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> When I want a simple diagram (e.g. a block diagram showing the
> relationship between and data flows among components in a
> client-server application), typically I've found that Visio won't let
> me simply do what I want. It won't let me draw the kind of arrow I
> want between two boxes, it won't make labels the size I want them to
> be, when I move one object it automatically rearranges the rest
> inappropriately, when I make any change to the drawing it resizes the
> page size back to the default, effectively shrinking the drawing in
> the linked OLE object in FrameMaker.
Regarding appearance things like the size and shape of arrows and the
font and size of text, you can define styles (like pgf and char styles)
for any of them. Those can live in a template. You can modify the styles
in an existing template. These aren't things you should fight with on a
case-by-case, ad hoc fashion.
Regarding things moving, resizing, etc., I think you're trying to use
Visio as just another vector drawing tool, and that's not what it is.
The Shapes in Visio are "intelligent" objects with properties and
behaviors. You can change those (individually or globally), but it's
frustrating and counter-productive to fight them.
Personally, I think Visio is one of the more amazing pieces of software
I work with (and I barely scratch the surface of its functionality), and
it's remarkably stable and solid to boot. But it's not Illustrator. You
can gain a lot in terms of efficiency and power by learning and using
Visio's strengths and unique capabilities. But if you just need/want
Illustrator, use that -- don't try to make Visio work like Illustrator.
Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
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