Author Topic: Combining Smartshapes  (Read 917 times)

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Stradtdog

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Combining Smartshapes
« on: July 01, 2019, 08:24:03 AM »
I have been given the task to combine a bunch of smart stencils into one stencil. I would personally like to place a master shape that allows me to switch back and forth between other shapes. For instance, I have a basic car as a stencil. I then am able to click on that car and switch between other styles of cars, such as a Mercedes and a Toyota. I have researched ways of doing this, but the issue arises with the software I use to read the data. The software only reads the top layer. This becomes an issue when I group shapes together because it can only read the group and not the shape data inside the grouping. Does anyone have a possible solution to this? I apologize for the poorly worded question, so if anyone needs any more information on my problem please let me know. Thank you.


Edit: I am fairly new to ShapeSheet and visio. I am interning and have been given this task with zero guidance.

Yacine

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Re: Combining Smartshapes
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2019, 09:17:23 AM »
There are several possible solutions ... depending on more information about your problem.
- Is the switching only visual?
- What "smartness" do the sub-shapes have?
- What is the "other software"? What does it do?
- etc.
You may want to elaborate a little more on your problem.
Yacine

Stradtdog

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Re: Combining Smartshapes
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2019, 09:30:02 AM »
To answer your questions:
1. The switching is not just visible. Each stencil has its own data behind it to determine I/O points, manufactures, etc. Ideally that information will still be intact while switching.

2. The shapes represent actual micro controllers. These parts are connected to a database that help us determine costs of products once the schematic is done. It also allows us to order parts by being hooked up to our software.

3. The software is tricky because we are the only company that uses it. It is called Prometheus. Essentially, the only connection between visio and Prometheus is the Shape condition. The shape condition is a Prometheus only tab/question that connects the two together. The condition links a question from Prometheus and a shape. For instance, on Prometheus, there would be a question called "Car". In a list box to the right would have a dropdown menu that enables you to choose which type of car. Prometheus then runs through my visio document to find the shape that has the car I selected and enables that one to show and turns off the rest.

Thank you again. I know this is quite a far fetched question. I have been stuck trying various methods for the whole weekend. 

Yacine

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Re: Combining Smartshapes
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2019, 10:05:17 AM »
The next question would be: do you really need to group the smart shapes?
If so, there might be a way of duplicating the fields of the children to the parents level. But you need to decide on the primary input method. Parent to children or vice versa.
If not, you might think of containers, which can also hold shapes together, but without hiding them in groups.

Rgds,
Y.
Yacine

Stradtdog

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Re: Combining Smartshapes
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2019, 10:11:56 AM »
I do not believe I need to group the shapes. However I do need them to be combined so I can save the whole group as one large shape/stencil. I do not believe there is a particular way to do this as long as it works.

wapperdude

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Re: Combining Smartshapes
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2019, 10:27:08 AM »
First, terminology clarification.  Shape = any object placed on a drawing page.  Technically, containers are s specialised shapes.  Stencil is a collection of s shapes.

Grouping can work...especially if you want to maintain an uncluttered visual environment.  As your group is a very defined collection sub-shapes, you could by either shape properties or Action menu, select which item to be visible.  Then, the selection might provide a flag to let Prometheus know specific smart shape in question.

Containers have some advantages over groups, but hiding unused shapes isn't one of them.  Again, you would need to set some sort of "flag" for Prometheus.
Visio 2019 Pro

Yacine

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Re: Combining Smartshapes
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2019, 06:36:53 AM »
Hello Stradtdog,
I played a little bit with your problem.
1. I set up a simple configurable shape, copied it twice and moved the 3 shapes into a new container.
This way you get shapes that can be moved as one, but still appear on the top level in the drawing explorer. So Prometheus should see them.
2. Now you want that container stored in a stencil. Unfortunately Visio wraps every shape that is not already a group in a new one. So I grouped the container and wrote in its "event drop" cell in the shapesheet: DOCMD(1052). This command makes Visio ungroup the shape. You will be warned that the link to its master will be broken, but that's OK.
3. Now you can move or copy this group into your stencil.
Yacine

Stradtdog

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Re: Combining Smartshapes
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2019, 08:06:32 AM »
Thank you Y,

I tried this and it worked perfectly. Prometheus is a very new software with lots of 'quirks'. Thank you again.