Author Topic: Stencils with Links to Shapes in other Stencils  (Read 11585 times)

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bruceam

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Stencils with Links to Shapes in other Stencils
« on: June 17, 2021, 04:17:31 PM »
I have created several Visio shapes that I use quite often, and copied them to the three or four stencils that, one of which, I almost always have opened.  When I improve, or correct, an issue with one or more of these shapes, I must go back and update everyone of the stencils which contain them.   

Is there a way to put a stencil icon that points to a master shape in another stencil?  In this way, I would have to update a shape only once, and as long is it is not moved or it's name isn't changed, all of the other stencils that refer to this shape, will always point to the "Latest and Greatest" version.

Thank you in advance.

P.S.
Yes I am aware that If I make another stencil and only put these "Master Shapes" in it, my updating issues will go away.  I am also aware that I have already done this to a point where a complicated drawing my have more than a dozen stencils open, making location and navigation to a specific shape potentially problematic.

Paul Herber

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Re: Stencils with Links to Shapes in other Stencils
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2021, 02:33:51 AM »
As far as I'm aware there is no mechanism to do this.
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wapperdude

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Re: Stencils with Links to Shapes in other Stencils
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2021, 08:56:21 AM »
Just a thought...
First, in each shape, having a shapesheet entry, e.g., a User cell, to hold shape revision.  When a shape is revised/updated, this cell gets updated.

Second, write some code, when a shape in an open drawing is updated, the shape in the document stencil ought to be updated or new version created.  Code  could flush the update to the shapesheet cell in all stencils in the current Visio document.  Perhaps a database file created/exists that code writes to indicating revision level & stencil name.

Third, for remaining stencils, perhaps some code that goes thru stencil directory compares shapes on all stencils with database, and updates stencils.  This probably has to be done from within Visio, so could take a long time.  Alternative, when a Visio file opened, only used stencils compared to database and updated.

At any rate, this would take some planning and coding.
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Nikolay

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Re: Stencils with Links to Shapes in other Stencils
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2021, 10:20:24 AM »
wapperdude, I would summarize this as "no, it's not possible"  ;D

bruceam

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Re: Stencils with Links to Shapes in other Stencils
« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2021, 10:37:00 AM »
Thank you for your Input.  I had the feeling that there wouldn't be a solution to this problem, or at least not one like I described in my initial post.  However, I will look into the suggestions you have offered.

Thanks again!


Just a thought...
First, in each shape, having a shapesheet entry, e.g., a User cell, to hold shape revision.  When a shape is revised/updated, this cell gets updated.

Second, write some code, when a shape in an open drawing is updated, the shape in the document stencil ought to be updated or new version created.  Code  could flush the update to the shapesheet cell in all stencils in the current Visio document.  Perhaps a database file created/exists that code writes to indicating revision level & stencil name.

Third, for remaining stencils, perhaps some code that goes thru stencil directory compares shapes on all stencils with database, and updates stencils.  This probably has to be done from within Visio, so could take a long time.  Alternative, when a Visio file opened, only used stencils compared to database and updated.

At any rate, this would take some planning and coding.

bruceam

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Re: Stencils with Links to Shapes in other Stencils
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2021, 10:39:40 AM »
Thank you for responding.  It is often times helpful to know that something isn't possible so no more time to be spent attempting to figure out a solution.


As far as I'm aware there is no mechanism to do this.

wapperdude

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Re: Stencils with Links to Shapes in other Stencils
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2021, 02:17:29 PM »
Quote
wapperdude, I would summarize this as "no, it's not possible"  ;D

Well, certainly not an Easy Button solution.  Admittedly, I haven't looked further than just going thru scenarios, but I think a manageable, custom solution is possible. 

> adding a cell to a shape if not existing, reading and writing to said cell, comparing its contents...all straight forward.
> looping thru shapes on a stencil and looping thru stencils in document...I believe that's possible
> either auto- / manual triggering certainly doable
> creating efficient, clever search algorithm...challenging
> creating a database reference...could be Excel file

I agree, there is nothing existing to solve the problem.  But, the problem is solvable.  Is it worth the effort?  How's that for splitting hairs??? 😁
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