When you link your diagram to a slide, you keep the original Visio drawing file and create a copy of it in PowerPoint that's linked to the original. You can then make changes to the original drawing file and update the copy on the slide to reflect the changes.
When a diagram is linked, you have to manage two files: the Visio drawing file and the PowerPoint presentation file. Because you link to a diagram file in a specific location, you have to keep the two files together.
Follow these steps to link a Visio diagram to a PowerPoint slide:
Figure 13-6. When you paste a drawing as a link, you ensure that the most up-to-date version of the drawing is used in the presentation.
Every time you open a presentation file containing linked objects, including Visio diagrams, PowerPoint prompts you to update the links so that the slides display the latest version of your Visio diagrams, as Figure 13-7 shows. You can also manually update a linked diagram at any time, such as when you're switching back and forth between PowerPoint and Visio to refine a presentation.
Figure 13-7. When you open a presentation containing linked objects such as Visio diagrams, you'll see a message similar to this one. Click Update Links to update the linked objects with the latest versions.
When you're working on a PowerPoint slide that contains a linked Visio diagram, you can right-click the diagram to display a shortcut menu that contains commands for working with the linked diagram, as Figure 13-8 shows. Depending on the version of PowerPoint you are using, the command names vary slightly, as follows:
Use the Edit or Open command to open a Visio drawing window with the diagram, where you can edit it. Save your changes in Visio, and then return to PowerPoint and use the Update Link command to see the changes immediately.
Figure 13-8. You can right-click a linked slide to display commands for editing the link.
To see all the linked diagrams in a presentation, use the Links command on the Edit menu. The Links dialog box lists all the linked objects (including Visio diagrams and other objects) and displays the status of the link. To update any of the links that are listed, select the one you want, and then click Update Now.
The message to update links gets in the way of the presentation.
If you don't want PowerPoint to automatically update a link every time you open the presentation file, you can specify a manual link. By default, PowerPoint automatically updates linked files so that the latest version is displayed in the presentation. If you don't want to see the update message when you start PowerPoint, you can specify that a link is manual. You'll still be able to update the link, but you control when. To do this, choose Edit, Links in PowerPoint. In the Links dialog box, select a link, and then select Manual as the Update option. Click Close. When you want to update the link, return to the Links dialog box in PowerPoint and choose Update Now.
If PowerPoint can't find a Visio diagram that is linked to a slide, you'll see a message the next time you update the links that says some links were unavailable, as Figure 13-9 shows. Even so, the last version of the diagram that you linked to the slide still appears—the diagram doesn't disappear from the slide, but it might be out of date. If you moved or renamed the original Visio drawing file, you can tell PowerPoint how to redirect the link so that you can update the diagram.
Figure 13-9. If PowerPoint can't find a file that is linked to a slide, this message is displayed.
Follow these steps to reconnect a linked diagram:
The Links dialog box appears and lists all linked objects in the presentation. If "Unavailable" appears in the Update column it means the link for that object is broken, as Figure 13-10 shows.
Figure 13-10. If PowerPoint can't find a file referenced by a link, the file is listed as Unavailable.
You can deliberately break a link between a slide and a Visio diagram to convert shapes to pictures that you can edit in PowerPoint using its drawing tools (see Figure 13-11). It's best to do this only after you no longer need the diagram in the slide to match the original Visio file. In addition, a useful side-effect of breaking links is that you no longer see the "Unavailable" message as PowerPoint searches for linked files. If you need the Visio drawing only for the purposes of the presentation, you might find it faster to edit shapes this way.
Figure 13-11. You can convert each shape in a linked Visio diagram to pictures that can be edited with the PowerPoint drawing tools.
Follow these steps to break a link: