cant edit text field from stencil

Started by DFelch, November 11, 2015, 05:39:22 PM

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Hello, i am new to using advanced features in Visio 2010.  I have created a small form with multiple text box object fields in design mode and then grouped them and saved the grouped object as a stencil.  When i bring the stencil into a new document I cant type in the text boxes.  It seems to be stuck in some kind of an "object select" mode where i can select the boxes but cant enter text.

If I simply enter and then exit design mode this condition is fixed and the text boxes behave normally.  Is there a property i need to edit to prevent this? or am i just attempting to get the end result in the wrong way?  Any help would be appreciated.


Do I understand right that you are working with control elements instead of shapes?
If so, what are you trying to achieve?

I did try it and confirm that the controls dropped on the drawing behave first as shapes.
But a double click brings them back to their initial behaviour.
Also saving and re-opening the shapes has the same effect.



Thanks for the reply.  When i first drop the text box from the Controls menu onto the drawing in Design Mode it behaves as an object (meaning that one click selects the shape and two clicks edits the text).  After exiting Design Mode the text box behaves as a text box only ( meaning one click "in the text field" brings up a cursor for entering text, one click "on the box frame" selects the object).

The problem is when i bring it in as part of a grouped stencil it behaves as grouped objects with no way to enter text.  The first click selects the group, the second click selects the individual object.  No additional clicks are accepted so there is no way to enter text.

For some reason simply entering and then exiting Design Mode restores the correct function.

The end goal is a single stencil with multiple "fill in the blank text boxes".  The idea is that a user can drag this "information panel" onto a drawing and fill in all the pertinent data into a nicely formatted block. (author, date, location, etc.)  similar to a sheet format on a CAD blueprint.

I can accomplish this same functionality by inserting an Excel worksheet object but it doesn't look as nice.

My apologies if my terminology is off, i hope i explained well enough.



What's the purpose of the exercise?
If you are trying to fill in information for use in the frame of a technical drawing, you shoul'd look for another solution.
Use plain old shapes to enter the text. Arrange them as needed, place on a background page and save as stencil.
It will be available as a stencil would be, but with much other advantages (setup of the page and the document, etc.).

Looking forward to reading your comments,


You are correct that using grouped basic shapes would give the general functions that i am looking for. 

The Control element text box seems to offer some nice features that from my limited understanding are not available for basic shapes.  The user can enter text after a single click select (instead of a double click), the text can be highlighted and edited in place (with regular shapes the entire text must be re-written), and the "Tab" button can be used to cycle through all of the fields.
These may seem like simple differences but i feel that they greatly improve the user experience as the stencil set will be distributed to many users with very limited Visio knowledge.

I understand this may be too complicated,  I was hoping that the solution was a simple setting i need to change that would prevent my stencil from opening in "object mode".  If not i will have to use the simple shapes.

Once again thanks for the help.


Hi DFelch,
"The user can enter text after a single click (instead of a double click)" - wrong. Try the attachment.
"Text can be highlighted and edited in place ... regular shapes must be re-written" - wrong. same as above.
"Tab ..." Right. Although Tab works, but you need then to hit enter to really select the shape. And hit ESC prior to using TAB again. Well ...

Please try the simple template I prepared for you, It can be a starting point for building your own.