Bill Morein's Weblog

Visio and Data Visualization.

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  • Blog Post: (Relatively) New blog with lots of great Visio content

    Somehow I had thought that I had already pointed people to Saveen Reddy's blog , but looking back through the archives I realized that I hadn't. Saveen doesn't work on the Visio team, but is a power user and knows a ton about visualization. I'm a huge fan of Python the programming language, and he...
  • Blog Post: Visio Conference 2008 - Agenda now posted

    We've posted the agenda for the upcoming Visio Conference . This conference will be expanded significantly from the last one, which was more focused on partners. This version will include a lot more end user content. One major note: we will be disclosing a lot of information about the next version...
  • Blog Post: Announcing (a bit belatedly) the Visio Conference 2008

    This has already been mentioned on some of the other Visio-related blogs, but I wanted to make sure that people are aware of the Visio Conference 2008 , taking place here in Redmond in February of next year. The last conference (held in February 2006) was a huge success, with some of the most favorable...
  • Blog Post: Visio Active Directory Topology Diagrammer

    One of the most common requests I get from IT users of Visio is for a way to draw out an Active Directory topology map. Visio has Active Directory shapes, but until now it didn't have the ability to actually go out and create a diagram from AD. We've put up a free download that does this -- the Microsoft...
  • Blog Post: Exchange Server 2007 Shapes

    A download is available on Microsoft.com containing a stencil and template for Exchange Server 2007 . If you do Exchange deployment or management this is worth grabbing. It works with Visio 2003 or 2007.
  • Blog Post: Upcoming webcast

    I'll be presenting a webcast on the Data Visualization features in Visio on Tuesday, August 7th. Here is a link to the details and registration information .
  • Blog Post: Security updates for Visio 2002 and Visio 2003

    If you haven't already, make sure that you update any copies of Visio 2002 or 2003 with the security updates that we released last month. If you use Microsoft Update or Office Update (highly recommended) then you will already be updated, but if not you can download the files directly from the following...
  • Blog Post: New book -- Visualizing Information with Visio 2007

    Somehow I missed the fact that Visualizing Information with Microsoft Office Visio 2007 , a new book by David Parker, has been published. I knew that the book was coming out, but somehow the actual release slipped by me. I've had a number of people ask about good books for learning about real world uses...
  • Blog Post: More about launching a Remote Desktop session from a hyperlink

    A few people have asked me if the remote desktop hyperlink creator is Visio-specific. The answer is no. It creates hyperlinks that can be used anywhere. If you publish your network diagrams using Visio's Save as Web feature it will work there too. Here's the original post explaining what it is.
  • Blog Post: (Relatively) New Visio Blog

    Our Visio MVPs are in town right now, and that reminded me that I've been remiss in mentioning Chris Roth's Visio Guy blog . Chris did a great presentation on XML at the Visio Conference last year , and has a wealth of other visio knowledge. Make sure to check it out, particularly if you are interested...
  • Blog Post: DXF, DWG & Visio

    Now that Visio 2007 is out the door (mostly -- the consumer launch is coming up soon) we are looking at future versions. Do you ever open, save or use AutoCAD files (DXF/DWG) with Visio? If so, the Visio product team would like to talk to you. Send me a note (use the contact form on the left side...
  • Blog Post: Meet a ShapeSheet Function: SETF

    With this post I'll start a new series designed to give a little more detail behind some of the more interesting ShapeSheet functions. As the documentation for SETF says , this function is designed to let you set the value for a specific cell in the ShapeSheet from any other cell. This is one of the...
  • Blog Post: Announcing the Visio Customer Council

    We're always looking for ways to better understand the needs and concerns of Visio customers. To that end, one of the tools we use is the Visio Customer Council. Council members are uniquely positioned to have their voices heard by the designers and developers of Visio. Members can provide feedback...
  • Blog Post: Visio at the Worldwide Partner Conference

    If you are at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference 2006 in Boston, make sure to head to the Data Visualization session since it will heavily feature Visio solutions. It is happening tomorrow afternoon at 4: IW008 Scale Up Your Business with Data Visualization Wednesday, July 12 4:00 PM...
  • Blog Post: Designing the floorplan of a personal 767

    I've been following this story with great interest since it first broke in the Wall Street Journal . While I don't currently have a 767, you can never be too prepared. With that in mind, I whipped together a Visio version of the airplane floorplan from the story using the default Home Plan stencil (the...
  • Blog Post: 10 Tips for Creating Great Process Flowcharts

    Here are some tips for building great flowcharts in Visio. The last three are specific to Visio 2007, but the rest are relevant to any version of Visio. Creating sub-processes and linked processes using hyperlinks. When you have a complex process or one that shares some sub-processes with other processes...
  • Blog Post: Allowing half “U” sizes in Rack Diagrams

    In this post , I discussed some general tips on how to work with shapes with intelligent behaviors. Today, I’ll walk through the specific example of the Rack Diagram shapes and how to allow non-integer numbers to be entered for the “U” values (e.g. 1.5 U) in the shapes. There are two parts to this...
  • Blog Post: Tricks for working with the built in Visio shapes

    Having shapes that work intelligently is one of the most powerful aspects of Visio. A lot of the built in templates take full advantage of that and react to changes that users make to shape data or by dragging the control handles without requiring code. Most of the time this is exactly what people want...
  • Blog Post: Announcing the Visio Insights Blog

    I’d like to let everyone know about the new Visio Insights blog , a joint blog written by the Visio team. The introductory post is up now and the posting schedule should be pretty regular. I’ll continue to post here but will also make some more general posts over there.
  • Blog Post: ShapeSheet tutorial, part 1

    For this post, I'll walk through the process of building up a shape from scratch and editing it using the ShapeSheet. The shape itself won't be too complex, but we'll cover a few of the interesting features of the ShapeSheet. To get started, create a new blank drawing (File>New>New Drawing)...
  • Blog Post: Introduction to the ShapeSheet

    The ShapeSheet is probably the most overlooked part of Visio. The amount of power that you can get by using the ShapeSheet without any programming is pretty amazing. The basic idea is that behind every shape in Visio there is a spreadsheet that defines the shape in terms of its appearance and many other...
  • Blog Post: Rate My Network Diagram

    In the post yesterday , I started to cover some analytic ways to think about building up data intensive diagrams. In future posts, I'll spend a little more time talking about how to use those tools for specific diagram types. Of course, another great way to build great diagrams is to learn from examples...
  • Blog Post: Visio 2003 Resource Kit for IT Professionals

    The first version of the Resource Kit for IT Professionals was a huge hit with customers, so a few months back an updated version was created. The new kit still includes the Altima shapes that were in the first version, but adds LANSurveyor from Neon Software (replacing the previous network mapping product...
  • Blog Post: Additional tricks for building UI mockups with Visio

    In this post , Mai-lan talks about how we use Visio to build mockups of the UI for new features. Of course, when you are building these types of mockups, it is usually important to show the flow through the feature. In other words, you create a number of screens and click through them (possibly using...
  • Blog Post: Save as Web and IE security

    The Visio "Save as Web Page" feature (updated in Visio 2003) is really great if you need to put your diagram on the web (File>Save as Web Page...). It goes way beyond just showing you a static image -- you can also pan and zoom, check out the custom properties behind a shape, search the document,...
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