Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Importing data from an external source, part of Up and Running with Visio 2013.
Earlier in this title we created an organization chart that allowed us to enter the data. We could choose how we enter that data into a spreadsheet like Excel for example and we had other options. But what if you already have the data? Well in that case you can import it into the diagram you're creating. So we're going to recreate that org chart, but this time we are going to use a connection to an Excel file that already contains that data. So it doesn't matter what's on your screen right now, we are going to go to the File tab, we are going to go down to New and we are going to search for one of the FEATURED templates, Organization Chart.
Now it could be anywhere, it depends on how often you use it where it appears on this list, mine happens to be on the top row. Locate Organization Chart and just give it one click. We'll use the default of US Units of measure and click Create. Now at this point, you can see what's happening. We are in the beginning stages of creating our org chart and Wizard kicks in. Notice that the option to choose information that's already stored in a file or database is selected and we won't be entering it this time ourselves.
Also, notice down below in the Description section the types of files you can be connected to, text files, which would be delimited using commas or spaces to separate the fields for example. Excel is on the list, the new format xlsx, macro-enabled, xlsm; you can see xlsb and the old xls formats are there as well. It could be connecting to an exchange server or an ODBC compliant database file. So all we are going to do is make sure that information that's already stored in a file where database is selected and click Next.
There is our options again, Exchange Server, A text, Org Plus, you can see, including an Excel file. There is ODBC-compliant data source. We do want the middle one, A text file, Org Plus or Excel file, so with that selected we click Next. Now it's a matter of finding it, we'll click the Browse button. We are going to go to our exercise files here and we are going to go to Chapter 4, give it a double-click and you'll find NoObstaclesOrgData, select that and click Open.
Now it appears with its entire path in the field. Down below the language is defaulting to your computer selection of English (United States) for me, we could change that if we wanted to, I am going to leave it and click Next. Now here is where it might take a moment to pop up some options where we get to choose the columns, otherwise known as fields in our data file that contain the information that defines the organization. Notice the dropdowns, we have the Name, we also have Reports_to, the Title, Department, etcetera.
These are all of the fields that appear in the Excel file, so it's found them all. they are actually columns in the Excel spreadsheet and we get to choose what we are actually going to throw into our diagram. So we do definitely want the Name, who they Report_to. Notice there is a First name, which is optional and in this case if we had separate first names and last names, we would be able to select it from a dropdown. Our org chart data in the Excel file itself contains both the first name and the last name, so we're good to go.
All right let's click Next and you can see the Data file columns that can be included. So we already have name and title over here on the right-hand side. Do we want the Department as well? Let's select it and click Add. Reports_to; I don't think we really need that because we'll see it in the diagram through connections. Do we need the extensions showing up? Not really, and we can reorder these as well. Right now we see Name, Title and Department. If you wanted to have Department, move it up ahead of Title. I really think though it should be Name, the Title and then Department, so I am going to move it back down and click Next.
All right, choose the column or fields from your data file that you want to add to the org chart shapes as Shape Data fields. Notice if we go back, that we are choosing columns from our data file that we just simply want to display. When we go to the next screen, here it's what we want to add to the Organization Chart shapes as Shape Data fields. We are going to keep Name, Title and Department. All right, so we can import pictures if we have them. Do we want to include pictures? The default is not to include pictures in the org chart.
If we did have pictures for individuals, we could locate the folder that contains them. Keeping in mind that the name of the file, let's say it's a JPEG, has to match the name of the person in the Excel spreadsheet. We don't really need pictures or have them right now; we could do this after the fact if we wanted to. So let's just leave it at Don't include pictures and click Next. All right so, at this point we have the ability to choose how much of the organization we want to display on each page or let Visio take care of it.
I want the wizard to automatically break my organization chart across pages if it's too big. The name at the top of the page is Top Executive by default but we can click the drop down and select a specific name. If we know that for example David Rivers is the CEO, we can select that name. Also we have checkboxes for hyperlinking employee shapes across pages, so again if it's too big to fit on a page, we can see hyperlinks that take us to the connection; I like that feature, I am going to leave it on.
And Synchronize employee shapes across pages as well. So if we are editing the data and we are editing any one side, it will be synchronized to the other page as well. We'll keep that selected and click Finish. Now when we click Finish, it takes a moment but then it actually creates a nice looking org chart using some default settings. Notice that we have a default look and feel from our shapes, but we can change those. As we move across these shapes, we can experiment by clicking them, takes a moment and we see it change.
Now it's actually overlapping into a second page, I don't like that. How about this curved one here, different style, that one fits. Of course we also have access to all of our design options now and the themes, the variants, all the things we've already talked about can be applied at this point. I just want to zoom in to make sure the data is correct. I am going to click the plus (+) sign a few times and I can see here, sure enough. There is David Rivers at the top the CEO, part of the executive team. You can see the department information is included.
Maybe we didn't need that but at any time; we can go back and make changes if we want to. Could start this whole process over by importing data and leaving out any of the fields, maybe we don't think need to appear. Otherwise I think we have a pretty good looking org chart. We are able to get it done quickly because we could connect to existing data and import it into our diagram.
- 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