Author Topic: Problem saving a huge Visio file  (Read 12324 times)

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Hey Ken

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Problem saving a huge Visio file
« on: February 03, 2016, 10:00:10 AM »
   I always seem to find myself at the edges of Visio functionality, and today is just another day like all the others.

   The issue at hand is that I have a screen flow map of a system with hundreds of screens.  I’ve included a screenshot of each screen, each to its own Visio page, so the resulting file has over 500 pages.  It was about 30 meg before I merged in the next hundred pages; I can’t say how big it is now, because my problem is that Visio crashes whenever I try to save it.

   I hacked at it and found that it’s only the .vsdx version that crashes.  Saving as .vsd works fine (albeit 264 meg), as does .pdf (26 meg).  Everything looks and works fine right up to the .vsdx save, then POOM!  Tried rebooting, to no avail.

   I searched around and could find nothing similar.  Any comments/suggestions/links to problems with large Visio files?  I’m running Visio 2013 Professional.

   - Ken
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wapperdude

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2016, 11:36:50 AM »
I can not help you re V2013, but, have you tried reducing the size of the pix...perhaps a different format (png) and/or reducing the pixel count?

Big pain with so many pix...perhaps some sort of batch processing.

Just a thought.

Wapperdude
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vojo

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2016, 02:35:04 PM »
FWIW....I just moved to 2013.   I had a 20MB 2003 drawing and big stencil with it.   I saved as VSSX (2013 format)...no problems...shrank to 6MB

So far, the only quirk I found on 2013 is that it doesn't treat shape data consistently 
   -top level shape data ONLY in data frame - no way to force old pop up panel mode
   -child shape data launches the old pop up panel ONLY

Yacine

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2016, 02:56:47 AM »
V2013 has an option to reduce file size. (Somewhere in the file menu)
Have you tried it?
Yacine

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2016, 12:22:28 PM »
Thanks for the comments, folks.  Some replies...

Wapperdude: Yes, big pain with so many pix.  Ditto with the macro that might shrink them.  Regardless, the format and resolution were chosen by our UI people.  Can’t change it.

Vojo: A .vssx is a stencil file.  I have a .vsdx drawing.  Regardless, I gave it a try and Visio crashed, just like the .vsdx did, only quicker.

Yacine: I tried the option to reduce file size.  It went from 270 meg to 269 meg for the .vsd, and still crashed for the .vsdx.

All: It’s something about how it saves .vsdx, or else why would everything else work okay?

Bottom line: I’ll have to stick with the .vsd file.  Until it, too, starts to crash, that is.  Then I’ll be back here once again...

   - Ken
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vojo

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2016, 01:16:09 PM »
sorry...120 page vsdx drawing....not a stencil...associated stencil is big (200 shapes), but not might point
(19MB VSD to 6MB VSDX)

Yacine

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2016, 01:36:32 PM »
Hi Ken, before you leave...
It's interesting enough to see that there is a need for such big drawings, but just trying to think around the corner.
Specially as "Until it, too, starts to crash, that is."
Does it really need to be in one file?
There will certainly ever be hardware (and software) limitations when trying to load one huge project.
Wouldn't there be possibilities to either split in smaller pieces or even to leave each page in an individual page so as to load only the parts that are really needed at one time?
Some clever macros could load those pieces without asking too much from the human editor.
Yacine

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2016, 04:05:23 PM »
Yacine:

I was going to add some comments about the rationale for one big file, but decided against taking the time.  However, since you bring it up...

My drawings currently live on SharePoint, and I usually distribute them as HTML, seeing how many people do not have Visio.  However, Microsoft changed a security setting when they went to SharePoint 2010 that does not let you directly open HTML files; you can only download them (and they are HUGE).  I petitioned the Powers That Be to loosen up, but they declined. 

As a Plan B, I save them as a PDF.  All my hyperlinks work, but due to an oddity in the PDF reader, it does not use the first hyperlink, as a browser would do, but rather the second one.  No idea why.  So I had to modify my linking macro in Visio to add a second hyperlink to allow it to operate when saved as a PDF.  That got around the linking problem.

However, there are offshore folks who cannot access SharePoint, so they download the PDF and navigate the links.  If I broke up the file into pieces, they’d need to download all the pieces or else they’ll hit a dead link.  There’s no opportunity for a Visio macro to put things back together, and Adobe does not support macros.  I’ll skip over mentioning the difficulties with communicating complex instructions to offshore teams.  Rather than navigate that challenge, the simple solution was to keep it all as one PDF. 

At least I have a workaround.  If I run into save problems with the .vsd, maybe then I’ll have to look into breaking it up.  But for simplicity’s sake, I’m trying to avoid that.

All I want from Visio is to save the darn file as a .vsdx when it readily saves it in every other format I’ve tried.  Am I asking too much?? 

Thanks for your suggestion,

- Ken

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Yacine

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2016, 02:34:52 AM »
So your folks download the huge PDF instead of downloading a lot of files.
Wouldn't a zip packed folder require less workarounds?
You'd offer the regular files from Sharepoint as they are, PLUS a download option to get the whole package.
Just some thoughts.
Cheers,
Y.
Yacine

Paul Herber

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2016, 01:10:18 PM »
I would certainly consider splitting the file into more manageable sections of, say, 100 pages each.
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Hey Ken

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2016, 01:16:40 PM »
Yacine:

    Yes, a zipped folder would also work, but then the individual files could find themselves separated, with older versions popping back up or new ones not appearing.  This happened to me with my very first large Visio project winter of 2003-4.  We had everything broken up into smaller files, but the offshore team tended to jumble things up or lose them.  Keeping everything in one single file makes sure that can’t happen.

    As an aside, I got a chuckle out of your comment “before you leave...”.  It’s part of my morning routine to check this forum to see what questions have arisen and been answered in the last 24 hours.  I learn a lot that way, especially random things I’ve never needed but might one day.  This forum rocks!


Paul:

    I didn’t mean to imply that the large file was unmanageable, only that Visio crashes every time I try to save it as .vsdx.  Other than that, everything works fine.  Well, almost everything.  I found one chunk of VBA that slowed down immensely under the load, a simple construct...

Code
For Each SinglePage in All.Pages
‘ do stuff
Next

    The system would take about a second to process the Next.  No idea why.  Fortunately, I was able to devise a simple workaround that runs in an unnoticeable fraction of a second.  The only minor drawback to having a single large file is the several seconds it takes to open or save the beast.  But I can live with that.


All:

    Bottom line here is that I have a fine, workable solution, and breaking it up would take a chunk of time which we do/did not have.  Our first big delivery of the screenflow was last Friday, and without a reason to break it up, it didn’t get broken up.  And unless such a reason appears, I suspect it’ll stay a .vsd forever, distributed as a PDF.  No confusion possible, and that's a good thing.  But I can't save it as a .vsdx, and that's not good.  Again, am I asking too much??  I think not.

    Thanks again for the suggestions.

    - Ken


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Hey Ken

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2016, 11:32:30 AM »
   Well, the Day of Reckoning has arrived.  The Visio file is now 566 pages with 416 screenshots, with a size of 450 meg as a .vsd.  When I tried to add more pages, it wouldn't save as a PFD any more.  Using 566 pages works; 567 does not.  I thought it might be a problem with Visio, so I reinstalled.  Now it won't even open the .vsd I have -- says "out of memory" on open.  Fortunately someone else got their Visio installed the same time I did, and we can open it on her machine.  She broke it up into 100 page increments, so I have the basic info I need to rebuild.  Out of curiosity I tried merging the files together, but somewhere between 200 and 300 pages merged, my newly-installed Visio crashes.

   Any thoughts?  (Besides "I told you so!" ;-)

   - Ken
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Paul Herber

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2016, 11:57:20 AM »
Install more memory?
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Yacine

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2016, 01:25:09 PM »
You definitely deserve a "I told you so!" ;-)

But being pragmatic: have you ever played with MS Access? A nice tool, I have neglected many years, but rediscovered it lately.
Could imagine scenarios where smaller visio pages could be stored in object fields or even in zip files, that access would extract behind the scene.
The visio viewer as well as the access run addon are free to distribute. There are so many possibilities.

Just some thoughts,
Y.
Yacine

vojo

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Re: Problem saving a huge Visio file
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2016, 03:32:25 PM »
one thought:  As AARRRNNOlD would say "don't do dat"