Learn tips and tricks for using the software more effectively. Join Visio MVP Scott Helmers as he demonstrates how lines and dynamic connectors react when you move the shapes glued to either end. You’ll learn the crucial difference between static and dynamic glue in this second of three videos about controlling the connections between shapes in your diagram.
- [Instructor] Why don't the darned lines go where I want them to? That's one of the most frequent complaints about Vizio that I see in online forums. Part of the challenge with lines in Vizio is that many Vizio shapes, including some lines, are designed to adapt on your behalf to changes in the diagram. The purpose of this video and the next one is to demonstrate enough about lines, shapes, and glue so you can use their flexibility and adaptive behavior to your advantage. The red lines on the left side of this page are simple lines that were drawn with the line tool.
I've made them red and thicker than usual to make them easy to see and to distinguish them from the dynamic connectors we'll talk about in a moment. The yellow shapes were drawn using the rectangle tool. Let's see how they interact, or don't, with each other. I'll drag a line between the two rectangles. Drag the left end so it touches the edge of the rectangle on the left. Drag the other end so it touches the other rectangle. Now it looks, for all appearances, like those things are connected to each other.
But if I move either of the rectangles, you notice that the line is not connected with them. The second type of line is called the dynamic connector and it's commonly used in connected diagrams like flowcharts, swim lane diagrams, and network diagrams. Let's examine the interaction between ordinary rectangles and the dynamic connector. When we drag it over in between and drag the left end to the rectangle on the left, notice several things are different. One, the entire shape lights up with a green border.
Second, the line is bent already, and as I attach it to this rectangle, it straightens out again. If I move the rectangle, either one of 'em, the line changes. Depending on where I move it, the line changes fairly dramatically. The next page contains three pair of flowchart shapes. I'm going to begin on this page by dragging an ordinary line and trying to attach it to the upper pair of shapes. The first difference you notice is that there are connection points. There are four places on this shape that light up in green and there's prompting text that says glue to connection point.
Even though this is an ordinary line, that's still true. Now that this red line is glued to the two flowchart shapes, we can see that it is indeed glued. When I move the shapes, the line remains attached. Let's do the same thing but use a dynamic connector with the pair of shapes in the middle. With a dynamic connector, we see that we can glue to the connection points but there's also that green border all the way around. We'll come back to that in a moment. Right now I'm going to glue to the same connection point that we used in the top example.
Glue the right end and now we have a dynamic connection between these two flowchart shapes. How dynamic is it? Well, if I move the flowchart shapes, the line changes quite dramatically. But in this case, because we glued to specific connection points, notice that it remains attached on both ends at the places where we glued it. Both of these examples use what is commonly called static glue. Because no matter how you move the shapes at the ends, the lines always remain detached at exactly the same point.
Let's take a look now at the alternative we saw briefly on the lower part of the previous page, dynamic glue. Dynamic glue is glue to the entire shape rather than to a specific connection point, and that's what's symbolized by the green border. If I move the shapes, as we saw in the previous page, the connection not only changes with additional angles, but the places to which the lines are attached at the ends is different as well. Ordinary lines serve a useful purpose in many types of Vizio diagrams.
However, if you're building a connected diagram, or a diagram in which you expect to move things around quite a bit before you're finished, using dynamic connectors offers much more flexibility. In a similar vein, sometimes you want fixed points of attachment and sometimes you want to let Vizio redraw lines as you make changes. Understanding lines, dynamic connectors, static glue, and dynamic glue can put you in charge.
Lynda.com is a PMI Registered Education Provider. This course qualifies for professional development units (PDUs). To view the activity and PDU details for this course, click here.
The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
- 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