Combo Boxes For Selector List

Started by OldDogNewVisio, January 16, 2023, 01:01:01 PM

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Hello.  I'm brand new to Visio, but I have much experience in Excel and Access.  My company is using Visio for their departmental SharePoint sites.  Most of the things we are doing is loading a simple org chart or hot links to other web/SharePoint sites.  That being said, I was tasked with adding a dropdown list that will enable the user to select a specific function and it will return the name of the person responsible for that function in the next box.  I have the dropdown list created with a ComboBox, but I'm having a difficult time finding a solution for the other half of the equation.  I hope someone here can assist.

Thank you so much,
I may be an Old Dog, but I'm willing to learn new tricks!!


I'm not sufficiently familiar with share point o provide specific details.  If I understand correctly, your task is to allow a user to choose a listed function and the selection will initiate a search of all share point sites to locate that function and the responsible individual(s).  Presumably, besides the name, there is additional info/detai!s to accompany that name.

Generally, making the selection would trigger a search algorithm using the selection as the filter criteria.  The code can be added to the various features of the combo box during its assembly.

Some questions that occur...
1) should the search always be all sires, or maybe restricted, say using check boxes?
2) more than one location might have identical functions to be reported
3) what contact info: name, title, boss, location, etc.

Hopefully, the listings below will be beneficial...

Some useful sites:




Visio 2019 Pro


Thank you for the response.  Actually, the assistance I am looking for is much simpler than that.  I have been tasked with creating a dropdown list with functions, eg accounting, contracts, maintenance, management etc.  Once a visitor to our SharePoint selects a function from the list, the name of the POC for that function will pop up in an adjacent box.   IE selecting "Accounting" from the drop down will give you = "Mary Smith" in the adjacent box, "Contracts" = Fred Jones etc. Everything is contained within our page.  No search of other sites needed.  I have titled it, "Who You Gonna Call".  I have created the container and the dropdown list (Combobox2) with the functional names and I need to come up with a way to connect the POCs (Combobox1) to it. 

I'm sorry for being confusing.  Thank you for your assistance.
I may be an Old Dog, but I'm willing to learn new tricks!!


If the 2nd box is only for showing results based upon 1st box selection, it doesn't need to be a combobox.  An ordinary shape would suffice.

Hypothetically, the first box sends a reference index to the 2nd shape.  The  2nd shape uses this index (could be a row number in an Excel file) to retrieve desired info.  The 2nd shape pulls in the various cell values for that row, and presents them in some desired format.

For example, 1st box selects janitor.  Janitor is matched to some index value, perhaps 27.  This value is pushed into and stored in the shapesheet of th 2nd shape.  Using either setf() or setatref() fcns, the index value of 27 is pushed into a Users defined row or possible Shapedata row.   Using this index, the appropriate values are transferred from Excel file to appropriate place holders in 2nd shape.  P
Note, perhaps the first row has blank entries as default values.

Below are some references that will help develop understanding of the shapesheet, its math functions, and formula structures.  Other useful references would describe sending/retrieving data and accessing a data base.

Some specific key elements:  index, setf, dependson, list fcns, plus editing shapesheet.

Finally, there are many topics on the forum too.
Visio 2019 Pro


Thank you very much,  I will follow your links as well as search this site and see if I can dig up the answer.

I may be an Old Dog, but I'm willing to learn new tricks!!


Please correct if I am wrong, it looks like you want this thing (combobox) to be available (and functional) on the SharePoint web site?
And your idea to have it was to place a combobox control from the "controls" toolbar to a Visio diagram?
Like, "Deveoper => Insert => Combobox (Active X Control)"?

Or this combobox control should be not on Visio diagram?
If so, where should it be?


The entire functionality of the SharePoint site is run in Visio.  IE If I have to change something on the SharePoint site, {Add an employee, post a memo, add pictures of our latest widget}, I have to open Visio to do it.  The ComboBox will reside in a VISIO diagram on the SharePoint site.

I hope that makes sense. 


I may be an Old Dog, but I'm willing to learn new tricks!!


I don't think there is any control that would work in the online version of Visio (i.e. when you open the diagram in SharePoint in browser).
Definitely not the comboox you insert from the "controls" toolbox.

VBA macros are not working in the online version either.


Since that is the case, is there a way I can create this in Excel and link it into the Visio diagram?  I'm on the hook to get this done so I will do whatever I need to make it happen.

I may be an Old Dog, but I'm willing to learn new tricks!!


Let me try to summarize what you want to achieve, if my understanding is correct:

You have an org chart diagram, with people of different roles (like "Contractor", or "Accounting").
Then you would like to add have a dropdown box (combobox) selector with those roles somewhere on the page.

When something is selected in that dropdown, you want to show (somewhere next to the selector) a list of people, who have this "function", from the Visio diagram.
Like, the list of "contractors" or those who work in the "Accounting".

You want all of that to happen on a SharePoint page in a browser.

Is that correct?


I have created an org chart in Visio, which resides on a SharePoint site.  Several people in the organization have dual roles, IE they support more than one department.  Instead of creating this MONSTER org chart with all of the people in the dual roles, I have all of the organization names with the department names under them.  Next to, BUT NOT PART OF the org chart, I have created a ComboBox where someone visiting the SharePoint can select the name of the department they want to contact from this dropdown list, and the correct name will appear.  The structure looks something like this:

Organization structure
Finance Organization   Engineering Organization   Maintenance Organization
     Accounting                   Electrical                           Plumbing
     Contracts                   Structural                           Groundskeeping

From the ComboBox next to the org structure, the visitor will be able to select the department they wish to contact and the name of the contact person will appear in the next box.

Department      Contact
Accounting               Mary Smith
Contracts                 Fred Jones
Pricing                     Mary Smith

Does this make more sense?  I tried to past a picture of what I'm doing but I am not able to.

I may be an Old Dog, but I'm willing to learn new tricks!!


I'm sorry for being difficult, looks like I'm still missing the point.

If it is somewhere on the page (not on Visio page, but on SharePoint page),
do you need some information from the Visio diagram to accomplish the task?

I mean, do you want to fill the role list from Visio diagram data, or you just have them pre-defined?
The same applies to the names - do you want to get them from Visio daigram, or you already have them.

If you have both elsewhere, can't you just build a fragment with that form/list, and put it next to the Visio diagram?


I think the SharePoint thing is causing some confusion.  The Visio file is located on SharePoint for ease of access/availability. 

Does it actively read from the SharePoint to update contents?

Seems like the org chart and the combo box are redundant.  Why not let someone select an organization entity on the org hart and have the resulting contact displayed in a dedicated shape?  Plus there are other options for showing that info which can be built-in to the org chart.  Searching the org chart has to be easier than potentially scrolling thru a long list in combo box to search for desired dept.

Just curious.
Visio 2019 Pro


As far as I understand, most users (viewers) view the file on the SharePoint website directly. They never open Visio. Only the editor does.


I have no Sharepoint experience, so I cannot address such issues directly.  What I did sense, and was trying to sort out, were (1) confusion about how the OP was using Visio in a Sharepoint environment, .and (2) was the approach within Visio the most effective way.

Both of these interact.  The OP, as I it, is allowing the User direct access to Visio.  Visio is serving in a Directory function.  The User determines which organization he's interested in (either via prior knowledge or by checking the org chart) and then uses that info with a drop down list in a combo box to get a specific contact point.

For the OP, the problem is displaying the specific contact point information.

From my perspective there are some issues:
1)  It seems that Visio is merely residing in Sharepoint for convenience of user, and not actively interacting with it.
2)  Visio has to be opened.  Thus it will be prone to user editing, either accidental or intentional.
3)  Visio may not be the best solution for this task.
4)  The org chart / combo box may not be the best configuration.
Visio 2019 Pro