Visio Animation Template

Started by vojo, September 22, 2008, 12:42:18 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


NP....use it / abuse it at will....good luck.
If you do take it to the next level....might consider posting here as well


Cool stuff. Lately, I've also been dabbling is some stuff like this using C# instead of VB. I'm making a functional diagram modeling tool that has data flow simulation...very similar to this.

However, and I apologize ahead of time to anyone who is a Visio purist and considers this blasphemy, you can drop your Visio drawings into PowerPoint and do this kind of thing in less than 5 minutes. The animation tools built into PowerPoint are extremely simple to use. Like everyone else on this site that is a fan of Visio, my goal would be to make a similar set of tool for Visio and forego jumping between two apps. But, as it stands today, Power Point is the quickest and easiest option.

vojo can burn a bunch of PPT slides to do this....aka the old "flipbook" solution.

If it solves your problem...have at it....Only 2 reasons I messed with this was
1.  PPT is a crude as coloring with a crayon when a mech pencils really cant do precision animation in PPT
2.  in order to have some fluid motion, would need hundreds of PPT charts to accomplish

If not worried about those issues....have at it


  Not true. It can be done with a single slide. Here it is. I took me about 7 minutes not 5. ;).
Seriously, give the PPT custom animation a try before knocking it. It really is pretty flexible and powerful. Being an engineer like me, you could probably figure out how to do advanced stuff in ~20 minutes. But, I agree with you, it still isn't an answer for those of us that would like to have that kind of ability available to us in Visio.


Hey JWD!

That's cool.  Didn't know ppt would let you do that -- of course, I never looked.

Visio 2019 Pro


1.your red/blue dots jittered (try an irregular arc)
2.Given this simple does not show the grid/snap problems in PPT (crayon effect)

If somebody wants to do it in PPT...have at it....after all PPT is really for conveying concepts in a simple may be better off with FLASH/BLENDER/etc for anything interesting.

Not trying to push my idea in visio (have not touched in months)...just remember why I did not do in PPT in the first place
(needed this kind of thing for work....ended up just laboriously explaining the given concept with static slides).


Quote from: vojo on September 22, 2008, 12:42:18 PM
So, I got curious about animation with visio.
I put together this template.   The help page should outline how to use it.
   1. It has VB so if nervous about security or me...then dont use
   2. I freely admit its a bit of hack...all feel free to do whatever you want
   3. I make no claims/guarentees about the correctness/robustness of this template.

All that said....have welcomed, though not sure how much time I can divert to updates

Hey Vojo,

Im sure you've done nice work. However, I have no idea how to use this template I couldnt find th help page and after playin around with the bullseye, i still cldnt make anything work. I use Visio 2010  >:(  :(  :( Please help


its been a long time since I messed with this.

Wont kid you...there is lots of VBA associated with this to make work.
Depending on what you want to could use/extend this effort....or.....could do it as a story board (sheet per view, import each sheet into ppt, use ppt animation to move between slides).

Actually, what spawned this was the realization that nobody on the planet makes a "complete" tool
(visio is great for static precision diagrams and interrelates shapes fairly well....but doesnt do animation well nor 3D well...and even with VBA, cant really do much with shapes per se).
(PPT does animation well.... but crude in diagramming and doesnt do 3d well
(sketchup does 3D well and may do animation well....but no real shape interrelation per se....sketchup is really after the guy who wants to model his yard, house, star wars battle cruiser, etc)
(OO impress/draw does nothing about a real mess)
(other 3rd party tools are not all that either import static or storyboard in PPT or get more people to buy those licenses)
(of course could go after adobe, blender, etc....but too realistic/intensive for things like network diagrams)
(bottom line no real universal tool per se.....I realize MS would loose a revenue stream but they should really look at marrying PPT and visio....would probably be enough to keep others at bay)

Basically, the second sheet is the help file   (steps and example)

Feel free to modify/change/whatever you want in the template (again I have not done anything on this in over a year...dont plan to...too much going on at my real job).
If you do want to improve it, you may want to rethink how I stored the steps (in scratch cells per shape)....may want to keep a DB of steps by shape...maybe host in an excell workbook.
If excell....could then look at VBA in excell to manipulate values....and might even be able to do 3D to 2D translations....visio would then be just the presentation engine.

Anyway...good luck and have at it

see below

Daniel Rose

I am newbie on this board and with Visio.  So, I downloaded that animation zip file.  It brought up VISIO and nothing happened.

What did I do wrong?

I have VISIO 2007 (corporate policy).  I am very curious about this and would like to get this working.  Can somebody explain how to get this working?

I would appreciate it very much!



to see example....go to the second page (help) and use the dashboard at the bottom

Like I said...have not done much with this in over a year....feel free to use/abuse at will

Daniel Rose

Thank you.  I reviewed the Help page and got the diagram to work.  So, now the next logical question.  What is this Animation Dashboard?  Is it a stencil, shape, or what?  Second, what is the Animation Bullseye?

So, this animation process be like another layer over the static diagram?


its part of the template for a couple of reasons
   - There is lots of VBA involved....including a timer to handle the increments
   - All shapes use cells in the page to pace their progress

The dashboard controls all this (single step forward, single step back...actual animation....reset to beginning)

The bullseye allows somebody to add animation to any existing shape
    - basically add the existing shape to the given bullseye....shape will move with bullseye
    - Bullseye approach allows you to add steps in the middle if you want (or take steps away)...right click the bullseye
    - Several types of movement defined
    - Each bullseye shape uses the scratch section to track location for each step in the animation (figured it was better there than to create some sort of ad hoc DB to track all shapes in play)
      (a DB approach - VBA DIM of a multiple dimension array - is probably more sophisticated, but the debug is much tougher...would need to use the msg box alot to make sure tracks as you want)

So with multiple bullseyes on a page....can get several shapes to move.

This is not intended to use layering per se (bullseye current on the same layer as the shapes...never really messed with shapes on different layers...feel free to add that).

Frankly, if you are really interested in is what I would do coming into this new
   - Open up the VBA
   - Look at the first few subs
        - how to get full screen
        - timer behavior
        - single step forward/back
   - Once you think you got that understood, the rest of the subs address specific behaviors
        - adding / deleting steps
        - finding all the shapes on the page that animate and moving them appropriately
        - Arcs vs straight line movement
        - etc
   - Once you have that...then can think about better ways to to go
        - Maybe a VBA DB to track steps  (if you do use this approach...lots to consider)
               - how to extend or shrink....aka assume you started with 10 steps...but now want 11 or does the DB realign...what gets dropped
               - Would either need to define up front the size of array (or just make a huge one of 100 steps at compile time)....or...thus a variable DIM construct.
               - Number of shapes grows or shrinks (maybe 20 and invalidate if shape dissappears)
               - Index for shape into array
               - So assuming brute force....20 by 1  for name/index   and 20 by 100 for steps...if you want to brute force this.
        - explore layering (might be a nice way to hide/show animation "bullseyes" vs what I did.
        - The current stuff looks at path animation....but could look at shape behavior otherwise
               - change color on step 5
               - change text on step 6
               - even hide / show shape at given step.
        - Place the dashboard in the UI instead of on the sheet  (note the visual progress indicator...probably want to keep that).
     I think the key is going to be the following:
        - Need to make  the fullscreen UI as you want (dashboard or in UI)
        - Need to make a general purpose step engine (the stepping is pretty simple...the approach to manage what shape does what at each step is the question)
        - Need to define some sort of opcode structure so that for a given shape, the opcode defines what is to be done...that way, can extend later if need be
           (for example, if 20 X 100 has each entry as a say 4 elements....op code + 3 pieces of info such as options, X location, Y location....then can add other opcodes as needed)

I still think you will want to keep this as a template....I think you probably could make a stencil approach work but there are subtleties.
There maybe enviroment issues on different peoples systems that might cause problems.

All that said, you could gauge the community here to see if a collaborative effort on this would be helpful (aka akin to like open source development)
There are alot of very talented people here...and many are much more fluent with VBA than I am (I'd be the first to say, if you look at my VBA, you can see a brute force approach to this).

Note, there was a french company about 3 years ago that did something similar....I did not look at it in detail since they wanted $$$ for the suite.
But maybe its worth looking at as well.


not sure if some may call it animation however the attached example shows a "Flyover effect" and how I used the Visio environment to create shape movement in a 3D visulisation of GPS data from an underlying database. I did have a "fly through" effect at one stage.

the user is able to use the "helicopter" controls to give it a flyover feel. the VBA environment interrogates the region of the red square and extract the GPS location that fall within its range .. it then plots the GPS data on the slab  and faithfully moves the shapes in accordance with the PAN TILT controls on the custom menu .. users can drill deeper into the regions and the calculated distance of the perimenter is displayed at the sides of the slab in metres... the red arrow always points north .. blue circles denote type A locations while green lines denote type B loactions.


Visio Guy

Wow Cliff, wow!

The rotating thing is all Visio, correct? I'm guessing the slab was the tricky part, but the points just need to maintain proportional X/Y distances between sides. Got my brain churning... :)
For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
Get my Visio Book! Using Microsoft Visio 2010


Klar! Mr Roth ;D all VBA coding->  sine cosine tan .. the green poles denote radio sites the blue ovals fibre optic sites.. depending on what angle the tilt \ pan influence is,  the shapesheet formulas adjust the length and height of the respective shapes..the pin x formula of the shapes are also adjusted by the tilt \ pan influence.  your right to say the fade to convergence is outa skew .. the coding to go that extra mile was beyond my scope.

animation in Visio can take many paths.. my limit ( I think)  is somewhere between "Steam Boat Mickey" and "Finding Nemo"  :D