Learn tips and tricks for using the software more effectively. Join Visio MVP Scott Helmers as he demonstrates how to eliminate a significant amount of nudging and fiddling with shapes by using Visio’s built-in tools to align and space shapes on the page.
- [Narrator] The enhanced dynamic grid was introduced to Vizio multiple versions ago, and it is great for helping you to align and size shapes as you add them to the page or move them around. It eliminates a lot of nudging and repositioning of shapes afterwards. To see it in action lets start a new diagram from the Basic Diagrams template. I'll click to select the diagram template, and then double-click to launch a new diagram. I'll start by dragging a square onto the page, and notice immediately that whenever the square is near the edges, I get dynamic grid feedback to tell me that.
Also if I drag this shape to the center of the page, or the middle of the page, or both, I get feedback to tell me that it's positioned precisely at the center and the middle. I should note that the feedback along the edges of the pages is always there, but the two lines you see on the screen at the moment only appear for the very first shape that you drag onto the page. I'm going to put this square here, next let's drag an ellipse into the page, and I can see that because these shapes are the same height, they're aligned at the top, center, and middle whenever I get the shape in exactly the right position.
As I move the shape to the left, there's a double-headed arrow that appears. That indicates that the spacing between these two shapes matches the preset interval for the page. In my case I'm going to drag this a little over to the right and position it there. Next lets drag a triangle and position it over here. Now notice the triangle is a little bit shorter than the ellipse so I can align it at the bottom, the middle, or the top. Let's go with the middle. As I move left and right notice double-headed arrows, but these are bigger double-headed arrows, why? Because we're not matching the interval set in the page but rather these arrows indicate that the triangle is spaced the same distance from the ellipse as the ellipse is from the square.
In my case I want this shape to be down below the square, so I'll put it here and use the dynamic grid to ensure that it's aligned. Finally let's drag a right triangle and use the dynamic grid to position it in both directions at once. We're now aligned with the center of the ellipse and the middle of the triangle to the left. Let's switch to a different diagram type to see how we can use positioning and sizing features that were added in Vizio 2013. Here we have an executive suite.
There's an office, a conference room, and an inner sanctum. I want to align the executive chair with the desk, and we can use the dynamic grid to do that. Notice we now know that the chair is exactly in the center of the diagram. So I can position it like this. It happens that it was added to the page after the desk so it appears on top, but that's easy to solve. Right-click, and use the mini toolbar to send to back. And now the chair is under the desk. Next let's use the sizing feedback that was added in Vizio 2013.
I'm going to scroll down to find a corner table, there's one in the upper left corner of the diagram but I want to add another one. Let's drag it into this office. Now I want to resize. I'm going to drag the corner, and notice that when I get to a certain place there are double-headed arrows on both the top and the right side of the table I'm working with but similarly there are double headed arrows that match over on the table on the left. So I can now see that my new table is exactly the same height and width as the existing corner table.
That's exactly what I want, so I'll let go of the mouse, and then just use the arrow keys to move the table into the corner. That sizing feedback actually works across the diagram as well, it doesn't have to be two adjacent shapes. If I put a corner table into the executive office, I can change its size, and I'm going to change just the width, so watch what happens as I drag, there we go. Now I have a double headed arrow on my new shape as well as both corner tables, so even though the height is different I can see that my width now matches.
Once again, saves a lot of work after the fact. The dynamic grid is usually a very handy feature, but it can get in the way. Conversely there are some templates in which it's not enabled but might be helpful. As a result it's useful to know that you can enable and disable the dynamic grid from the View tab. Click View, and you'll find a checkbox for Dynamic Grid. If I uncheck and go back to my corner tables, now I can move them to my heart's content, but nothing happens, we get no feedback.
Knowing about the dynamic grid can save a lot of rework, because you can use it to align and size shapes correctly the first time you touch them.
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- Decoding Visio versions and editions
- Setting Visio options
- Navigating like a pro
- Taking advantage of hyperlinks
- Managing text on shapes
- Annotating diagrams with comments and callouts
- Inserting text display fields
- Working more efficiently
- Mastering Visio keyboard shortcuts
- Aligning and sizing shapes on a page
- Managing connectors and connection points
- Copying, pasting, and duplicating shapes