Author Topic: Visio 2010 Stencil Strangeness  (Read 7643 times)

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gunslingor

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Visio 2010 Stencil Strangeness
« on: October 24, 2012, 02:18:36 PM »
This is how most stencils look:


This is how the VSDfx-Generic-3D stencil looks:


Why is the VSDfx stencil different than others? It looks like all the lines are colored green and the gradient is removed. Everything looks fine when you drag it off the stencil, but why do they look so different in the stencil?

I already converted this stencil so that the shapes are based on image inserts (which are captured via screen shots of the on screen shape) instead of Visio shape drawings as the stencil came. However, when I save as a webpage, the individual png versions of these shapes using the image might be 50-200Kb whereas the original is a mere 1-10kB and only shows the face of each device. Presumably the other lines and grandients are drawn in the xaml file I think.

Question: which implimentation would be faster on the web? The current drawings with roughly 200 shapes, 500 connectors, 48x36 size and using the image shape method are really slow to render in IE9 and really non-functional in firefox. I'm wondering if I can expect significantly faster load times if I spend a week reapplying the old stencil.

Also, why on earth to the shapes fall apart when I ungroup them?

Thanks.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2012, 02:36:30 PM by gunslingor »

Paul Herber

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Re: Visio 2010 Stencil Strangeness
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2012, 07:02:52 PM »
The icon view of a stencil shape can either be derived automatically from the shape (sometimes good, sometimes bad results) or it can be an independent image. This view can be a standard (32x32 pixel image), wide (64x32), high (32x64) or a double sized (64x64), how it looks is up to the shape designer.
Shapes should never be ungrouped, the group can contain information that all the sub-shapes rely on. There is never any need to do so.
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gunslingor

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Re: Visio 2010 Stencil Strangeness
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 06:52:23 AM »
There is never any need to do so.
I agree, except when I want to use an existing shape to make a new but similar shape... The only ways I've found to do that is to convert the shape into an image, modify it in graphics software and reimport it, but this appears to make the size a lot bigger. I need to learn how to make these shapes directly in Visio I suspect, I have just never been able to figure out how to do it. I understand unions, fills, open vs. close and all that, I just don't understand how to use that information to make 3d shapes like the ones shown above. Does anyone have a good step by step source on how to make these kind of 3d shapes?

Paul Herber

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Re: Visio 2010 Stencil Strangeness
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 07:03:29 AM »
There is never any need to do so.
I agree, except when I want to use an existing shape to make a new but similar shape...

Especially when you want to use an existing shape to make a new but similar shape!!

I think you need to start from square one in creating Visio shapes.
Have a good look around this forum, as well as the main Visio Guy site.
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils and applications for Visio -

https://www.paulherber.co.uk/

Docman

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Re: Visio 2010 Stencil Strangeness
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2012, 07:12:55 AM »
Also, why on earth to the shapes fall apart when I ungroup them?

When you say "fall apart", I'm guessing you mean that when ungrouping them, suddenly you see a bunch of gradient rectangles appear from nowhere, sometimes the font's change size and alignments are all off?

The first thing is that the stencil is customised just to how the designer wants it, includig the shape sheet info of the ungrouped object, in the case of shade gradients the designer didn't just click one of the visio standard shading options, they created their own, and this involves hiding parts of bigger shapes to get the parts of that shape you want in the final stencil. Same thisng with Font scaling, you can do it via the shape sheet or hack it with a vector based image of the text - one is a lot harder than the other.

It's also a kind of a copy protection for the stencil designer - most of the license agreements on those shapes say you're free to use them, but don't ungroup or modify them. Yeah yeah, sure sure, let's just ungroup this sucker... ah, damb it, where the hell did all this other crap come from! Some shapes will even ungroup to show the name of the stencil creator as part of the text.

You now stand at the cusp of thinking you're really good at visio shapes to realising how little you know about the dark art of advanced shape creation. :)

gunslingor

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Re: Visio 2010 Stencil Strangeness
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 09:54:41 AM »
Also, why on earth to the shapes fall apart when I ungroup them?

When you say "fall apart", I'm guessing you mean that when ungrouping them, suddenly you see a bunch of gradient rectangles appear from nowhere, sometimes the font's change size and alignments are all off?

The first thing is that the stencil is customised just to how the designer wants it, includig the shape sheet info of the ungrouped object, in the case of shade gradients the designer didn't just click one of the visio standard shading options, they created their own, and this involves hiding parts of bigger shapes to get the parts of that shape you want in the final stencil. Same thisng with Font scaling, you can do it via the shape sheet or hack it with a vector based image of the text - one is a lot harder than the other.

It's also a kind of a copy protection for the stencil designer - most of the license agreements on those shapes say you're free to use them, but don't ungroup or modify them. Yeah yeah, sure sure, let's just ungroup this sucker... ah, damb it, where the hell did all this other crap come from! Some shapes will even ungroup to show the name of the stencil creator as part of the text.

You now stand at the cusp of thinking you're really good at visio shapes to realising how little you know about the dark art of advanced shape creation. :)

Right on the money buddy =)