example, in a piping and instrumentation diagram, an indicator on a signal includes different types of connection points, as Figure 3-14 shows. To support a variety of connection behavior, Visio offers three types of connection points in all. Unless you're creating your own shapes and require sophisticated connection behavior, you can ignore connection point types. Visio shapes are already designed to connect correctly.
Figure 3-14. The indicator shape includes both inward (marked with an ×) and outward (marked with a square) connection points.
So why bother with different types of connection points? They can tell you something about a diagram's contents. In a diagram that represents a physical system, such as the pipes and valves in a processing plant, you want the shapes to mimic the constraints in the real world. Some components receive connections, others initiate them. Visio tries to duplicate this information with the different types of connection points. Here's what they mean:
When you add a connection point to a shape, you create an inward connection point by default. However, you can use the connection point's shortcut menu to change its type, as Figure 3-15 shows.
Figure 3-15. You can change the type of connection point on a shape.
Follow these steps to change the type of a connection point on any shape:
When you connect shapes at their connection points, Visio connects the shapes end to end, with their edges flat against each other. What if you want shapes to connect at an angle to each other? You can set the angle property for a connection point to rotate shapes when they are connected. This technique represents an advanced option primarily intended for shape designers who want to create shapes that automatically create appropriate connections.
By default, the angle of most connection points, and any connection points you add yourself, is set to 90 degrees. For example, if you have a corner desk shape and a work surface shape, you want the angle of their connection points to be 90 degrees so that the ends connect at an angle. However, shapes can connect at any angle you specify. If your company likes annotations to be rotated to 30 degrees, for example, you can design shapes that include a rotated connection point angle.
Follow these steps to change connection point angle:
Figure 3-16. When you run in Developer mode, a rotation arrow appears when you select a connection point.