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.
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.
Take a good look at the edges …
Do you see how the edge is nice and smooth?
Now fill it with color.
The edge is nice and smooth.
If we remove the line …
the edge is still smooth
Now grade a 2-color gradient fill (Here is how to do this in a previous blog post)
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.
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.
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
However, it is difficult time find such a color in many cases – especially you have many overlapping shapes or transparencies.
Visio 2010 addresses the problem.
Here’s the a similar gradient fill in Visio 2010
As you can see the edge is smooth – despite the fact it is a gradient fill with no border.
Here is a more complex use of gradient fills and transparencies in Visio 2007
Let’s zoom in …
And zoomed in …