RE: Displaying extra information in Visio

Subject: RE: Displaying extra information in Visio
From: Stuart Burnfield <slb -at- westnet -dot- com -dot- au>
To: Techwr-l <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2011 12:54:58 +0800 (WST)

Margaret Cekis said:
> I believe that you can use layers in Visio. My approach would be to
> put the deliverable on one layer, and the inputs to each process or
> deliverable on a separate layer, with a clickable icon to display
> the more detailed information layer when desired. This prevents the
> initial view of the diagram from looking like a plate of dropped
> spaghetti. if space is tight, the fact tat the detailed layer may
> cover or obscure part of the base diagram or callouts will not be
> as aggravating, because the user will have already viewed the rest
> of the information before opening the detail layer.

As an extension to Margaret's suggestion, do you have enough room for a 'detail panel' to the side of the diagram? This would be like the Task Panes that were introduced in Word 2003.

So the base layer would show all of the documents. Clicking one of the documents would show the inputs and outputs and any other information about that document in the detail panel. The document itself would be overlaid with another box or bubble (or however it's represented in the base layer) of the same dimensions but with a thicker border. You might also have a callout line leading from the document to the detail panel.

So the whole diagram would be composed of the base layer, showing all documents, and one detail layer per document.

I hope this makes sense! If not, let me know and I'll try to mock something up.


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