Working Within the Visio Environment

When you start a diagram, the Visio window opens. The Visio window contains the Visio menus and toolbars. It also contains the Shapes window, drawing page, pasteboard, and rulers in a drawing window. The stencils that contain the shapes you need are located in the Shapes window to the left of the drawing page. Visio also includes special-purpose windows, menus, and toolbars for creating particular types of diagrams.

The main elements of the Visio environment that most people typically work with are the following:

  • Shapes window The Shapes window contains the stencils and Search For Shapes box that makes it easy for you to find any shape you need for your drawing.
  • Drawing page The Visio drawing page resembles graph paper with a grid that helps you position shapes.
  • Rulers The horizontal and vertical rulers also help you position shapes and show you the size of the drawing page.
  • Menus and toolbars Above the drawing page are the Visio menus and the Standard and Formatting toolbars (shown by default), which contain the most commonly used tools for creating, modifying, and formatting text, shapes, and diagrams.
  • Toolbar drop-down lists Many of the buttons on these toolbars have drop-down lists that include options or other tools you can select. To view the list for a specific button, click the down arrow on the button. If you are not familiar with a toolbar button, you can pause the pointer over it to display a ScreenTip that tells you which tool or command the button represents.
  • Shortcut menu Visio also includes easy access to frequently used commands on a shortcut menu that appears when you right-click an item. For example, right-click the drawing page, the toolbar area, a page tab, or a shape to view its shortcut menu.
  • Page tabs Below the drawing page, page tabs help you move between pages in multiple-page drawings, and the status bar displays information about shapes that are selected on the drawing page.
  • Task pane To the right of the drawing page, you can display task panes from which you can quickly access task-specific and diagram-specific information.
  • Pasteboard The light-blue area surrounding the drawing page is the pasteboard, which you can use as a temporary holding area for shapes and other drawing elements. Shapes on the pasteboard aren't printed.

When you start a diagram, Visio displays the entire drawing page. As you add shapes to the diagram, you can zoom in to an area for a closer view of that area or zoom out for a broader view of the diagram. Visio includes several ways to zoom in and out, including a toolbar button and keyboard shortcuts. One method isn't necessarily better than anotheryou can use the one that works best for you. However, when you zoom in using keyboard shortcuts, you can draw a selection net around the shapes or area that you want to zoom in on or out of, which gives you greater zooming control.

You can also pan large diagrams, which means that you can "grab" the drawing page with the pointer and move the page to see another area of it. Zooming and panning help you move quickly around the drawing page so that you can work efficiently in the Visio environment.

When it's time to print your diagram, you can preview it first to see how it will look when you print it by using the Print Preview command on the File menu. Then, you can print the page shown in the drawing window by clicking the Print Page button on the Standard toolbar. For more printing options, such as printing all of the pages in a diagram or multiple copies of a diagram, you can use the Print command on the File menu.

Finally, saving a Visio diagram is just as easy as saving a file in any other program. Just click the Save button on the Standard toolbar or click Save on the File menu. The first time you save a diagram, the Save As dialog box appears so that you can name the file and choose the location where you want to save it. By default, the diagram is saved as a Visio drawing file with a .vsd file extension.

In this exercise, you explore the fundamental parts of the Visio drawing window. You display stencils in the Shapes window, zoom and pan the drawing page, add a drawing page, view a task pane, and then preview, print, and save your drawing.


Start Visio. In the Getting Started window, on the Template Categories list, click General.


Under All Templates, double-click Block Diagram.

Visio opens a blank drawing page and four stencils.


In the Shapes window, click the title bar of the Blocks Raised stencil.

The Blocks Raised stencil is displayed on top of the other stencils, and the Blocks stencil is minimized at the bottom of the Shapes window.


When you click Blocks Raised, if Visio displays a stencil menu, you clicked the green icon on the stencil's title bar by mistake. Click the stencil name directly to display the stencil. You'll learn more about the stencil menu later in this chapter and in Chapter 12, "Creating Shapes, Stencils, and Templates."


Click the title bar of the Blocks stencil to display the Blocks stencil.


Drag the scroll bar on the Blocks stencil down to see all of the stencil's shapes.


Your monitor's resolution and the size of your Visio window determine whether a scroll bar appears on the Blocks stencil. Because of these factors, your screen might not exactly match the images in this book. If you don't see a scroll bar on the stencil, all of the shapes are already visible.


Scroll up to the top of the Blocks stencil.


From the Blocks stencil, drag the Box shape anywhere on the drawing page. As you drag, watch the status bar at the bottom of the Visio window.

Visio determines the shape's position on the drawing page by using the horizontal and vertical rulers and displays the position in the status bar. Also, notice that the Box shape snaps to the grid as you move it around the drawing page.


Release the mouse button when you've positioned the Box shape where you want it.

The shape remains selected, and the status bar displays its width, height, and angle of rotation.


When you pause the pointer over some shapes on the drawing page, Visio displays blue arrows around the shape. These arrows are used to connect the shape to other shapes. You'll learn more about connecting shapes later in Chapter 4, "Connecting Shapes."


Right-click the Box shape to see its shortcut menu, which gives you quick access to frequently used commands.


On the Standard toolbar, click the Zoom down arrow to display a list of magnification levels, and then click 100%.


Visio zooms in to 100 percent.


All Visio toolbar buttons, window buttons, shapes, and even rulers have ScreenTips that explain what you can do with them. If you don't know how to use one of these elements, just pause the pointer over it to view a ScreenTip.


Hold down while you right-click once on the drawing page.

Visio zooms out, and the Zoom box displays the current zoom percentage.


Hold down while you left-click once to zoom in to 100 percent again.


When you press , the pointer changes to a magnifying glass icon to indicate that left-clicking will zoom in and right-clicking will zoom out.


Hold down while you drag a selection net around the Box shape on the drawing page, and then release the mouse button.

Visio zooms in to the area you selected.


Press to zoom out to the whole-page view.


Hold down while you drag up or down with the right mouse button. The pointer changes to a hand icon as Visio pans, or moves, the drawing page.


Press to zoom out to the whole-page view.


Right-click the Page-1 page tab at the bottom of the drawing window.

Visio displays a shortcut menu for the page tab.


On the shortcut menu, click Insert Page.

The Page Setup dialog box appears.


You can change the size of a drawing page and choose the size of your printer paper in the Page Setup dialog box. The Page Setup dialog box includes a preview area that displays the effect of various page settings. Use the preview area in the Page Setup dialog box to verify that the printer paper setting and drawing page match in size and orientation. You can also open the Page Setup dialog box by clicking Page Setup on the File menu.


In the Page Setup dialog box, click OK to add a new drawing page to the diagram that uses the default name, Page-2.


Click the Page-1 page tab to go back to the first page of the diagram.


You can easily rename pages in your diagrams. First, double-click the page tab for the page you want to rename. Or, right-click the page tab, and then click Rename Page. Both actions select the page name. Then, simply type the new page name to replace the old one.


On the View menu, click Task Pane to open a task pane.

The Theme - Colors task pane appears to the right of the drawing page. You can use this task pane to change the appearance of your entire document in one click.


In the Theme - Colors task pane, pause the pointer over the thumbnail right below the None thumbnail.

A ScreenTip appears that contains the name of the themeOffice.


Click the Office theme.

The color of the box on the drawing page changes to match the new color theme. If your diagram included other shapes, their colors would also change.


Click the task pane title bar to see other available task panes.

The task pane currently shown is checked.


On the View menu, click Task Pane to close the task pane.


On the File menu, click Print Preview.

The Print Preview window opens, displays the Print Preview toolbar, and shows the way your drawing will print.


You can't modify any of the shapes in the drawing in the Print Preview window. If you want to reposition shapes, on the Print Preview toolbar, click Close to return to the Visio drawing window. However, you can change page settings in the Print Preview window by clicking Setup on the Print Preview toolbar.


On the Print Preview toolbar, click Close.


The Print Preview window closes and Visio returns to the drawing window.


You can print drawings directly from the Print Preview window by clicking the Print button on the Print Preview toolbar. You can also print by clicking Print on the File menu or the Print button on the Standard toolbar. If you want to print only the page currently shown in the drawing window, you can click the Print Page button on the Standard toolbar.



On the File menu, click Save.

The Save As dialog box appears because this is the first time you've saved the drawing.


You can also add file properties to your drawing, such as title, author, company, and so on. On the File menu, click Properties, enter the information you want, and then click OK.


In the File name box, type BasicSave, and then click Save.

By default, Visio saves the drawing as a Visio drawing file with a .vsd file extension.


If you want to use a Visio diagram in another program or as an image on the Web, you can save the diagram in the appropriate file format. In the Save As dialog box, in the Save As Type box, scroll the file list to see the available file formats, such as JPEG File Interchange Format (*.jpg). You can also save a Visio 2007 diagram in the Visio 2003 file format so that people with Visio 2003 can work with the diagram.


On the File menu, click Exit.

Visio and the BasicSave diagram closes.

Fixing Page Orientation Problems

The most common problem that people encounter when printing Visio diagrams is a drawing page that is oriented differently than the printer setting. For example, if the drawing page is wider than it is tall (landscape orientation), but the printer is set to print in portrait orientation (taller than wide), Visio displays a message box that says one or more drawing pages is oriented differently than the printer setting. To correct this problem, click the Page Setup command on the File menu, and then do one of the following:

  • Change the drawing page to match the printer's settings. Click the Page Size tab, and then select the Same As Printer Paper Size option.
  • Change the printer's settings to match your diagram. Click the Print Setup tab, and then in the Printer Paper area, select the option that matches the preview of the drawing page shown in the preview area of the dialog box.

Quick Reference

Getting Started with Visio 2007

Adding Shapes to Diagrams

Formatting Shapes and Diagrams

Connecting Shapes

Creating Project Schedules

Creating Organization Charts

Laying Out Office Spaces

Creating Network Diagrams


About the Authors

Choose the Right Book for You

Microsoft Office Visio 2007 Step by Step
Microsoft Office Visio 2007 Step by Step (Step By Step (Microsoft))
ISBN: 0735623570
EAN: 2147483647
Year: N/A
Pages: 81 © 2008-2020.
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