Term Paper: Microsoft Visio to Create

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SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] Visual Basic Editor-Useful for building Visual Basic for Applications programs.

Custom Properties Editor -- A popular wizard program essential for modifying the properties of numerous shapes at one time.

Shape Explorer -- A search tool that hunts specifically for certain shapes, stencils, templates and wizards.

Numerous wizards and converters -- These programs help users to assimilate data into diagrams and charts quickly and easily.

The Visio wizards and converters can be found by selecting Tools -- Macros -- Visio Extras.

The Options function includes the following:

General -- Includes User Options, Color Settings and Enable Screen Tips.

Drawing -- Includes Text Options, Drawing Options and Freeform Drawing Settings.

File Paths -- Includes path listings for Drawings, Templates, Stencils, Help, Add-ons, Start-Ups, and Filters.

Regional Settings -- Includes Default Units and Asian Options.

Spelling -- Includes Search and User Dictionaries options.

Advanced -- Includes User Settings, Developer Settings and Stencil Spacing options.

When first using Visio, beginner users find that the Help drop-down menu is very important. By clicking on the Help drop-down menu, users can access a variety of Help features that will enable them to troubleshoot their documents.

III. Tasks

Visio is useful for producing flow charts, organizational charts, time lines, and other general business diagrams. This section will discuss creating an organizational chart using Visio.

An organizational chart makes it easy to provide graphical representation of an organization's people, operations, functions, and activities. For example, a hierarchal chart will show who is the owner, executive and workers of an organization. A chart that maps out the specific data of an organization allows people to easily understand its hierarchy through a simple graphic.

Microsoft Visio is a graphing solution that allows users to create and manipulate data from multiple data sources. It provides the necessary tools needed to create an organizational chart from other sources of data, and lets the user customize it as they desire.

The Visio Organization Chart solution is easy to use. Simply open Visio and select the Choose Drawing Type option. This will open a second dialogue that allows you to select an organizational chart. When this is done, Visio begins and automatically shows you templates for the type of charts that was selected. After you choose a template, a new workspace opens with the Organizational Chart Stencil shown. Basically, you can click and drag any shape from the stencil to begin your chart. If you drag a second shape, Visio will link them and form a relationship.

If you want to create a chart that shows the employee structure of your company, you can make a data file with personnel information and use the Organizational Chart wizard to make the chart.

Choose the option to base the chart on an existing data file. Click Next to continue. The Organizational Chart Wizard uses the fields from your data file to create custom property fields associated with the shapes in the organizational chart generated. Each row in the data file represents information about individual employees. Thus, that row corresponds to one shape in the organizational chart.

In many databases, such as Excel, the fields are organized in columns. The user designates which of the columns or fields will be used in Visio shapes' custom property fields and associated with each shape in the chart, as well as what is displayed in the shape. For each employee listed, a value is assigned for each of the data fields. Visio places these values into the custom property fields associated with the specific organization chart shape.

For instance, if your data file had a row for an employee named Mary Taylor, her name would appear on the shape that represents her in the chart. In the wizard, her email address can be designated as a custom property field. The shape representing her would include an Email Address custom property field with the value of her email address.

After you have structured your data file so the wizard can use the information it contains, you are ready to generate an organization chart.

On the File menu, point to New, point to Organization Chart, and then click Organization Chart Wizard.

On the first screen, click Information That is Already Stored In A File Or Database, and then click Next.

Follow the instructions on the wizard pages. Click the question mark for help on a particular page.

Basically, you can run the Organizational Chart by selecting it from the menu bar (Tools-Macros-Organization Chart- Organization Chart Wizard). The first screen introduces you to the Organization Chart and the second screen prompts you to choose one of the options. You can either base the chart on new or existing data.

The document discussed here is based on existing data, so choose the first option. Click Next. The next screen will allow you to choose between three data file options: a text or Excel file, an MS Exchange Server directory, or an ODBC-compliant data source.

According to the type of existing file that you want to base the drawing on, choose an option. Click Next. On the next screen, enter the location and name of the information file or choose Browse to find it. Click Next.

Creating an Organizational Chart from Data Entered with the Wizard

It is possible to create an organizational chart with data entered from the Wizard. Simply select the option "Information that I enter using the Wizard" on the second screen. The next screen will ask you to choose a type of file for entering the data. Choose from MS Excel or delimited text and then provide the file with a name.

If you want to create a text file, choose the Delimited text option and click Next. A text file template opens. However, before it does, you will see a message telling you that you should type over the sample text to create your data file. The sample text looks like this:

Name,Reports_To,Position, Department, Telephone

Joe Sampleboss, CEO, Executive,x555

JaneSamplemgr, Joe Sampleboss, Development Manager, Product Development,x6666

John Samplepos, Jane Samplemgr, Software Developer, Product Development, x6667

The first line defines the field types or headings. Each line following is a single record that you write over with real data. The sequence of the data corresponds to the sequence of the headings in the first line. Notice that the CEO actually reports to no one, so the Reports_To field is blank. Make sure you save the file before closing it and returning to the Wizard.

Visio has the capability to update and expand charts. This is important because most organizations grow and change frequently. To handle growth and change, Visio gives you the ability to automatically create a chart based on data from a number of data sources. These sources include Text or Org Plus, Excel, Exchange Server Directory, or an ODBC-compliant data source.

Visio needs some information before it can create a chart based on your data. The Help file documents all the required information but it is helpful to be familiar with this area to prevent errors. The necessary data includes: Company Name, Unique ID (Employee ID) and Unique ID of Employee Supervisor. These fields can have any name, as the wizard allows you to map the appropriate fields to fulfill the requirements. On the chart, you may display one other field of data. For example, the organization chart can show each employee's title.

A query is used to extract the employee data to be exported. It is important to make sure that you have the three required fields, and you can add an optional fourth. Export the query's data to a data source, such as an Excel spreadsheet. Visio can then use this data to create the organization chart.

Now that the data is prepared, the Visio Organizational Chart Wizard can be run to automatically create a chart. Open Visio and select the Organizational Chart Wizard, which contains several dialogs that prompt you for the data that determines the chart's content.

The first screen specifies the chart's data source. The data can be stored in an existing file or entered directly into the wizard. For instance, leave the first radio button selected and click on Next. The second screen specifies which data file type you want to use. Leave the first radio button selected and click on Next. The third dialog is a browser that specifies the path and file name of the chart's data. Browse for the exported Excel file and click on Next.

The fourth dialog allows you to map the right fields in your data source to Visio field names. From this query example, select EmpName for Name and ReportsTo for ReportsTo. Leave First Name blank and click on Next.

The fifth wizard dialog specifies the data to be displayed within each data shape on the organizational chart. You can implement the optional field, Title, in this area. For the first line, specify EmpName, and for the second line, Title. Click on Next to continue.

The sixth wizard screen allows you to add custom properties… [END OF PREVIEW]

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