Visio 2013 Absolute Beginner's Guide

Visio 2013 Absolute Beginner's Guide

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Make the most of Visio 2013-without becoming a technical expert! This book is the fastest way to master Visio and use it to build powerful, useful diagrams, org charts, and flowcharts of all kinds! Even if you've never used Visio before, you'll learn how to do what you want, one incredibly clear and easy step at a time. Visio has never, ever been this simple!

Who knew how simple Visio 2013 could be?

This is the easiest, most practical beginner's guide to using Microsoft Visio 2013...simple, reliable instructions for doing everything you really want to do! Here's a small sample of what you'll learn:

Master new tools for creating intuitive, visually appealing diagrams
Learn high-efficiency touch features for Windows 8 and tablets
Create business and engineering diagrams, flowcharts, maps, floor plans, network diagrams, schedules, and more
Instantly set or change diagram designs with enhanced templates and themes
Simplify diagramming with built-in shapes and stencils-or create your own
Craft more sophisticated diagrams with containers, callouts, screentips, and layers
Import external images, from SVG graphics to AutoCAD drawings
Visually present Excel spreadsheet data in Visio drawings
Dynamically update diagrams with real-time data to support better decision-making
Share diagrams to improve team collaboration
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Product details

  • Paperback | 400 pages
  • 182 x 231 x 21mm | 624g
  • Que Corporation,U.S.
  • United States
  • English
  • 0789750872
  • 9780789750877
  • 814,182

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Table of contents


What This Book Covers 2

How This Book Is Organized 3

Conventions Used in This Book 3

Working with Visio Tools and Menus 4

Using Screen Illustrations 4

Web Addresses 4

Special Elements to Watch For 5

Part I Visio 2013 Basics 7

1 Getting to Know Visio 2013 9

What Is Visio? 10

Create a Basic Flowchart 10

What Else Can I Make? 13

Which Edition Should I Use? 16

What Is New in the 2013 Editions? 17

Improved Touch Support 18

Streamlined Layout 18

The New VSDX File Format 20

2 Finding Your Way Around the Interface 21

The Ribbon 22

Embrace the Tab 22

Contextual Tabs 23

Template Tabs 24

Customizing the Ribbon 24

Where Did That Command Go? 29

Important Features of the Visio Application 30

The Quick Access Toolbar 30

Context Menus 31

The Backstage 31

The Status Bar 33

A Look at the Drawing Window 33

Task Panes 34

Rulers and Grids 34

Manipulating Shapes 34

1D Shape Handles 35

2D Shape Handles 36

Vertex Handles 36

Eccentricity Handles 37

Get Around Using Your Keyboard 38

3 Working with Basic Diagrams 41

Making Diagrams 42

What Is a Template? 42

Working Without a Template 46

Clone Your Drawing 47

Find Online Templates and Samples 49

Save Your Diagram 49

Save As 49

AutoSave 51

Working with Drawing Windows 53

Task Panes 53

Switching Between Windows 55

Working with Full Screen Windows 57

4 Taking Control of Your Diagrams 61

Working with Pages 62

Adding Pages 62

Inserting Pages 63

Using Background Pages 64

Rename Pages 66

Reorganizing Pages 66

Customizing Pages 67

Scaling Your Page 71

Working with Themes 72

The Theme Gallery 73

Changing Themes on-the-Fly 76

Working with Color 77

5 Working with Shapes 81

Find the Right Shape 82

Selecting Available Shapes 82

Frequently Used Shapes 83

Changing Shapes 87

Saving Favorites 89

Understanding Stencils 90

What Is a Master? 90

Creating Personalized Stencils 91

Edit Stencil Sets 93

Searching for Shapes 96

6 Manage Shapes 101

Using Groups to Organize Shapes 102

When to Use Groups 102

When It Is Better to Avoid Groups 107

Editing Groups 107

Arranging Shapes 108

Using the Dynamic Grid 108

Straighten Up Shapes with Auto Align 109

Using Position to Arrange the Diagram 111

Old-School Grid, Ruler, and Guides 115

When Overlaps Occur 117

Using Layout to Organize Shapes 118

Part II Customizing 121

7 Connecting Shapes 123

What Are Connectors? 124

How to Connect Shapes 124

Understanding Connectors 129

Connecting Shapes Versus Points 129

What Happens to Connections 132

...When I Drag a Shape? 132

...When I Split a Connector? 132

...When I Delete a Shape? 133

Modifying Connectors 134

Formatting 135

Routing Styles 136

Using Line Jumps 136

Manual Override 138

Working with Connector Points 140

Adding or Removing Connection Points 140

8 Making Advanced Diagrams 143

Organizing Diagrams 144

Containers 144

Lists 148

Callouts 151

ScreenTips 155

Using Headers and Footers 157

Working with Text 159

Creating Text Boxes 160

Using Text Fields 160

Layers 163

Creating Layers 163

When to Add Layers 165

9 Shapes: Customizing 167

Duplicating Shapes 168

Making Several Copies 168

Resizing Shapes 170

Rotating Shapes 171

How to Format a Shape 172

Modifying Common Format Attributes 173

Modifying Less Common Attributes 174

Using Format with Groups 175

Changing Text 176

Editing and Formatting Text 176

Modifying Text Blocks 179

10 Shapes: More Than Meets the Eye 185

Understanding Special SmartShape Features 186

What Is Shape Data? 186

Right-Click Menus 186

Control Handles 187

Hyperlinks 188

Smart Tags 188

Import External Images 189

What You Can Do with Images 190

Resizing Images 192

Working with Clip Art 193

Using Excel Charts 194

Importing Scalable Vector Graphics 196

Importing AutoCAD Drawings 197

Adding Content to AutoCAD Drawings 200

11 Printing Visio Diagrams 203

Just the Basics 204

Print from the Backstage 204

The Print Preview Pane 208

Test Your Print Job 210

Controlling the Space Around the Print Job 211

Headers and Footers 211

Margins 213

Selecting What You Will Print 214

Printing Just a Portion of a Diagram 215

Selecting Specific Pages in Visio 216

Background Page Printing (or Not) 217

Selecting Shapes to Print 219

Printing by Layer 219

Gridlines 221

Get High-Quality Print Jobs 221

Color Printing 223

Part III Advanced 225

12 Sharing Visio Diagrams 227

Share Drawings Using Email 228

Visio Viewer 229

SkyDrive 230

Social Networks 232

Creating a Web Page from Your Diagram 234

Saving to Other File Formats from Visio 235

Creating PDF and XPS Files 236

XML Formatted Drawings 237

Older Visio Formats 237

Getting Visio Drawings into Other Applications 238

Office Applications 238

Other Applications 240

Exporting Drawings to Image Formats 240

13 Unique Needs: Touchscreens, Custom Templates, and

Complex Printing Concerns 245

Touchscreens 246

Switching Between Touch Mode and Mouse Mode 246

Working with Shapes 247

General Touch Controls 248

The Touch Keyboard 251

Creating Your Very Own Template 252

A Look at Complex and Multipage Print Jobs 256

Printing Tiled Drawings 256

Using Page Scale 258

Using Avoid Page Breaks 260

Printing Mixed Orientation Drawings 260

Combine Drawings into a Single Sheet 262

14 Using Data 265

What Can I Do with Shape Data? 266

Exploring 266

Types and Uses 268

Creating Shape Data Fields 269

Add a Simple Data Field 270

Adding Lists and Format 274

Saving a Set of Shape Data Fields 276

Displaying Text in Shape Data Fields 278

Creating Reports 279

Using the Report Definition Wizard 279

Generating Reports 283

Adding Totals and Subtotals 285

15 Working with External Data and Data Graphics 287

Linking Shapes to External Data 288

Look at Your External Data First 288

Using Link Data to Shapes 289

What Are Data Graphics? 296

How to Create a Data Graphic 296

Customizing Data Graphics 299

16 Additional Visio Resources 303

Visio Viewer 304

Resources and Tools 304

Visio Help 305

The Official Visio Blog 306 307

Additional Reading 310

Websites Worth Checking Out 311

17 Collaborating with Visio 315

SharePoint 316

Saving and Editing in SharePoint 317

Co-Authoring 320

Markup and Review in Visio 323

Adding Comments 323

Using Ink 326

Using Track Markup 329

Don't Share Too Much 331

What Is Removed 334

What Is Not Removed 335

18 Tips for Flowcharts, Process, and Block Diagrams 337

Process and Flow Chart Diagrams 338

Auto Resize and Flowchart Shapes 338

Decision Shapes 339

Using Subprocesses 340

Swimlanes and Phases in Cross-Functional Flowcharts 342

Validating Your Diagram 345

Business Process Diagrams (BPMN 2.0) and SharePoint Workflows 346

BPMN Diagrams 346

SharePoint Workflows 347

Block Diagram Tips 348

Blend Block Shapes 348

3D Perspective Block Diagrams 349

19 Tips for Working with Other Diagram Types 353

Working with Network Diagrams 354

Logical Diagrams 354

Rack Diagrams 355

Timeline Tips 357

Org Chart Tips 359

Create Org Charts Manually 361

Using the Organization Chart Wizard 363

Office and Space Plans 365

Creating Plans Using Shapes 366

Space Shapes 367

Working with Dimension Lines 368

Index 371
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About Chris Roth

Alan Wright has worked professionally in and around IT for nearly 10 years. He

has provided enterprise-level support in the Detroit, Michigan, area and continues

to provide software and hardware support for small business and residential users.

He holds several certifications from CompTIA and Microsoft and enjoys working

with technology and teaching others how they can make technology work for


Alan has been the technical editor on other books from Que Publishing, including

Using Windows 8 and Microsoft Project 2013 In Depth. When not working

with computers, he enjoys working on projects in his cabinet shop. Alan lives

in northern Michigan with his wife, Pam, and their two children, Joshua and


Chris Roth has always enjoyed creating pictures of any kind and absolutely enjoys

the combination of computer technology with graphics. He has been working

with Visio since The Beginning in 1992, when he was part of the Visio 1.0 team at

then-extant Visio Corporation. Since then, he's continuously been busy helping

customers incorporate diagrams, drawings, and visualizations into their daily business

and to develop custom graphical solutions based on Visio.

A Microsoft Visio MVP since 2002, he has presented sessions at several Visio conferences

and has written more than 250 articles about Visio for his "Visio Guy"

website (, which he launched in 2006.

Originally from Seattle, he currently lives with his wife and baby daughter in

Munich, Germany. Away from family, laptop, and relaxing Bavarian beer gardens,

he plays trombone with the TT Orchestra and the wind ensemble Pullacher

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