shape inheritence

Started by gunslingor, October 29, 2012, 03:20:22 PM

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If I want to edit a master shape, but I've already used it say 100 times on my drawing, how can I make the changes to the master shape and have the changes automatically apply to all the child shapes? For the most part, I'll be editing the images in the shape, and possibly adding or deleting connection points.



You can try to edit the mastershape in the drawings document stencil. If the shape's link to that master is not broken, changes there should propagate.


I am guessing that all my links back to the masters are broken, because when I edit a master in the stencil the shapes on my massive drawing are not updated with the changes... I'd prefer not to have to redrag shapes one by one, for all I know more changes to the master will be necessary latter.

I just noticed that I can edit the master in the document stencil, not the master stencil, and it will update all the shapes. So I guess I can just do that and replace the masters in the master stencil. Anymore discussion or background on the subject is appreciated.

Paul Herber

That is what Jumpy suggested, edit the master shape in the document stencil, not the original stencil. There is no connection from the shape on the page back to the master in the stencil.

Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils for Visio -


Understood, thanks for the help!


I am also having trouble getting my changes to the master shape to propagate.  I've spent about 10 hours on this and gotten nowhere.  I hope there's someone out there who can help me.  I've attached a document showing the steps I take and the results.  I'm sure I'm messing up somewhere along the way, but I can't figure it out.  Can anybody out there help me?


ok...a couple of things:

A shape update in Stencil X does NOT propagate to Stencil Y
A shape update in Stencil X does NOT propagate to an existing drawing.

Here is what you need to think about:
1.  When creating a shape, work hard to make sure all changes intended are designed in
     (you can save the stencil as you go....or save as a new version as you go.....just whatever the last version is, that is the one you use)
     For example, maybe you make the text as a prop field and use field insert for having text shown.....or....maybe you decide to take
     a shape and add a couple of text boxes and make a group.   Either way once it looks good, then can consider using it for real work.

2.  After you worked hard to get all changed that ever might be used in place and that stencil is saved, you can now think about starting
     a drawing (or as you add things to the shape, can do sample/dummy drawings to see how behaviors work).

3.  Assume you have a drawing with a shape that you want to need to go the document stencil and update THAT master
     (update to the document stencil master does NOT update the original stencil X or Y).

In general....when making new stencil shapes, need to have sort of an artist mentality (doodle some, look at it, doodle some more, look at it, etc)
Only get serious when you think you got close to the final shape defined.   This is particularly true if the shape is complex or has lots of
action controlled behaviors (show that.....present this....connectors for that....etc)


VOJO, thanks for your explanation.  I think one of my biggest problems was that I was not editing the shape in the document stencil.  I was trying to edit it in stenci1 or stencil 2.  Again, I really appreciate you taking the time to read my rambling example and providing an answer.  I'm going to start with a new drawing and set the shapes up as you describe.  I will let you know of my success, I hope.