Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating diagrams from templates, part of Up and Running with Visio 2013.
Creating a new blank diagram from scratch does give you full flexibility in creating any type of diagram you like. But as we saw when we created our new blank diagram, the stencils and shapes that appear on the left-hand side, well there really aren't any. You need to find your shapes and start building your diagram and it's a totally custom diagram, because you're starting from scratch. If you need to get a specific type of diagram created quickly with professional looking results, there are a number of templates to choose from.
So what we're going to do next is create a new diagram based on a template. So to do that, we go to the File tab and select New. Again we're going to see our FEATURED templates and as you scroll down the list, you can see some Basic Diagrams, Basic Flowchart, Basic Network or Detailed versions as well for some of these. All you're looking at here are the FEATURED templates. By no means are you seeing all of the templates. There are some improvements here in Visio 2013 like BPMN and as we scroll a little further up, you'll see some new ones as well; UML Class for example, Microsoft SharePoint.
The order of these templates will be different for you than they are for me. It's all depending on what you've been doing with Visio. Blank Drawing of course is a template itself, but again you'll be starting from scratch and you'll be on your own. Let's say we want to create a Basic Flowchart. Well, we can go down to Basic Flowchart if it appears in our FEATURED templates or we could go to the Flowchart category here and choose from many different options for different types of flowcharting diagrams. So we have Audits, Work Flows, Microsoft SharePoint and SDL, there are some new stuff.
Let's just go to a Basic Flowchart. Now when we Basic Flowchart by clicking, we're then prompted to choose the units of measure, US Units being the default, let's click Create. And in this case again we're going to have a blank canvas ready to start creating, but take a look over on the left-hand side here. We have a number of Basic Flowchart Shapes showing up; we have something called Quick Shapes, we can select that to get going quickly. These are some of the more popular shapes used in a flowchart diagram. We can get More Shapes if we wanted to, we'll talk about that later and in this case we can even get Cross-Functional Flowchart Shapes to create that type of diagram.
Let's just go to our Quick Shapes here and start the process with a Start/End symbol. We'll click and drag it onto our page. Now watch what happens when you get around the middle, vertically you see those guidelines. Go to the middle, horizontally and you'll see a guideline there as well. So let's keep it in the middle horizontally. Over on the left-hand side on your ruler, you'll see a series of dotted rows representing the top middle and bottom. Let's have the middle right on the 7 inch mark and release, there we go. So we have our first shape.
Of course, there is a lot we can do with our shapes, we can size them, move them around. Let's just zoom in a little bit here using our Zoom slider down at the bottom. We'll zoom in to about, let's try to get close to 100%. So you may have to scroll around. Now we can see our shape. Because it's selected and you see those handles around the outside for sizing and moving, you'll also see arrows outside of them, and here is where it gets interesting. If we want to add a shape down below our start shape, all we have to do is go down to that arrow down below and you'll see some quick shapes to choose from.
For example, process, or if we wanted a decision, we could also go to our sub-process and there's another start/end symbol. Well, let's go to decision right here and give it a click. There you go, it's added right below, it's connected automatically and those connections are smart in that if we were to move this down, let's just click and drag down with the four-sided arrow, you'll notice the connection just stretches out, it remains connected. Now we can go off to the right and over here, we could add a process.
So let's go over to our rectangle, give it a click and there is our process. Now if we wanted to, we could drag that out, notice the connection stays connected. All right! Let's go down below our decision. Go down to that arrow and let's add another process; there we go and you can see we're well on our way now to creating our flowchart. And of course we can click inside these shapes and start typing if we wanted to. Let's just type in the word START in uppercase and then click off to an empty space and you can see you've added text to your flowchart.
So that's a basic flowchart and you can see how easy it is to get going, thanks to the template we chose and the shapes that appear over here on the left-hand side. But different templates have different methods for getting you started. Let's go up to the File tab now, click there and click New and we'll start another new one. This time I want you to find Organization Chart. You should be able to find it under FEATURED, but you could also go to for example Business and find it there. Let's click Organization Chart, US Units, we'll click Create and this is a little bit different.
This one is wizard driven. So you can see the Organization Chart Wizard starts up and we have the ability now to use information that's already stored in a file like an Excel file or a database, or it could just take information that we enter using the Wizard, let's use that. Later on we'll talk about connecting to external data sources. We'll click Next to go onto the next step. All right, choose the type of file you want to enter your data into. So we're going to be adding the names and the positions of people that will appear in our Organization Chart. We want to enter that into an Excel file or a text file using Delimited text.
A delimiter would be a separator like a comma or a space, let's use Excel. Also we get to name our file. Let's say we want to put it on the Desktop; we can click the Browse button, browse to the Desktop and down below for the File name, let's say we work for a company, we're going to use the company name and ORG CHART. We'll type in something like NoObstaclesOrgChart, just like that.
When we click Save, notice that the Save as type is an Excel Workbook. So the data is actually going to go into an Excel file named NoObstaclesOrgChart that will appear on our Desktop, let's click Next. Now the Next button is going to take us to the next step in the Wizard and it's just really information telling us to type over the sample text that's going to appear in our Excel file and then we can save the file and choose File>Exit to continue with this wizard or just simply close up Excel.
So we click OK knowing that that's exactly what we need to do. Excel opens up and you'll see some sample data, again we can type over that and we can add some data as well. So let's just leave the data in there. Joe Sampleboss is the CEO, doesn't report to anybody, Department, Executive and there is the Telephone extension. We'll leave Jane and John in there and let's add another one here. I am going to add Dave Samplepos also reporting to Joe.
As I start to type Joe, rest of the name appears, so I can hit my Tab key. This is also a Software Developer, I can start to type that and hit Tab, in Product Development and we'll make up an extension of 6668 and Enter. So you could continue on now adding data to your Excel spreadsheet when you're done. Click the Save button to save that data and then close Microsoft Excel. You can see now we're taken back to the Wizard and onto the next step.
Do we want to include pictures in our ORG CHART? If we do, we can locate the folder that contains our pictures or if you don't, then you can add them later and we'll be talking about how to do that a little later on in this title. We'll just leave it at Don't include pictures in my ORG CHART, we'll click Next. Onto the next step in the Wizard and in this case, you can see your organization data may contain too many employees to fit on one page. So what happens? Is it going to go across multiple pages? Do you want to specify how much of your organization to display on each page or let the wizard automatically break your Organization Chart across multiple pages? That is the default.
Hyperlinks will be created between the employees from one page to the next and synchronized as well. So we'll click Finish and we'll see the end result of our ORG CHART. Check it out. Now you may need to zoom in to be able to read the data. Let's use our Zoom slider, we'll zoom in let's say to around 150%. We'll just scroll through. And as you can see we have all of our data and they are based on the data that appeared inside of our Excel spreadsheet. Now that doesn't mean we're stuck with it.
Of course, at any time we can go back to that information or we can start adding to our ORG CHART here. I am going to use the slider to zoom back out to around 80%, and if we wanted to, we can start adding things. Notice the shapes that appear over here in the left are very different from our flowchart diagram. Now we're looking at different belts, like Executive's, Manager's Position's and Assistant's, Consultant's, maybe there is a Vacancy as well. We can add a vacancy by clicking and dragging this across, and as we line things up look what happens.
It shows you how you're lined up with the shape above, the shape beside, the spacing, do you want the spacing to be the same, very cool. Now of course these aren't connected, so we would need to connect it to somebody. May be the Vacancy also reports to this guy above, but connectors can be added as Direct Additions, Dotted-line reports; let's use the Dotted-line. we'll click and drag it. Now you're dragging it and you can kind of see it in the background. All we need to do is highlight the box. In this case we'll go up to Dave, when it's highlighted in green, release.
Now we'll take the endpoint and we'll just make sure that our Vacant position is highlighted. We'll go right to the connector here and glue it to the connection point and release. We'll click in a blank space to see the end result, so far, so good. Now we do have placeholders for those photos, they can be added. That's something we're going to talk about in the next lesson.
- What is Visio 2013?
- Setting up global preferences
- Creating and formatting diagrams
- Inserting objects
- Using containers and callouts
- Changing a diagram's design with themes
- Commenting on diagrams
- Saving, printing, and sharing