Laying Out Shapes on the Page


To move a shape, drag it. When you point to a shape with the Pointer tool, the pointer changes to a four-headed arrow, as Figure 2-6 shows, indicating that you can drag the shape. If you're working in a connected diagram, such as a flowchart or network diagram, you have to be a little more careful about dragging shapes. Depending on the type of shape, you'll see different results:

  • If you move a 2-D shape that's connected to other shapes, the shape and everything glued to it are repositioned.

  • If you move a connector that's glued to other shapes, you'll disconnect the shapes.

image from book
Figure 2-6: When you point to a shape, the pointer displays a four-headed arrow, indicating that you can drag the shape.

For some diagram types, it's helpful to know where each shape is located with respect to the entire page. You can see this level of detail in the Size & Position window, as Figure 2-7 shows. To display this window, choose View, Size & Position Window. Use the boxes in this window to view a shape's exact dimensions and position and enter new values as well. The options in this window vary depending on whether you select a 1-D or 2-D shape.

image from book
Figure 2-7: For a selected shape, the Size & Position window indicates its exact size (width and height), position (x and y), and angle on the page.

 Cross-Reference  For details about using the Size & Position window, see the section titled "Positioning Shapes Precisely" in Chapter 16.

Moving Shapes

To help you arrange shapes on the drawing page, Visio 2007 includes many layout and alignment tools. In general, only a few prove useful for a given diagram type, which is why there are so many. If you're laying out walls in an office plan, for example, you need different tools than if you're arranging workstation shapes in a network diagram. Table 2-1 summarizes the options.

Table 2-1: Layout and Alignment Tools
Open table as spreadsheet

Option

What It Is

What It Applies To

Guides

A nonprinting reference line that you drag from a ruler into the drawing window to help position shapes precisely. Click on a ruler and drag onto the drawing page to position a new guide.

Any diagram or drawing

Rulers

The horizontal and vertical rulers around the drawing page. As you move a shape, the shape's position is shown on the rulers, which reflect the drawing's units of measure. If you don't see the rulers, make sure Rulers is checked on the View menu.

Any diagram or drawing, but especially to-scale drawings

Dynamic grid

Reference lines that appear when you drag a shape near another shape to show you perfect alignment. To display, choose Tools, Snap & Glue. On the General tab, check the Dynamic Grid option, and then click OK.

Any diagram or drawing

Drawing aids

More advanced versions of the dynamic grid that display geometric reference lines. To display, choose Tools, Snap & Glue. On the General tab, check the Drawing Aids option; on the Advanced tab, select the aids you want (in the Shape Extension Options window), and then click OK.

Technical drawings

Lay Out Shapes command

Automatically arranges shapes and routes connectors between them. Choose Shape, Lay Out Shapes to see options.

Conceptual diagrams that are connected, such as flowcharts, organization charts, and network diagrams

Inside Out 

Move a shape without resizing it

To drag a shape without stretching a side accidentally, make sure that the shape is not selected and then point to the middle of the shape. When you see the four-pronged cursor, drag the shape. To find the middle of a very small shape, zoom in first (press Shift+Ctrl and click the left mouse button).

Selecting Multiple Shapes

When you want to move an entire row of shapes or apply the same color to several shapes, you can use one of several multiple-selection techniques. The technique you choose depends on whether the shapes you want to select are side by side or scattered across the drawing page. To select several shapes at once, you can use any of the following methods:

  • Shift+click Select the first shape, hold down the Shift key, and then click to select other shapes one at a time. Visio 2007 draws a box around the group of selected shapes, and each shape is outlined in magenta. You can also select multiple shapes by dropping the menu below the Pointer tool on the Standard toolbar by clicking the small arrow to the right of the Pointer tool, choosing the Multiple Select tool, and clicking on each shape that you wish to select.

  • Drag Click the Pointer tool on the Standard toolbar and then drag a rectangle that encloses all of the shapes that you want to select. (This may act differently if you have changed the default settings.)

  • Select All Choose Edit, Select All to select all the shapes on the page.

  • Select By Type Choose Edit, Select By Type, and then check the type of object that you want to select, such as shapes, groups, or guides.

  • Keyboard Shortcut Press Ctrl+A to select every shape in the drawing.

  • Lasso Tool Activate the drop-down menu below the Pointer tool by clicking the small arrow to the right of the Pointer tool, and select the Lasso tool. Draw the lasso around the area that you wish to select.

To cancel the selection for a shape in a multiple selection, Shift+click the selected shape.

Inside Out 

Selecting multiple shapes

If you frequently drag a rectangle around shapes to select several at once, you can widen the selection rectangle so that shapes partially within the rectangle are also selected. To do this, choose Tools, Options. On the General tab, click the Select Shapes Partially Within Area check box.

Troubleshooting 

A shape cannot be selected

If you cannot select a shape, the problem could be that what appears to be a shape is really a group, or the shape could in fact be protected against selection. Sometimes both factors come into play, when a protected shape is part of a group. It's a tricky way for shape designers to prevent you from making changes to a shape when the change could affect how the shape works. Try this: Open the Drawing Explorer window by selecting View, Drawing Explorer. Right click on the drawing name in the Drawing Explorer, and select Protect Document. Uncheck Shapes if it is checked. If that's not the problem, perhaps your shape is a group. Select the group and then choose Format, Special. If the Type field says Group, you've got a group. Click Cancel to close the Special dialog box. Usually, if you click a group once, you select the group. If you click a second time (do not double-click), the shape that's beneath the pointer in the group is selected. Alternatively, you may also edit a group by clicking Edit, Open {Group Name}.

 Cross-Reference  For details about groups, see the section titled "Working with Groups" in Chapter 22, "Drawing and Editing to Create New Shapes."

Using Stacking Order

Shapes have a stacking order on the page that determines which shape appears to be in front, as Figure 2-8 shows. The first shape you draw or drop on the page is at the back of the stack; the most recently created shape is at the front. Stacking order makes a difference when you align and distribute shapes and perform some other tasks. For example, Visio 2007 aligns multiple shapes to the top shape. To change a shape's stacking order, choose Shape, Order, and then click the order command you want. Table 2-2 describes the Order commands.

Table 2-2: Changing a Shape's Stacking Order
Open table as spreadsheet

Order Command

Effect

Bring to Front

Moves a selected shape in front of all others on the page

Send to Back

Moves a selected shape behind all others on the page

Bring Forward

Moves a selected shape one step closer to the front of the stacking order

Send Backward

Moves a selected shape one step back in the stacking order

image from book
Figure 2-8: Stacking order determines how shapes overlap. To change a shape's order, select it, and then use the Order commands on the Shape menu.

 Cross-Reference  For details about the Align Shapes and Distribute Shapes commands, see "Aligning Shapes to Each Other," Chapter 16.

Flipping and Rotating Shapes

You can move a shape by rotating it, flipping it across a vertical or horizontal axis, or reversing its ends, as Table 2-3 shows.

Table 2-3: Moving a Selected Shape
Open table as spreadsheet

Task

Technique

Rotate shape 90° to the left (counterclockwise)

Press Ctrl+L

Rotate shape 90° to the right (clockwise)

Press Ctrl+R

Flip shape vertically

Press Ctrl+J

Flip shape horizontally

Press Ctrl+H

Flip a line shape to reverse its ends

Choose Shape, Operations, Reverse Ends

Inside Out 

Nudging a shape

To move a shape a very small amount, you can nudge it. Nudging moves a shape one pixel-which might be the very increment you need to straighten out a bent line or get two shapes to align perfectly. To nudge a shape, select the shape, and then press the Up, Down, Left, or Right Arrow key.

Grouping Shapes

Consider grouping shapes that you regularly use together. A group can be formatted, moved, and sized as a single shape, but you can also format and edit the shapes in a group individually. You can group any shapes on the same drawing page regardless of their distance from each other. To create a group, select the shapes you want and then either press Shift+Ctrl+G or choose Shape, Grouping, Group.

When you want to work with the shapes individually, you can subselect them. Special selection handles appear around the shape, as Figure 2-9 shows. In general, when you click a group, you select the group. When you click a second time, the shape under the pointer is subselected. Then you can move and format the individual shape without breaking the group. If you do want to break the group association, you can ungroup it: select the group and then either press Shift+Ctrl+U or choose Shape, Grouping, Ungroup.

image from book
Figure 2-9: When you subselect a shape in a group, Visio 2007 displays special selection handles.

Troubleshooting 

Subselecting a shape in a group causes gray box handles to appear

If gray boxes appear around a shape you subselect, it means that the shape is locked against sizing or rotating. However, you might still be able to apply other formats to the shape, such as fill color. If you still can't edit the shape as desired, you have options. For details about editing locked groups, see the section titled "Editing Locked Groups" in Chapter 22.

Many Visio master shapes are groups, which can be a little deceiving. Perhaps you try to apply fill color to a shape and nothing happens. Is that shape really a group? There is a way to find out. Select a shape, and then choose Format, Special. If the Special dialog box displays Type: Group, you're working with a group. That means you have access to some unique methods for controlling the shapes within the group.

 Cross-Reference  For details about creating and editing groups, see the section titled "Working with Groups" in Chapter 22.

Editing Multiple Shapes at Once

Visio 2007 includes a back door for editing all the shapes in a drawing file that are based on the same master shape. You can make sweeping changes to your diagram by editing just one shape on the document stencil, a window on your drawing that contains a copy of each master used on the drawing page. For example, you can change the look of every Manager shape in an organization chart by editing the Manager master shape on the document stencil. To see the document stencil in your drawing, choose File, Shapes, Show Document Stencil.

When you edit a master on the document stencil, every copy of that master in your diagram inherits the changes. So, for example, if you change the line style of the Manager master on the document stencil of an organization chart drawing, every copy (or instance) of the Manager shape in your organization chart will be updated with the same line style.

Visio 2007 displays the document stencil on top of other open stencil windows, as Figure 2-10 shows. To edit a master shape in the document stencil, right-click the master shape, and then click Edit Master, Edit Master Shape. Visio 2007 opens a drawing page window for the master shape, where you can make the changes you want as you would to any shape. When you're done, click the Close Window button on the master drawing page window, and when prompted to update the master, click Yes. You can also right-click on the master shape, choose Edit Master, and choose to edit either the master shape icon or the master shape properties.

image from book
Figure 2-10: Every drawing includes a document stencil that contains a copy of the shapes used in that drawing.

 Cross-Reference  For details about the document stencil and its relationship to the Visio file format, see the section titled "Mastering Visio 2007 Documents" in Chapter 21, "Customizing Shapes and Solutions."




Microsoft Office Visio 2007 Inside Out
Microsoft Office Visio 2007 Inside Out
ISBN: 0735623295
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 82

Similar book on Amazon
Visio 2007 Bible
Visio 2007 Bible
Microsoft  Office Visio  2007 Step by Step (Step By Step (Microsoft))
Microsoft Office Visio 2007 Step by Step (Step By Step (Microsoft))
Special Edition Using Microsoft  Office Visio 2007
Special Edition Using Microsoft Office Visio 2007
Microsoft Visio 2010 Step by Step: The smart way to learn Microsoft Visio 2010-one step at a time! (Step by Step (Microsoft))
Microsoft Visio 2010 Step by Step: The smart way to learn Microsoft Visio 2010-one step at a time! (Step by Step (Microsoft))

flylib.com © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: flylib@qtcs.net