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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Welcome to the Visio Forum

    As one of the newest members of Microsoft's lineup, I thought it may be helpful to provide a few links. When I did my search of the Knowledgebase, I found one with several:

    Microsoft's FAQs & Highlights which has links to frequently asked questions, instructional webcasts and updates.
    Karen

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    Re: Welcome to the Visio Forum

    Karen,

    That link is good for thjose who know soemthing about Visio. I'm a bit backward, and don't know anything. Can you summarise in 2 lines what the product does please?
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: Welcome to the Visio Forum

    Geoff, I would never call you backward! Visio is used to create connected drawings such as flowcharts, organization charts, database and network diagrams, and floor plans. Probably the better link for me to provide would have been the product overview.[img]/w3timages/icons/blush.gif[/img]

    My apologies.
    Karen

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    Re: Welcome to the Visio Forum

    Thanks Karen- much appreciated.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Welcome to the Visio Forum

    But that's only part of what it can do.

    You can build drawings with hotlinks to other drawings, so a viewer can navigate a series like a slide show but using interactive branching.

    You can customize objects in Visio and create your own drawing objects to represent specific concepts.

    You can embed Visio drawings in Office applications like Word. You can embed Office documents in Visio drawings too.

    You can reverse engineer a variety of databases in it, and in reverse engineering a database server, you can even capture triggers and stored procedure code. With the enterprise version, you can also design a database in Visio and forward engineer it to the desired ODBC database format.

    It can be used to generate UML diagrams and there's a VB 6 add-in that even allows you to automatically generate a UML diagram from a VB project.

    It's also programmable using VBA. In fact, Visio was the first non-Microsoft product to license VBA as its programming language. It worked so well, Microsoft bought it, or at least a controlling interest in it.

    Can you tell I'm a fan? I started using Visio when it was first introduced, and I've never even begun to use all its capabilities.
    Charlotte

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    Re: Welcome to the Visio Forum

    Wonderful[img]/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif[/img]. Someone who can answer questions! I've only barely scratched the surface, and that was years ago...
    Karen

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    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Welcome to the Visio Forum

    No, wait, I wasn't volunteering!!!! I've barely scratched the surface to, and it keeps getting deeper! Oh, well, all right, I'll answer when I can.
    Charlotte

  8. #8
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    Re: Welcome to the Visio Forum

    Thanks for the information all. I had some exposure to Visio in a Systems Analysis class last term and found it a bit of a challenge. I hope to learn a bit more. Thanks for all the info so far. The links are very helpful.

  9. #9
    knoway
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    Re: Welcome to the Visio Forum

    Hi,

    I have used Visio to document end-to-end business processes as a series of nested task flows. We were working at a strategic level (above what can be documented using UML), and had to use pictograms rather than symbols. We used the hyperlink facilities to access all sorts of related material such as UML Use Cases (for the detailed business interaction definitions), Legal Opinions and Requirements, Information Models, Market Analysis, etc.

    To get this going, you have to figure out what you want to do, ahead of time, and set yourself some standards for the resulting documents. We also found that we had to agree an architecture for the document so that the linking was logical, but once we had that fixed, it was one of the most productive tools I have ever used.

    We also found it easy for our users to pick up. No formal training was required, they just picked it up working with the analysis team. I compare this with the formal UML course offered by some vendors, that just serves to confuse the user with jargon, and would use Visio every time.

  10. #10
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    Re: Additional info

    I unofficially officially support Visio 5.0 and 2000 software at work. That does not make me a user. But here's what little I can contribute at this point that hasn't already been mentioned; all based on my own work experience:

    Most common use: Creating organization charts.

    Coolest feature: Create spreadsheet that conforms-->run orgchart wizard-->orchart automatically created from spreadsheet data.

    Most common problem, Visio 5: Drawings fall apart when grouped or copied/pasted. Why? People improperly use lines instead of connectors.

    Most common problem, Visio 2K: Can't open an org chart file I created yesterday. Why? It's a bug and there's very quick fix to download and install from MS Technet.

    File corruption troubleshooting (not necessarily in order): Ctrl-a to select all, copy/paste to new drawing. Copy piece by piece to new drawing. Save to lower version.

    Other:

    There are 3rd-party stencils/templates for download by network manufacturers and others to make it easier to diagram what you're going to do with all the products you buy from them. How to get them? Type "visio stencils" or "visio templates" into your friendly neighborhood browser.

    Compatibility with MS Office products is as good as its own products. Insert-Object-From file...or just copy/paste.

  11. #11
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    Re: Welcome to the Visio Forum

    Thanks, Charlotte! Sorry for the late reply. I hereby dub you a Visio Queen.[img]/w3timages/icons/king.gif[/img]

    [img]/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3timages/icons/devil.gif[/img][img]/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3timages/icons/devil.gif[/img][img]/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3timages/icons/devil.gif[/img][img]/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif[/img]
    Karen

  12. #12
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    Re: Additional info

    After what I've seen on these boards, I would never, <big>never</big> call you a User!

    However, with the background you've listed and upfront trouble-shooting... I dub you a Visio Queen.[img]/w3timages/icons/king.gif[/img]

    [img]/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3timages/icons/devil.gif[/img][img]/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3timages/icons/devil.gif[/img][img]/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif[/img][img]/w3timages/icons/devil.gif[/img][img]/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif[/img]
    Karen

  13. #13
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    Re: Additional info

    Thank you, KB.

  14. #14
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Additional info

    You know, I haven't used Visio for org charts since version 1.0, so I never think of that use. On the other hand, I've built dynamic network diagrams in it to track equipment as it got shifted around, and the Technical version (comes with Enterprise or is sold separately) has stencils for just about every specific make and model of network equipment down to the racks you mount it in. I've also reverse engineered Access database and generated a SQL Server database from it.

    Visio 5.0 had fewer problems than 4.5, but it did have some that were doozeys. So far, I really haven't found anything to complain about in Visio 2K, except that they took forward engineering out of the Professional version and put it in Enterprise only. Of course, there didn't used to be and enterprise versions, so ...
    Charlotte

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