In Visio 2007, you can open diagrams, stencils, templates, and workspace files. Each is represented by a different file extension. (You can see file extensions by clicking the Organize button when viewing a folder in Vista. Then click on Folder And Search Options. Under the View tab, turn off the Hide Extensions For Known File Types checkbox.) The file extensions represent these file types:
.vsd is a Visio drawing file.
.vss is a Visio stencil file.
.vst is a Visio template file.
.vsw is a Visio workspace file.
Most of the time, you use the Open command or toolbar button to open a drawing (.vsd) file. This section focuses on different ways to open diagrams.
Cross-Reference For details about opening and saving Visio 2007 files in XML format, see the section titled "Visio 2007 and XML File Formats" in Chapter 21, "Customizing Shapes and Solutions."
Visio 2007 includes the same Open dialog box as other Microsoft Office 2007 applications (see Figure 1-17), so with the Favorite Links bar of shortcuts, you can quickly locate frequently used folders and documents.
Figure 1-17: Visio 2007 includes the same Open dialog box as other Microsoft Office 2007 programs.
To open an existing drawing file, follow these steps:
Click the Open button on the Standard toolbar to display the Open dialog box. You can instead choose File, Open, or press Ctrl+O.
In the Look In list, open the folder that contains the file or files you want to open. Visio 2007 displays the folders contents.
Click a file to select it. To open more than one drawing file, hold down Ctrl and click the files you want.
The quick way to find a diagram you worked on recently is to look on the File menu, which lists the most recently opened diagrams at the bottom of the menu. Click the file name to open the diagram. You can also use the Getting Started pane to locate recently opened templates. This is a good technique to use when you're starting Visio 2007, because the Getting Started pane appears with a Recent Templates section. If you're working in Visio 2007 and want to display it, choose File, New, Getting Started. In the Getting Started pane, you'll see the templates you've used under the Recent Templates heading.
Besides drawing files, Visio 2007 can open stencils, templates, workspaces, and files in other formats as well. Choose File, Open. The key is to use the Files Of Type drop-down list that appears at the bottom of the Open dialog box. Click the drop-down arrow to display a list of the types of files that Visio 2007 can open. Select a file format. Then, in the Look In list, open the folder that contains the file you want to open. Only the files of the type you selected are displayed, making it easy to locate and select the one you want. Then click Open.
You can open a new Visio 2007 drawing file that's not based on a template. Visio 2007 creates a new diagram with a blank drawing page and the default page settings for unscaled drawings. It's like starting with a fresh slate. No stencils are opened, but you can add them later. To do this, click Ctrl+N, or choose File, New, New Drawing.
When you want to work with more shapes, you can open additional stencils. There's a practical limit to the number of stencils you can open, although it depends on your screen resolution. The screen can become pretty crowded with more than about seven stencils, and it gets a little tougher to find the particular shape you want. However, you can open as many stencils as you need. The easiest way is to use the Shapes button on the Standard toolbar. If you click the Shapes button, a menu of solutions appears, and you can point to a type to display its stencils, as Figure 1-18 shows.
Figure 1-18: The quickest way to open another stencil is with the Shapes button on the Standard toolbar.
If you prefer working with menus, choose File, Shapes, Open Stencil to display the Open Stencil dialog box, where you can locate any stencil, including ones you have created.
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Saving your stencils
If you create your own stencils, they will appear on Visio 2007's stencil lists in the Open Stencil button and dialog box if you save them in the right folder. Visio 2007 automatically looks for stencil (.vss) files in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\1033 folder.
Cross-Reference For details about creating stencils, see the section titled "Saving Customized Shapes as Masters" in Chapter 21, "Customizing Shapes and Solutions." For details about opening stencils for editing, see the section titled "Opening Stencil (.vss) Files" in Chapter 21.
You can open files created in any previous version of Microsoft Visio Standard, Visio Professional, Visio Technical, or Visio Enterprise, including Visio 1, 2, 3, 4.x, 5.x, 2000, or 2002. To do this, choose File, Open, locate the drawing file you want to open, and then click Open.
Another great feature is that any drawing file you create with Visio 2007 can be opened by other Visio users regardless of the version of Visio they have. They might not be able to see every drawing element, however. For example, Visio 5 and earlier versions do not include many of the windows on the View menu, such as the Pan & Zoom window.
If you use Windows Explorer to locate a Visio drawing (.vsd) file created in an older version of the product, you can double-click the file name. Visio 2007 automatically opens the old drawing.