Using shapes to create tables in Visio

Applies to
Microsoft Office Visio® 2003
Inside Out Visio 2003 Image This article was excerpted from Microsoft® Office Visio® 2003 Inside Out by Mark H. Walker and Nanette Eaton, Chapter 4, "Adding Text to Shapes and Diagrams." Visit Microsoft Learning to buy this book.

In this article

Using shapes to create a table

Editing table shapes

Formatting table shapes

Using shapes to create a table

Visio includes several prebuilt table shapes in different solutions that you can use to format rows and columns of text, as Figure 1 shows. Although you won't find a Convert Text To Table command like the one in Microsoft Word, you can use one of several table shapes that are already formatted. You just add the text. These shapes even work with a diagram's color schemes. The table shapes in Visio were designed for the Charts and Graphs solution, but they work just as well in other diagram types. Don't let the stencil name fool you. For example, you might be creating a network diagram, but you can still use the shapes on the Forms Shapes stencil to quickly assemble a table or grid- like form.

Tables created with Visio shapes

Figure 1. You can create tables like these using Visio shapes.

To create tables like those shown in Figure 1, you can use the following built-in shapes and tools:

  • Grid, Row Header, and Column Header shapes on the Charting Shapes stencil (Charts and Graphs solution)     You can specify the number of rows and columns you want in the table or grid. The Row Header and Column Header shapes drag into place.

Charting shapes

  • Feature Comparison and Feature On/Off shapes on the Charting Shapes stencil (Charts and Graphs solution)     Although designed for marketing diagrams that compare products, the shapes work for any yes–no type of table. You can also type in the cells rather than using the Feature On/Off shape.

Follow these steps to create a table:

  1. Open the stencil containing the table shape you want: click the Shapes button on the Standard toolbar, select Charts And Graphs and then select Charting Shapes.

Visio adds the stencil to your drawing.

  1. Drag the Grid shape from the stencil to the location on the page you want.

The Custom Properties dialog box appears.

Custom Properties dialog box

  1. Click the arrows to enter the number of rows and columns you want.

You can always add rows and columns to your table later.

  1. Click OK.
  2. If you want to change the cell width, you can grab a grid handle and expand or shrink the grid.

Visio adds a table with your specifications to the drawing page.

  1. If you want to use angled column labels, drag the Column Header shape from the Charting Shapes stencil into position over the first table column. Repeat this task for each column and resize as necessary to fit the column.
  2. If you want to have separate row labels, drag the Row Header shape from the Charting Shapes stencil into position to the left of the first row. Repeat for each row and resize as necessary to fit the row.
  3. To add text, click a row header, column header, or table cell, and then type.

Top of Page Top of Page

Editing table shapes

When you use the Grid or Feature Comparison shape, the resulting table is actually a group. Because of this, tables are a little strange to work with at times. They are designed so that you click a cell, and then start typing. When you want to move the entire table, however, you must be careful not to select individual cells. The easiest thing to do is cancel all selections on the page (click a clear area), and then drag the table. Don't click to select it first; just drag.

To adjust the width of a column, you must select all the cells in the column (the easiest way is either holding down the SHIFT key and selecting each in turn or using the Multiple Select tool on the Pointer tool drop-down menu) and resize them as a group. You may also select the entire table and resize it with its control handles.

Table

Figure 2. To adjust the width of a column in your table, select all the cells in the column.

Unlike column width, row height responds to your text's requirements automatically. Simply type the amount of text you want. Visio sizes the row to accommodate your text.

To add rows or columns to your table, right-click the table, and choose Set Grid, and then choose the total number of rows you want, as Figure 3 shows.

Custom Properties dialog box

Figure 3. When you right-click a table shape, you may select Set Grid to display the Custom Properties box.

Top of Page Top of Page

Formatting table shapes

You can format table shapes pretty much as you'd expect. Select the shapes you want to format, and then choose an option. It's probably best to either hold down the SHIFT key and select each in turn or use the Multiple Select tool on the Pointer tool drop-down menu.

Table shapes are designed to work with color schemes. If you apply a new color scheme to your diagram (using Tools, Add-Ons, Visio Extras, Color Scheme), the table, row header, and column header shapes are formatted with the new fill color. You can override the color scheme color by selecting the table or individual rows in it, and then choosing a new fill color.

Top of Page Top of Page

 
 
Applies to:
Visio 2003