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Chris Hopkins' Visilog
You may recall that simplifying Process
Management is one of the core
areas we focused on in Visio 2010. Many Visio users build large process
diagrams and a common tactic is to segment them into manageable, reusable
pieces. Typically, processes are broken down into parts on different pages
within the same document, or in some cases into separate documents. These
subprocesses may be organized around ownership of the process, the people and
groups who are related to them, or simply around the size of the diagram.
Visio 2010 adds explicit support to create new subprocesses and reference
When the diagram authors are building their diagrams, we found that they may
take different approaches depending on the circumstances of what they are
designing or documenting. Some build out from a higher level and know
where subprocesses need to be referenced or created, adding subprocess shapes
that act as placeholders for the subprocess that will be filled in later.
Others build out full detail and then go back to move parts of the diagram into
subprocesses. To reference each of these subprocesses, a hyperlink is
typically added to a shape that refers to the entire subprocess. Visio
2010 builds on these common characteristics and provides ways to automate much
of the manual work around creating subprocesses.
The Create New command is designed to help you build
out a brand new subprocess represented by the selected shape. This will
insert a new blank page and add the page name and a hyperlink pointing to the
new page to the selected shape.
The Link to Existing command allows you to create a
hyperlink on the selected shape that points either to a page in the current
document or to an external document, such as one stored in a Visio
The Create from Selection command is used when you want to move
a number of shapes from your current page onto a new subprocess page.
Visio adds a new page, moves the selected shapes to the new page and adds a
subprocess shape to the current page. The new shape represents the new
subprocess and contains the name of the new page as well as a hyperlink pointing
Hyperlinks are used to jump to and from the various subprocesses, so we looked
toward our Ease
of Use goals and made a few
changes to how hyperlinks, in general, are managed. We improved hyperlink
navigation in Visio 2010 by allowing you to Ctrl+Click on a shape to follow a hyperlink,
which is common elsewhere in Office. The hyperlink still exists in the
context (right-click) menu, and we added an entry point to the hyperlink dialog
to make it easier to manage the links on your shape. Some of you are
probably thinking, “Hey, Ctrl+Click is already used to select multiple shapes!”
Not to worry – if you click to select a shape and then use Ctrl+Click to add
more shapes to your selection, that still works.
You can add your own hyperlinks to shapes using the Hyperlink command on the Insert menu, which
should be familiar from the other Office programs.
You may notice that the Hyperlink button is disabled if no shapes are selected.
When rethinking the interface for Visio 2010, we found that many users
accidentally added a hyperlink to the page rather than a shape because they
didn’t have a shape selected. We also found that page hyperlinks are used
mainly in custom templates or solutions and infrequently enough otherwise that
we felt it was better to help users avoid accidents in the common case.
Page hyperlinks can still be added via the API or PageSheet. And what
about document hyperlinks? Developers can add those through the API or
DocumentSheet and end users can do it in the Backstage
View. Click the File tab, and go to the right side of the Info tab,
where document properties are listed.
As usual, feel free to drop us a line about this using Send
a Smile, or here on the blog.