Get started quickly after upgrading to Microsoft Office Visio 2007

Welcome to the latest version of Microsoft Office Visio!

If you are used to working with Visio 2003, you will discover several new features in Microsoft Office Visio 2007, and you will notice that some familiar features have been replaced or removed. To help you get your bearings quickly, this article covers the major improvements and changes. To learn more, see What's new in Microsoft Office Visio 2007.

What do you want to do?


Find the right template

The new Getting Started window in Office Visio 2007 makes it easy to find just the right template. Templates are now organized into simpler template categories. Large thumbnail previews and descriptions of each template now help you quickly identify the templates that are best for your diagrams. The most popular Visio templates within each category are now displayed at the top of each category view. Visio now includes a new shortcut for opening your most-recently used templates. And if you have Office Visio Professional 2007, you can now browse new sample diagrams and data sources to get ideas for creating your own data-driven diagrams.

To open a template, do one of the following:

  • Double-click the template preview.
  • Under the template description, click Create.

 Note   After you open a template, Office Visio 2007 closes the Getting Started window. To open it again, do one of the following:

  • On the File menu, point to New, and then click Getting Started.
  • On the Standard toolbar, click the arrow next to the New button, and then click Getting Started.

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Connect and add shapes quickly by using AutoConnect

The AutoConnect feature that is available in many Visio 2007 templates takes the work out of connecting shapes. This new feature automatically connects, evenly distributes, and accurately aligns shapes for you and requires only a couple of clicks. There are three ways to connect shapes with AutoConnect.

Connect shapes as you drag them onto the drawing page

  1. Rest the pointer over a shape on the drawing page.

Blue arrows appear around the shape.

  1. Drag another shape onto one of the blue connection arrows.

Visio automatically connects the two shapes, distributes them evenly, and aligns them for you.

Quickly add and connect shapes without dragging them

  1. Select a shape in the Shapes window.
  2. Rest the pointer over a shape on the drawing page, and then click the blue connection arrow on the side of the shape that you want to connect to.

Visio 2007 automatically adds and connects the shapes, distributes them evenly, and aligns them for you. In this way, you can quickly connect a whole series of shapes, such as those in a flowchart.

Connect shapes that are already on the drawing page

  • Click the blue connection arrow on one shape that is closest to the other shape that you want to connect it to.

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Connect diagrams to data (requires Office Visio Professional 2007)

Office Visio Professional 2007 makes it easier and faster to connect a data source to any diagram that is created by using any version of Visio.

First, you connect a diagram to one or more data sources, such as Microsoft Office Excel worksheets or Microsoft Office Access databases. Then, you associate data with the shapes in your diagram. A new Data menu and Data toolbar keep everything that you need within reach.

  1. Open the diagram to which you want to link data.
  2. On the Data menu, click Link Data to Shapes.
  3. Follow the steps in the Data Selector Wizard to connect the diagram to a data source.
  4. Link the data to shapes by using one of these methods:
    • To automatically link data to all the shapes in a diagram, on the Data menu, click Automatically Link. The Data Selector Wizard guides you through the task of connecting to Office Excel, Office Access, Microsoft SQL Server, and other commonly used external data sources. You can select custom data ranges, filter the data that you want to import, and even link diagrams to more than one data source.
    • To link rows of data to existing shapes one at a time, drag a row of data from the new External Data window onto a shape in your diagram to manually link the data to the shape. After you link the data to a shape, you can see the data in the Shape Data window (formerly called the Custom Properties window).
    • To automatically create shapes that are linked to rows of data, select a shape in the Shapes window, and then drag a row of data from the new External Data window onto the drawing page. Visio simultaneously adds the shape to the page and associates the data with the shape.

After you connect your data to your diagram, you can view the data by using the new External Data window.

Refresh the data in your diagram

You can use the Refresh Data feature to refresh all of the data in your diagram.

  1. On the Data menu, click Refresh Data.
  2. If data conflicts arise, resolve them by using the Refresh Conflicts task pane.

You can even schedule the refresh so that it happens automatically as often as you want it to.

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Display your data by using data graphics (requires Office Visio Professional 2007)

Integrating data into diagrams is only the first step in transforming your diagrams into powerful tracking tools. Now, with Office Visio Professional 2007, you can more easily display and customize the look of data in your diagrams to help get your message across.

  • In the new Data Graphics task pane, click the format that presents the data the way that you want it in your diagram.

If you don't see the Data Graphics task pane, on the Data menu, click Display Data on Shapes.

You can use progress bars for variable data, arrows for data that increases or decreases, and stars for ranked data. You don't need to format any of this yourself — Visio handles the formatting for you.

Also, data values can now control the color and appearance of a shape. You don't need to format them yourself, either. You need only specify the conditions under which the formatting appears.

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Explore complex information by creating PivotDiagrams (requires Office Visio Professional 2007)

Office Visio Professional 2007 provides a new type of diagram — the PivotDiagram. PivotDiagrams show data as a collection of shapes arranged in a tree-like structure that helps you to analyze and summarize the data in a visual, easy-to-understand format. Using PivotDiagrams, you can visually explore your business data, analyze it, drill down into it, and create multiple views of it to gain deeper insight into the information.

  1. Open the PivotDiagram template, and the Data Selector Wizard starts immediately.

The wizard guides you through each step of connecting the diagram to a data source and then creates what is called a pivot node that is linked to all of the data in the data source.

  1. Click the top node on the drawing page, and then in the PivotDiagram window, under Add Category, click the category by which you want to group the data under the node.
  2. To further expand the new subnodes and expose more levels, click the subnode that you want to expand, and then add more categories.
  3. In the PivotDiagram window, under Add Total, click the data that you want to total or summarize in the diagram.
  4. To specify settings for the data in the diagram, in the PivotDiagram window, under Add Total, right-click the data type, and then click the setting that you want to use on the shortcut menu.

PivotDiagrams use data graphics to display data with shapes, so you can use the Data Graphics task pane to apply conditional formatting to the data that appears in your PivotDiagrams to rapidly identify issues and data trends.

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Add the finishing touch by applying themes

The Themes feature in Office Visio 2007 takes the guesswork out of choosing colors and effects. Now you can give your diagram the professional touch with one click of the mouse.

A theme has two parts:

  • Theme Colors    Choose from a set of professionally designed, built-in theme colors. The theme colors that come with Visio match the theme colors in other 2007 Microsoft Office system programs, such as PowerPoint and Word.
  • Theme Effects    Make your drawings more visually consistent and appealing by applying a unified set of design elements for fonts, fills, shadows, lines, and connectors.

Apply a theme to a diagram

  1. On the Format menu, click Theme.

The Theme task pane appears to the right of the drawing page.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To choose theme colors, in the Theme task pane, click Theme - Colors.
    • To choose theme effects, in the Theme task pane, click Theme - Effects.
  2. To apply a theme to the drawing page, click a thumbnail.
  3. To apply a theme to all the pages in the diagram, right-click the theme that you want to apply, and then click Apply to All Pages on the shortcut menu.

Create a custom theme

  1. Right-click a built-in theme that is similar to the theme that you want to create, so you only need to make minor modifications to the theme to customize it.
  2. Click Duplicate.

The duplicated theme appears in the Custom list in the task pane.

  1. To edit the theme, right-click the theme, and then click Edit on the shortcut menu.

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Find out what is different about Visio 2007

Some templates, tools, and features that were available in Visio 2003 have been removed or replaced by new features in Visio 2007.

What happened to? Answer
Color Schemes add-on

The Color Schemes add-on has been replaced by the new Themes feature.

The Themes feature has more functionality than the Color Schemes add-on and is easier to customize. It also allows you to apply schemes either to a single page or to the entire document. You can also apply schemes to user-drawn shapes, instead of only to built-in shapes.

To open the new Color Schemes task pane, on the Format menu, click Theme, and then click Color Schemes.

You can still right-click the page to start the Color Schemes add-on in drawings that were created in an earlier version of Visio. However, after a new color scheme is applied by using the new Themes feature, the drawing will no longer work with the Color Schemes add-on.

NetMeeting and File Search Microsoft Windows NetMeeting and File Search have been replaced by Microsoft Office Live Meeting and Office Search.
Getting Started Tutorial and Diagram Gallery

The Getting Started Tutorial and Diagram Gallery items have been replaced by a set of scenario-based video demos and interactive training courses on the Microsoft Office Online Web site.

To see a preview of diagram types in a gallery setting, on the New menu, click Choose Drawing Type.

Menus

Several menus have changed in Visio 2007:

  • The View menu item has been removed from the shape shortcut menu.
  • The Shape menu item has been removed from the page shortcut menu.
  • The Special menu item on the Format menu is hidden except in developer mode.
  • The Custom Properties Sets menu item has been removed from the Tools menu.

These changes provide a more streamlined user interface that makes it easier for you to access important features.

Novell Directory Services template and stencils The Novell Directory Services (NDS) template and its stencils have been removed.
Org Chart Themes

The Org Chart Themes feature has been replaced by the new Themes feature. The new Themes feature provides much more functionality.

To open the new Theme task pane, do one of the following:

  • On the Format menu, click Theme.
  • Click the Theme button on the Format toolbar.
Save workspace check box in the Save dialog box

The option to save or not save the drawing workspace along with a Visio document has been moved from the Save dialog box to the File Properties dialog box. This change creates a more consistent experience with other 2007 Office release programs.

If you want to save your documents without including workspace information, on the File menu, click Properties, and then clear the Save workspace check box.

Styles

The Styles feature is now hidden by default.

The new Themes feature supersedes the Styles feature for most people, but if you are developing your own shapes, you can still access Styles if you want to.

To access the Styles feature, on the Tools menu, click Options, click the Advanced tab, and then select the Run in developer mode check box. To apply a style, select one or more shapes, and then on the Format menu, click Style.

Sybase and INFORMIX Support

The ability to reverse-engineer Sybase and INFORMIX databases has been removed from the database modeling solution in Office Visio Professional 2007. This change allows Visio to support database management systems (DBMSs) that are more widely used.

You can still use the generic ODBC and generic OLEDB drivers to reverse-engineer your database. The generic drivers should work in most cases and for most of the database schema. There may, however, be schema details that are specific to Sybase or INFORMIX databases that are not available to the generic drivers.

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Applies to:
Visio 2007