Visio Guy

Visio Discussions => General Visio => Topic started by: awa123 on December 25, 2021, 05:29:47 PM

Title: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: awa123 on December 25, 2021, 05:29:47 PM
Hello,

I would like to know if there is a main website for sharing all types of visio shape for free

For example if i would like a 'pallet' shape or whatever, it would be nice to find it easily in a free users sharing space

I think that kind of website is probably already existing

Thanks

Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: wapperdude on December 25, 2021, 08:07:41 PM
Largest repository of Visio stencils:  http://www.visiocafe.com/

Additional sites, just Google Visio shapes
Various manufacturers also offer stencils / shapes of their equipment.  Especially true for IT shapes, audio gear.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Paul Herber on December 26, 2021, 04:12:16 AM
Many stencil designers have their own selection of free shapes, Visio Guy has his own, there is a category on this very forum for such shapes, John Marshall has his, I've got mine, Microsoft have their own selection. Microsoft even created a repository of free and commercially available third-party shapes called Office Marketplace, but that didn't last two years.

Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Surrogate on December 26, 2021, 08:41:46 AM
Few years i shared my stencils at MS TechNet Gallery, but they closed this resource
https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/teamblog/technet-gallery-retirement
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Nikolay on December 26, 2021, 11:32:56 AM
Theoretically, this could be a useful resource.
I mean something a bit more modern than visiocafe, a site similar to those for icon/image search, like icofinder (https://www.iconfinder.com/search?q=microsoft) for example.
At least some shape preview and search by keyword/tag could be nice.

BTW, what happened to Visio shapes on the Office Marketplace? I thought it is still alive? Was it closed down?
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: wapperdude on December 26, 2021, 12:17:18 PM
I suppose that having a Shapes Cafe category would be nice.  Not sure how much effort / maintainable / security would be needed.  It seems a potential issue is that a Visio shape could be Trojan horse.

The forum already hosts a wide range of shapes from serious to whimsical.  They're just. Not nicely cataloged.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Paul Herber on December 26, 2021, 12:28:13 PM
BTW, what happened to Visio shapes on the Office Marketplace? I thought it is still alive? Was it closed down?

All closed down with no notice. No chance to edit or remove items beforehand. Left me with many dangling URLs (humorous comebacks below, please) which annoyed me intensely.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Surrogate on December 26, 2021, 03:24:51 PM
It seems a potential issue is that a Visio shape could be Trojan horse.
Hi, Wapperdude ! What do you mean?
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Paul Herber on December 26, 2021, 03:47:50 PM
It seems a potential issue is that a Visio shape could be Trojan horse.
Hi, Wapperdude ! What do you mean?

Surely you know the story of the wooden horse left at the gates of Troy.
Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand shapesheets.
Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes - it's either beware geeks bearing gifts, or instructions from a football coach, keep Timeo Danaos out on the left wing and put Dona Ferentes in goal.

P.S. Visio - if shapes were only in .vssx format stencil (so no macros) then they should be safe. I've never heard of any way to put malicious code in a Visio shape, but who knows.

Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Surrogate on December 26, 2021, 04:07:47 PM
I also dont know ways how put malicious code in a Visio shape (when used vssx-format).
I've been experimenting a bit, with the goal of protecting my stencils with Shapesheet. It's probably theoretically possible, but it doesn't make practical sense. No one wants my stencils, absolutely no one wants to steal them
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: wapperdude on December 26, 2021, 05:35:26 PM
It was just a thought.  Sort of stream of unconsciousness!  😱😂
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Paul Herber on December 28, 2021, 09:25:40 AM
I've never heard of any way to put malicious code in a Visio shape, but who knows.

Had a thought: a specially crafted image could be used within a shape to cause a buffer overflow (or similar) that could then be used in a malicious way. <end of thinks>
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: vojo on December 28, 2021, 12:50:50 PM
could somebody use the user defined functions in a shape user cell to alter the page settings.
While this could be unwound back to correct settings, a laymen would have a hard time figuring out the problem.
(I hope this post does NOT spawn the dark angels of our nature into bad acts).
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Paul Herber on December 28, 2021, 01:41:58 PM
A shapesheet from the Dark Side:
just duplicate the shape on the page (copy/paste or Ctrl-D to duplicate) and it's goodbye to the page (you can't even undo!)
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Surrogate on December 29, 2021, 04:48:00 AM
just duplicate the shape on the page (copy/paste or Ctrl-D to duplicate) and it's goodbye to the page (you can't even undo!)
This "horrible" trick works ! But how many users these days know about the "dark power" of ShapeSheet ?
(https://static.movingpackets.net/2011/10/Layout-and-Routing-Button.png)
I think there are a few hundred people in the world who can do this joke  ;D
Every year their number decreases ... Fortunately or not ?
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Yacine on December 29, 2021, 06:39:52 AM
If we'd follow the main stream, we'd host interesting stencils on git hub. Isn't it?
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Surrogate on December 29, 2021, 07:14:52 AM
we'd host interesting stencils on git hub. Isn't it?
Yes
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Paul Herber on December 29, 2021, 08:05:29 AM
Github's not the first place I'd look for anything Visio.
Doing a Github search for "visio" brings up stuff matching "vision", so therefore useless.
Search for "visio template" shows nothing to do with Visio.
Search for "visio stencil" brings up 70 items, some even have suitable tags.
I tried looking at a few that look interesting, 2 showed binary file not available, 2 showed "cannot show binary file that large (2MB).
Give up.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Paul Herber on December 29, 2021, 12:12:52 PM
Here's a little thing people might like to play around with.

https://www.stencil-gallery.paulherber.co.uk/ (https://www.stencil-gallery.paulherber.co.uk/)

Don't go bookmarking it, it won't stay up for very long, and I'm not going to buy the software that runs it yet either.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Yacine on December 30, 2021, 03:40:42 AM
Here's a little thing people might like to play around with.

https://www.stencil-gallery.paulherber.co.uk/ (https://www.stencil-gallery.paulherber.co.uk/)

Don't go bookmarking it, it won't stay up for very long, and I'm not going to buy the software that runs it yet either.


Nice, but there is no preview. You would have to download the stencil to check its content.

Speaking about the search results on github, you get the wrong results because there is no appropriate content. If there were more visio related stuff, it would show in the results. It would be up to us to provide it.

And to think it further down, there could be collections for different aspects:
- stencils (obviously)
- links lists (like this one: https://github.com/gabrielbhl/awesome-python (https://github.com/gabrielbhl/awesome-python) )
- development patterns ( eg: https://github.com/faif/python-patterns (https://github.com/faif/python-patterns))
- code snippets - vba, .Net, python, etc.- utilities libraries, eg:  - handling props and users cells  - import export to Excel and Access  - setting up a doc, page, ...  - iterating
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Paul Herber on December 30, 2021, 04:06:31 AM
Nice, but there is no preview. You would have to download the stencil to check its content.

A bit difficult on a web server running Linux/Apache.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Nikolay on December 30, 2021, 04:36:20 AM
I think this is more task for Microsoft to do...
It should not be GitHub, it should be a separate site. GitHub is for code, not shapes.

I think this is all about the App Store thing. I believe you can vote for it here, but I am not sure if it brings much:
https://feedbackportal.microsoft.com/feedback/idea/a084dd51-e01c-ec11-b6e7-0022481f88a4


Anyway. Preview and search are essential, without them the whole site doesn't make much sense IMHO.
But previews and search require parsing Visio files (preferably on server).

To me, the only lib that is capable of doing that more-or-less "okay" is Aspose.
But it's commercial, and quite heavily commercial (they have a new cloud API (https://products.aspose.cloud/diagram/family/) now though, and free tier there, like 150 calls per month).
Maybe they would agree to sponsor such a project, though.

Another question is copyright and shape licensing.
I am completely lost here - some shapes may be commercial or copyrighted (in fact, most of them are).
How would you suggest to deal with this?
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Surrogate on December 30, 2021, 04:54:35 AM
I think this is more task for Microsoft to do...
Many hardware manufacturers have invested in open source software. Their logic is clear:
if there is no software, then there is nobody need to buy hardware.

MS does not seem to be interested in this at all! They believe that users are satisfied with the stencils supplied with the product.
Users will happily upgrade their licenses every 3 years to get the stencils with slight restyling
(http://osiprodwusodcspstoa01.blob.core.windows.net/en-us/media/99e8c4cf-ccb2-40d1-9775-5df4033186b9.png)
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Yacine on December 30, 2021, 04:58:40 AM
I think this is more task for Microsoft to do...
  Sure, but we all know how fast M is in answering requests, ...
  The repo is for us users, not for M improving their product
It should not be GitHub, it should be a separate site. GitHub is for code, not shapes.
  Well, it is for sharing and some of the stuff is code. Actually a big part of it.
Preview and search are essential, without them the whole site doesn't make much sense IMHO.
  Right ...?
But previews and search require parsing Visio files (preferably on server)
Another question is copyright and shape licensing
  All the stuff I personally write and upload here is free.
  Commercial content - as Paul's shapes and utilities - are re-linked to their respective sites. GitHub would be no different.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Yacine on December 30, 2021, 05:20:14 AM
Search for "visio template" shows nothing to do with Visio.

Refining the search with topics option brings more results.
https://github.com/topics/visio
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Paul Herber on December 30, 2021, 05:50:48 AM
Here's a little thing people might like to play around with.

https://www.stencil-gallery.paulherber.co.uk/ (https://www.stencil-gallery.paulherber.co.uk/)

Don't go bookmarking it, it won't stay up for very long, and I'm not going to buy the software that runs it yet either.


Nice, but there is no preview.

https://www.stencil-gallery.paulherber.co.uk/ (https://www.stencil-gallery.paulherber.co.uk/)

Now with pictures! And even the folders are illustrated!
Of course, these images were created manually.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Yacine on December 30, 2021, 08:13:21 AM
You shouldn't have sent this. You're giving us ideas ;).
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Nikolay on December 30, 2021, 01:39:32 PM
I think it always comes to this  :D

(https://i2.paste.pics/cadfab4fe34ccc47ab74b55e25278972.png)

Somebody needs to do it, the the science the site won't do itself  :)
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Surrogate on December 30, 2021, 05:10:01 PM
Anyway. Preview and search are essential, without them the whole site doesn't make much sense IMHO.
What about GitHub Pages (https://pages.github.com/) ? For example http://jheyman.github.io/blog/pages/VisioTips/ (http://jheyman.github.io/blog/pages/VisioTips/).
Or GitBook (https://www.gitbook.com/) ? My personal site on GitBook (https://surrogate-tm.gitbook.io/my-stencils/).
It should not be GitHub, it should be a separate site. GitHub is for code, not shapes.
There (https://kdemon.github.io/pages/stencil.html) you can find an example site with preview and opportunity download stencils…
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Nikolay on December 30, 2021, 07:03:13 PM
It does not solve the main problem of parsing Visio stencils (and creating preview images and searchable text from shapes).
I mean, GitHub pages are great of course, but they seem to be unrelated. Today, one can create a site much easier than that.

Please note that I'm assuming something as easy to use as "image finder" type websites:

https://imagefinder.co/search/festival

https://www.iconfinder.com/search?q=microsoft

https://fontawesome.com/v5.15/icons?d=gallery&p=2&q=windows

Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Surrogate on December 31, 2021, 01:57:58 AM
It does not solve the main problem of parsing Visio stencils (and creating preview images and searchable text from shapes).
3 years ago i try wrote my own macro for create list with preview for my some stencils
And after this i found tool Visio Power Tools2010 (https://viziblr.com/news/2012/3/10/browsing-visio-2010-stencil-shapes-as-a-document.html) by Saveen Reddy (https://vimeo.com/saveenr).
(https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5005b450c4aa8b4d97612392/t/615291b12b34b67da526a8bf/1331415199277/1000w/0071.png)
Using this tool I created list of master-shapes (https://surrogate-tm.github.io/own/Masters_List.txt) and PDF-document with master-shapes preview (274 page document that looks like the screenshot above) (https://surrogate-tm.github.io/own/VisioProfessionalMastersList.pdf) of Visio Plan 2 stencils in 2019.

Of course, it looks wildly old-fashioned! But it better than never :)
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Nikolay on December 31, 2021, 05:40:05 AM
You are right. I was assuming there is nothing but this site, so users upload a stencil there and the site adds the shapes from it to the search automatically.

But if you assume that user can also prepare or pre-process stencils locally with your tool or that script somehow before uploading then this could work. If the user has Visio installed locally of course.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Yacine on December 31, 2021, 07:09:54 AM
A tagging system would also be fine.
Both for the stencil and the individual shapes.
A database would store these data.
When someone uploads a stencil the db needs to be triggered (somehow) and some code would then analyze the stencil. Check for specific fields in the doc's user section (eg purpose, categories, tags, author, version, ... etc.).
If the fields don't exist yet, they will created and can be edited afterwards.
The code would then iterate over the masters and repeat the checking process, but for master specific topics (name, description, color, 3D, SmartShape, DataDriven, ...).
It would then create thumbnails of the masters (may be in different sizes).
As for the naming, it could be Stencil_Name (unique), Version, Shape_Name
GitHub Pages allows the use of Javascript - We should then check if the page could interact with the db to build up a result page with images, based on a search.

I don't know if the stencils can be stored automatically in subfolders ... useful? feasable?

A big challenge remains when considering the automation of adding a stencil.
Ideally the uploader would do all the work. Setting this automation up might be very difficult.
On the other hand, asking admins to do the job is also risky since you depend on this "resource".
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Nikolay on December 31, 2021, 07:32:12 AM
Yes, this sounds reasonable. Like a project with a five figures budget  ;D
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Yacine on December 31, 2021, 08:10:09 AM
Having now played a couple of hours with the system, I understand much more your point when you say that a dedicated self made project would be a better idea.
Having this separation between main repos and pages sites is so complicated that normal users may not get the point.
It is difficult to organize the structure into folders.
... will think it over more thoroughly ... and maybe keep it as very personal repo ... don't know yet.
Please discourage me from discarding this project :D :D :D
BTW, what are five figures when you have enthusiasm and a community? Nothing!

I however still agree with you that it needs to stay reasonable! It is as always a costs vs. gains balance.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Nikolay on December 31, 2021, 08:25:17 AM
I would add a couple of more wishes to kill it  :)

1. The community shapes should be available in the stock shape search in Visio.
2. Shape developers should be able to sell their shapes

I thought this was the idea of the Microsoft visio app store.
Not sure why they cancelled it.. I would probably still let Microsoft do it. Some day.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Yacine on December 31, 2021, 08:29:44 AM
for 1:
A macro driven search tool could do the job. eg: docked window, search field, connection to internet, results in window.
for 2:
One could - with the help of the tool - publish only the images. The sales operation would then be carried out differently (github: no, relink: maybe, separate platform: probably)

Speaking about selling, this could become a bigger thing if there were tools where people would invest development time in exchange of money. Like with the big icons market. An idea to follow.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Paul Herber on December 31, 2021, 10:02:36 AM
"The Plan" was to have everything available via the Microsoft Store, even free stuff. To put stuff into the Microsoft Store you need to create a MSIX package containing whatever you want to distribute. MSIX does not work with Office yet. 2 years and waiting.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Surrogate on January 03, 2022, 02:59:53 AM
Hi, Yacine !

I began to add useful hyperlinks to the new resource (https://github.com/Visio-Resources).
Just now there is only one repository is friendly (GitPages) - https://github.com/Visio-Resources/Shapes-n-stencils (https://github.com/Visio-Resources/Shapes-n-stencils).

PS In the ToDo section (https://github.com/Visio-Resources/Organization#todos) there is an item
Quote
4. hand the project to a young enthousiastic "Visioneer".
Who do you mean ?  ;)
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Yacine on January 06, 2022, 07:35:47 AM
I am very surprised indeed!
I was up to deleting my "attempt", as I (meanwhile) found several other github pages already collecting shapes.
Having you contributing to my initial idea will of course stop me from deleting the page.
Let me check your contribution in the coming days.
Till then, thxs in advance.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Paul Herber on January 06, 2022, 10:43:42 AM
A problem for me is: I do have a problem with the MIT license.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Yacine on January 07, 2022, 06:29:00 AM
A problem for me is: I do have a problem with the MIT license.


Why is that? I stumbled upon the license entry, read the recommendation page and chose the simplest license type in the list. What are your issues about it?
Do you prefer another one?
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Surrogate on June 06, 2022, 03:08:58 AM
I added a little more information, with a readme.md to each repository:
https://github.com/Visio-Resources/Shapes-n-stencils (https://github.com/Visio-Resources/Shapes-n-stencils#readme) (based on the chapter 3rd-party additions for Microsoft Visio from the article Stuff about Visio (https://paulherber.co.uk/stuff-about-visio/) by Paul Herber (https://paulherber.co.uk/contact5.php))
https://github.com/Visio-Resources/Snippets-n-Libraries (https://github.com/Visio-Resources/Snippets-n-Libraries#readme)
https://github.com/Visio-Resources/developing-solutions (https://github.com/Visio-Resources/developing-solutions#readme)
https://github.com/Visio-Resources/Links (https://github.com/Visio-Resources/Links#readme)
We also have friendly versions on git-pages (like this (https://visio-resources.github.io/Shapes-n-stencils/)), but now these versions are not synchronized.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Yacine on June 06, 2022, 04:53:04 AM
And yet another nerd spending his holiday time on visio!
 :D :D :D :D :D


Thank you.
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Surrogate on June 06, 2022, 06:15:40 AM
spending his holiday time
(https://visio.getbb.ru/images/smilies/icon_mrgreen.gif)
My next crazy idea: to make an English-language analogue of the navigator, which is available in the Russian-speaking community
https://visioport.ru/navi/png_1.htm (https://visioport.ru/navi/png_1.htm)
Behind each segment in the circle there is a hyperlink that will open the corresponding article

I will leave collections of English-language links only. Right now, about 30% of the resources linked to are in Russian. I think it makes little sense to give links through auto-translate services.
Here (https://github.com/Surrogate-TM/surrogate-tm.github.io/blob/master/helpful/navigator.md) is a draft of how it will be…
If you click on For Business or Specialization, the list expands to
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Yacine on June 07, 2022, 02:01:36 AM
Nice navigator more or less what Visisthebest was trying to do. Can you elaborate on your graphics?
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Surrogate on June 07, 2022, 03:30:09 AM
Can you elaborate on your graphics?
This graphics is not mine, Croc (http://visguy.com/vgforum/index.php?action=profile;u=11866) do it  :o
Title: Re: Sharing space for Visio Shape
Post by: Croc on June 07, 2022, 04:44:35 AM
Quote
Can you elaborate on your graphics?
The basis of the graphics is the "sector" master shape, which contains 6 User-defined Cells for customization.
The data source is a CSV file, which is obtained as a result of exporting from the database.
To create graphics, I use the ThisDocument.CommonTask macro. The macro clears the document, reads the data file, creates graphics in the form of a set of "sector" shapes, saves the document using VisSaveAsWeb.
VisSaveAsWeb creates many files, but only three of them need to be uploaded to the site. These are png_1.png, png_1.js and png_1.htm (after a little search and replace).
I am attaching the files Wheel.vsd and wheel.csv for those who want to learn more about the process of creating and preparing graphics for export via FTP.