Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Using visual aids and snap and glue settings, part of Visio 2013 Essential Training.
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- Aside from helpful elements, like the Ruler, the Grid, Page Breaks and Guides that we talked about in the previous movie, there are other elements we can choose to turn on and off, which would be considered Visual Aids, things that will help us in the creation of our diagrams. We're going to talk about those now. We'll continue with our flowchart as well, so if you skip to this movie and need to get caught up, just open up FlowChart0502. Make sure the View tab is selected, we're going to go to this group here: Visual Aids. So, you'll see Dynamic Grid, AutoConnect, and Connection Points.
We'll talk about those first. All right, let's say, for example, we want to add something to our drawing. I'm going to zoom in here, just to the right of center, so I'm up around 150%, and I'm going to scroll down so I can see the bottom half of this process, where shipping is included, things happen, before we get to the end, if it's not included, it goes right to the end. I want to add a Subprocess in here. Let's go over to our Basic Flowchart Shapes, and drag a Subprocess in. Let's double click inside, and we'll just type "Pickup," like so.
All right, and then we'll click off the shape. And you may have noticed when we dragged it in here, there were some alignment guides, helping us to line things up relative to other shapes, and spacing is in there as well. So, in this spot right here, for example, I know I have it looking quite symetrical in relation to the other objects because of what we call the Dynamic Grid, it's turned on by default, and that's what those alignment guides are really called. If you don't like them, you may choose to turn it off, by clicking the check box, removing the check, and now, when you move things around, you're missing those guides.
I like them. I'm going to leave it turned on, and make sure things are lined up properly here. Beautiful. The reason people may not want the Dynamic Grid turned on, they could be using the actual Grid. So, if we didn't have a background, we could see the Grid, and our Ruler, and if measurements were more important than lining things up relative to other shapes, you could see why you might want to turn that off. There's also AutoConnect, and we've already talked about this in a previous movie, when you hover over a selected object, you're going to see those little blue arrows where you can connect to something.
In this case, our subprocess is not connected to anything, so we see the blue arrows at every single side. And, we'll see the top four shapes that we could connect to, and if we were to select one of them, it would automatically be inserted and connected. If you don't like the AutoConnect, that too can be turned off: hover over a selected shape, you won't see those arrows. But again, I like it. Helps me to work more efficiently when they're turned on. Connection Points are something we see when we start connecting things. Let's say this line that goes from Shipping included down to End, we want to move it over so that it's connected to our subprocess called Pickup here, so I'm going to go down to the arrow.
When I see the four sided arrow, I know I can click and drag to move that. You can see what's happening, it's moving around. I actually want to move it to my Pickup, and when I let go you can see it's automatically connected, and it's connected because I can see those connection points. I do want the other end connected to Shipping included. So I can go to it. Look at the connection points light up when I get there. That's because they're turned on. So if you didn't want to see the Connection Points, they, too, could be turned off.
Let's say we go to the little arrow here, drag it around, you can see it highlighted, but it's not showing up on the shape. There we go. All right, so the answer's no, we go to the Pickup process, I'm going to scroll down a little further and add another connector with the Connection Points turned on. We'll go over to Insert, you could also go to Home to find Connector, give it a click. And I'm going to go from there, there's the Connection Point showing up, clicking, dragging across and down to the End.
And let go. So, let's go back to the View tab. Those are probably very useful to most people, but you do have the option to turn them off by clicking their check boxes. The other thing you may have noticed, things are not smooth when we drag them around, they kind of snap around. And, when we reach a Connection Point, you can see how they're kind of glued, so if we were to move this around, everything stays glued to the original location where we connected things. I'm actually going to drag this right under so it's lined up on the left, the right, and up and down, let go, and this little Connection Point, we'll click it, and move it to the top.
There, that looks neater. So, you can see how everything's stuck together because they were glued. Those Snap and Glue settings can be found in the Visual Aids group here in the ribbon by clicking that little arrow in the bottom right corner, you could also use the keyboard shortcut, alt + F9. This opens up the Snap & Glue dialogue. And you can see Currently active over here, Snap, Glue, there's the Dynamic grid and Drawing aids, and then we have the Snap to column and the Glue to column. So, when we're moving things around and it's not smooth, that's because it's snapping to things, like the Ruler subdivisions, the little ticks we see on the Ruler, and the Grid, which we can't see in the background because of the backgrounds that we've added to our drawing, but they snap to those things, so things line up perfectly.
But, there are other things that we can snap to as well, some of these are turned on, some are not. If we use Guides by dragging them off the Ruler, it will snap to those guides. Shape geometry is a little bit different than the shape itself. So, I'm going to show you what I mean. I'm going to click Cancel here. Look at the Glue to column first, though. You can see gluing to the Guides and Connection Points is all that's selected, so that's what we glue to when we add those connectors, and we're not using guides, but we could glue to them as well. So when we move guides around, things stay stuck.
You can turn those off and on as you like. There's Shape geometry here as well. So let's click Cancel and talk about shape geometry for a second. Let's go to this shape because it's a little bit odd. So, the Print Invoice and UPS label. When we click it, that's a Data shape. Notice that the selection points appear as a perfect rectangle. So, that is the geometry, and what we see going outside the geometry are the extensions, so we can choose whether or not we want to glue to those, align to those, snap to those, or use the actual geometry, and you'll see the handles there on the geometry.
That's what that means. Let's zoom back out, I'm going to go down to the bottom right corner, click the button that allows me to fit the page to the current window, and that's what my flowchart looks so far, with various visual aids turned on or off, at your discretion.
Author David Rivers helps you explore the Visio interface, from working with shapes, creating basic diagrams, and connecting diagrams to adding objects (text, graphics, and links), styling diagrams with themes, and formatting shapes, pictures, and text. The final chapters concentrate on creating different types of projects with Visio: org charts and brainstorming diagrams, timelines, calendars, floor plans, and prototypes.
- Getting started with the Visio interface
- Modifying the Ribbon and Quick Access toolbar
- Using SmartShapes
- Connecting shapes
- Inserting text, pages, graphics, containers, and hyperlinks
- Formatting objects and text
- Showing and hiding elements
- Printing and publishing diagrams
- Creating layers
- Working with themes
- Building org charts, timelines, calendars, floor plans, and prototypes