I pay abnormally close attention to pixels and so it was with great pleasure this week that I discovered that Visio 2010 addressed a long-standing visual visual quality issue.

HOW VISIO 2007 EXHIBITED THIS PROBLEM

First, I let’s take a look at the Situation in Visio 2007

Start with an ellipse – any shape could be used but it’s most obvious with a curved shape.

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Take a good look at the edges …

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Do you see how the edge is nice and smooth?

Now fill it with color.

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The edge is nice and smooth.

If we remove the line …

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the edge is still smooth

Now grade a 2-color gradient fill (Here is how to do this in a previous blog post)

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Not so nice.

As you know, I love gradient fills – especially with multiple transparencies. So this was always a sore point when I used Visio 2007.

The best I could ever manage was to work-around the problem by picking an border color.

As you see if you pick set a border, the edge will be smooth again.

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My work-around was to set the border to some “nice” value that made the less visible to the eye. In this case, I might have picked a simple gray color.

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As you can see adding a border minimized the effect.

If you compare the black border to the gray one in the example below, you can see that one can approximate the look of a smooth edge with no border for a gradient fill in Visio 2007

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However, it is difficult time find such a color in many cases – especially you have many overlapping shapes or transparencies.

 

VISIO 2010 FIXED THIS PROBLEM

Visio 2010 addresses the problem.

Here’s the a similar gradient fill in Visio 2010

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As you can see the edge is smooth – despite the fact it is a gradient fill with no border.

ANOTHER EXAMPLE IN VISIO 2007

Here is a more complex use of gradient fills and transparencies in Visio 2007

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Let’s zoom in …

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AND HOW IT APPEARS IN VISIO 2010

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And zoomed in …

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Much better!

 

PARTING THOUGHTS

  • Again, it is very good to see that this has improved – a lot of the diagrams I build make use of gradient fills so this is has a big impact for me.