Watch this online video to learn tips and tricks for using the software more effectively. Join Visio MVP Scott Helmers as he demonstrates how to use two very different types of callouts in a Visio diagram. The legacy style serve their purpose but have some limitations; the new style behave much more intelligently.
- [Instructor] Comments can play an important role in annotating a diagram. However, by design, they're a subtle presence in the diagram. There are times when you want your annotations to be more obvious, and that's when callouts enter the picture. Let's start by looking at a stencil full of callouts that's been available in many generations of Visio. To open the callout stencil, go to the Shapes window, click More Shapes, Visio Extras, and then Callouts. As a quick aside, if you're using Visio 2010, as soon as you select any one stencil, the fly-out menus disappear.
In Visio 2013 and 2016, they stay open so that you could click on additional stencils if you want to. In my case, I'm finished, so I'll click the background of the page, and the fly-out menus disappear. Let's drag one of the callouts onto the page. Take the tail, and glue it to a shape. Let's add some text to the callout, and there we go. Now, you would think that I could reposition this callout simply by clicking and dragging, but indeed, the obvious action removes the callout from the shape.
Let's Undo, put it back. The trick to move a callout is actually the control handle at the end of the tail. Clicking and dragging there allows me to relocate the callout any way that I'd like. What about moving the shape? Let's take the access point and drag it up here. You'd hope that the callout would go with it, but in fact, these callouts were not designed in that way. So let's Undo, Control + Z, and move the shape back. These guys are connected, but there's not a close association between the two, as I think you can see.
What about deleting? Well, let's delete the callout. That's pretty straightforward. Let's Undo and bring it back. What if I delete the access point? Well, it's kind of interesting, the access point went away, but the callout remained behind, which may not be what you want. Again, no obvious association between these other than a physical connection. Let's Undo, delete the callout, and let's take a look at new type of callout that was introduced in Visio 2010. With the access point selected, on the Insert Menu, click Callout, and there's a gallery of callout types that appears.
I'm going to select this Text callout, paste the same text that we saw a moment ago, and now, let's see the difference in behavior. If you want to move the callout, click and drag. And at first, it looks like it's broken, the connection, but as soon as I let go of the mouse, it remains attached. No matter where I put the callout, it remains glued. What if I move the shape? Let's drag it up here. Exactly as you would hope, the callout goes with the shape. What if I delete the callout? It goes away, shape remains behind.
Let me Undo to bring it back. What if I delete the access point? The callout goes too, which I think is more logical behavior than what we saw with the stencil callout. Now, the callout I just used is pretty basic. Let me Undo and bring those shapes back, and let's delete the callout. It's a useful callout, but it's pretty basic. What if you want a little bit more flare in your diagram? Select Insert, Callout, let's try something like this one, looks kind of like a price tag.
Let's select it and add the text to it. And now, we can drag that callout wherever we want, and notice it's pretty smart. Wherever I put it, it remains connected to and pointing at the target shape. Old-style Visio callouts are a bit of a pain to work with, but they get the job done. New-style callouts, however, are easier to add to a diagram because they don't require opening a special stencil. You just go to the Ribbon. In addition, they behave much more predictably because there's an internal association between the callouts and the shapes to which they're attached.
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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