Plotting Excel Data on a Visio Page

Started by bruceam, October 29, 2014, 02:52:41 PM

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I am using Visio Professional 2010 with Office 365 on top of Windows 7 - 64 bit.

Question 01:
Is there a way to take data in an Excel Spreadsheet and plot it on a Visio Page?  I know that Excel can do this with a chart, but it doesn't do everything, and some of the things it will do, are done poorly.  For example, If I were to plot the complex impedances of the front end of a receiver, as a function of frequency, drive current, temperature, or etc..., I would get only an x,y plot in Excel.  What I would really need would be this information mapped onto a "Smith Chart", which Excel does not do.  There are other issues with how an Excel Chart can be used outside of Excel.   I would rather use Visio.  It is much more powerful, and far more versatile.  So, given a Visio sheet with it's scale/coordinates set appropriately, how generate a set of objects (dots, squares, etc...), one for each of the coordinate strings found in the excel columns, and then place each of these objects on the Visio sheet at the correct location specified by the coordinate data in the spreadsheet? 

Question 02:
Also, in a related topic, can I use data computed in a spreadsheet as parameters for multiple visio objects?  For example:  to generate the "Smith Chart" I mentioned earlier, I would need to draw a large number of circles or parts of circles (arc from a given start angle to a given end angle).  These lines would have radii and have centers located at coordinates by values computed within the spreadsheet. etc...  This would be remarkably useful to me as an engineer.

Link for images of a Smith Chart

Thank you in advance!



There is no inherent Smith Chart capability built into Visio.  This would have to be developed from scratch.  It's do-able, but why?  There are a lot of Smith Chart programs out there, some are quite good.  There are some that leverage Excel's data capability.  Try Google, there are Smith Chart apps for Excel.  I think there may also be stand alone Smith Chart programs which accept Excel data.

On the other side, there are Smith Chart programs that facilitate network design.  I have used Del - Fritz Dellsperger's program in the past (I'm retired).  Has many nice features, relatively simple to use, was relatively inexpensive.  Does come with a free demo version for program evaluation. 

Visio 2019 Pro


I already have the Smith Chart developed for Visio, it is just not interactive.  Besides, I was using the Smith Chart as an example of many things that are not presently supported by Excel, that Visio would do wonderfully well, especially if it had the computationally ability of Excel working invisibly in the background.



I understand, but my point is this, Excel has computational ability that Visio doesn't.  They both have object models and utilize VBA.  The advantage that Excel brings is multi-fold:  computational ability, much better VBA documentation for developing custom solutions, and many 3rd party apps.  The advantage that Visio brings is its core drawing features.  It just seems that if you're going to put a lot of time into developing a solution, utilize the software that has the most power, or combine the two.

I would encourage you to investigate developing macros within Excel.  Thru them, you can get the interaction you need.  Case in point, I developed a PLL analysis program using Excel/macros.  It allowed you to specify gain, loop BW, phase margin, and circuit topology.  Then, generated the component values, and plotted the responses: open loop, closed loop, step response, jitter.  In addition, it allowed definition of the reference source characteristics.  Looking at the plots, you could see where the major phase noise contributors were, make component changes, or loop definition changes, and obtain an optimum response.  That's pretty interactive.  The point is that Excel has huge amount of analysis power that Visio lacks, you just have to tap into it.

That's all rhetorical, just trying to provide a different perspective. 

Bottom line, Visio great for documentation, allows embedding of other apps.  Excel has great computational ability, better fundamental charting capability.  Both utilize VBA and allow powerful, custom solutions.  Either way, if you can't leverage existing work, you'll need to do significant custom development.

Visio 2019 Pro