Creating maps in Visio more effectively with MapShapes

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Map of United States grouped by US Census Region Map of United States grouped by US Census Region

ShapeSource (www.ShapeSource.com) attracts thousands of visitors looking for Visio shapes and add-ons. What would you think is the most popular download? What type of shapes are requested most? The product downloaded most often is our free US Map stencil and we receive more requests for Visio map shapes than any other type of shape with the exception of network equipment.

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Simulating 3D with isometric Visio shapes

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Tripp Lite isometric

Tripp Lite isometric

In our last post I discussed 1D Visio shapes and their powerful connection features that ease the task of creating drawings of objects assembled into systems. In this article I’ll describe a variation of 2D Visio shapes that are drawn to look like 3D views.

Visio includes in the box several stencils with objects drawn in an isometric style. Wikipedia has an excellent overview of the isometric projection technique if you are interested. The appeal of isometric is …Continue reading

Creating Well Connected Assemblies with 1D Visio Shapes

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A 1D line with and without height

A 1D line with and without height

Visio shapes can be either 1D (one dimensional) or 2D (two dimensional). Unfortunately, there is no 3D shape although you can produce a “3D-like” 2D drawing by using the same methods as you would on paper… isometric, axonometric, perspective, etc. Most Visio drawings that simulate 3D are drawn as isometrics… but I digress and will cover that in a future post.

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Copying a Visio graphic as a metafile can improve performance

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Visio has the capability of creating almost photo-realistic graphics with as much detail as you want. However, the more detail (i.e. lines, gradient color fills, shading, etc.) in a shape, the more sluggish it will be when you move it around a page or drop it from a stencil. One key reason for this is also one of Visio’s most powerful features… the ShapeSheet. Every geometric element, such as a line or polygon, has a calculation engine behind it known as the ShapeSheet. Each time you move a shape, the cells in all …Continue reading