I created a new stencil, but how can I get the connection points to stay with it

Started by rustychrome, August 09, 2017, 02:53:48 PM

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I've used Visio for years, but never to the depth I am now. I've learned a great deal in a few days as I am asked to document a small data center from scratch. I am provided Visio 2013 Standard by my company. Some lesser known brands/models of devices I found impossible to track down shapes. I taught myself how to take a photo saved as a .png file and convert to a .vss file and it works. I learned how to place connection points in the interfaces okay (though they don't always perfectly land where I want them.) Unfortunately if I resized or moved the shape, the connection points all had to be moved again. Imagine how difficult with something with many different interfaces. I have fiddled with various controls and turned on the Developer tab to tinker some more but have not found the solution yet to a couple of issues.

1. How can I create a shape and embed permanent connection points that do not move when the shape is resized or moved? I want the shape to be used over an over and to share it with folks.

2. A different question. Some shapes from Cisco I notice that when I connect a line to an interface, it seems to connect behind the shape. You cannot tell which interface it is actually connected unless you happen to click on the line itself. Is there a checkbox somewhere affecting this?


Regarding question 1:

>>  Visio uses width / height for sizing, so generally, the connection points will move with size changes.  However, you can set literal positions for the connection point. 
       First, you need to modify the shape to create a stable reference location on the perimeter (or wherever you choose) as the anchor for the connection points.  Typically, lower left corner, created by setting LocPinX = LocPinY = 0.  Next, each connection point will use the LocPins + desired spacing.  Now as you resize the shape, it will change relative to the lower left corner, but the connection points won't move.  Generally, the connection points should track the perimeter so, you have to fiddle the formulas to reference the appropriate edge and then apply the fixed offset.
       Don't understand the 2nd part of question, not wanting the connection points to move when the shape moves.  They have to.  They're attached to the shape.

>>  Question 2 re Cisco shapes.  Hard to say without having one to look at.  Might this be a case of Z- order?  That is, the shape was added to the page after the lines/connectors, so the shape will be on top of the connectors.

Uploading actual samples would facilitate resolving the problems. 

ps:  I need vsd / vss format, not the newer vsdx, vssx.  However, others can work with the new formats.

Visio 2019 Pro


Wapperdude is correct, you CAN specify literal (i.e. specific dimensions) locations for the connection points.  But most of the time, if you want the connections to change proportionally with re-sizing the object, you must specify them as percentages of the object dimensions.

The attachment shows both options, top and bottom, respectively.
There are no problems, only opportunities


Thank you! To clarify to wapperdude, once I had place my newly created shape, I was using the connecter tool placing my cursor in the interface and clicking while holding down the ctrl key, but when I had to move the shape or resize, this connection point stayed put while the spot on the shape itself had moved. I think I understand what both of you are describing and I look forward to trying this next.


Ah.  Now I understand.  When you move your shape, the connection points don't move.  It sounds like these were added to the page by mistake.  Open the page shapesheet and see if any connection points exist.  If so, delete that section from the shapesheet.  Not what you want.

To add connection points to a shape...(works best if nothing is connected)
1)  select the shape
2)  select the connection point tool
3)  hold <cntl> down move mouse to desired location and click
4)  continue adding desired connection points

Then either / both deselect shape & the tool.  Now the CP's will move with shape.

You can fine adjust the CP location by zooming in, grab the CP with the tool and then click & drag.
Alternatively, open the shape's shapesheet and adjust the x, y position values (formulas).

Visio 2019 Pro


By Jove, I think you hit the nail on the head, Wapperdude!

I didn't consider that.  I assumed that rustydude already knew how to "attach" connection points TO an object, rather than simply peppering them AROUND or ON TOP OF an object.
There are no problems, only opportunities