Author Topic: Creating illustrations of stencils  (Read 2305 times)

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Paul Herber

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Creating illustrations of stencils
« on: September 24, 2014, 10:39:17 AM »
As a vendor of hundreds of different Visio stencils I have a need to create images of stencils for use on web pages, manuals and help files.
Until now my way of doing this has been to fire up the version of Visio I need (Visio 2003, 2007 or 2010) (all three versions are on different computers as well), load up my graphics editor (an old version of Paint Shop Pro) ensure the stencils are in a file area easily visible to Visio, create an empty page, load the stencil, resize the stencil so a suitable number of columns are visible, hit the Print Screen key, paste the screen image into PaintShop Pro, crop the image and save it with a suitable file name. Now copy the file to where I need it.
Repeat for however many stencils you need images for.
The problems:
1. My Visio 2003 and 2007 are on ageing Windows XP machines
2. If the stencil contains a large number of shapes then it can very difficult to get a decent image of the stencil, screen dumps can't scroll the stencil window.
3. Images of stencils on Visio 2010 have their own problems, one is that I have it installed here on a laptop, an even worse version of problem 2; and there is the pesky Quick Shapes wasting a screen area marked "Drop quick shapes here". D'uh. Also, the stencil view in Visio 2010 looks nothing like the classic view of Visio stencils that everyone knows. Look at how many  major Visio stencil vendors still use the original and classic green background on early versions of Visio. You see that green background, you know you have a Visio stencil!

So, I've created a utility with my Visio utilities (http://www.paulherber.co.uk/visio-utilities/) for creating Visio stencil illustrations, open as many stencils in Visio as you need, menu SuperUtils -> Stencil -> Create Stencil Illustration
Select the stencil you want (or all open stencils - this is a huge time saver), select the style (Visio 2003/2007/2010), how the shapes are to be displayed and click OK. A page will be created for each stencil.
Now you can use menu SuperUtils -> Page -> EXport Pages as Images
to save each stencil as an image.
I've been able to create over 100 PNG format stencil images in just a few minutes, the biggest time delay being actually loading the stencils into Visio.
An example of the output is attached.
I hope this is useful to someone. Chris, I also hope you don't mind an announcement like this.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 02:06:49 AM by Paul Herber »
Electronic and Electrical engineering, business and software stencils and applications for Visio -

http://www.paulherber.co.uk/

wapperdude

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Re: Creating illustrations of stencils
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 11:58:16 PM »
Looks good Paul.  As you indicate, could be quite handy for making manuals, instructional diagrams.

Wapperdude
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