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Shape with multiple text blocks

Started by jensie, October 07, 2009, 05:49:56 PM

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Does anyone know of a way to create a shape with multiple text blocks? I know I could group the text blocks in with the shape, but I want to use it as a master and I don't want users to have to ungroup before they can enter text. Any suggestions?


You could try either of the following, which are based on the Org Chart shapes:
1.)  Go ahead and group your shape + text blocks, but, have a piece of text as placeholder in each block.  Dbl clicking on the text placeholder will allow editting.

2.)  Rather than showing placeholders, each text block could be setup for access via right click menu.

These strike me as the two most straight forward methods.

Visio 2019 Pro


for 1....go to behavior and set individual shapes 1st (not group first)...this will pick text box under cursor...not group.

3....could get into loctopar and tie the text blocks to the base shape without grouping them.
loctopar, partopar, loctoloc have always been difficult for me to understand....but I believe you could do this.
(simpler way would be to tie the text boxes to control points on the shape and set those control points at >5 to hide them.   I believe as the shape moves the text boxes would move with them - control point only changes in relation to the shape when cursor moves it and greater than 5 would hide it from user...thus he aint moving it).

4 of course you could use custom properties and dbl click to invoke.  The idea would be to insert fields in shape's text block that reference custom property fields.  Works well always.   This would allow you to change shape format - color, transparency, etc - based on text (poor mans data graphic).   something like
" fillforegnd = if(strsame(props.status,"good"),green,red) " kind of thing.   Custom props reasonably present 25 entries...beyond that there is a bug in custom props presentation, so probably need to look into an index approach to show/hide individual props based on action taken from action drop down on shape.
something like:
    Action1 = setf(getref(user.index),1)+docmd(1312)
    Action2 = setf(getref(user.index),2)+docmd(1312)
    Props.AAA.invisible = if(user.index=1),1,0)
    Props.BBB.invisible = if(user.index=2),1,0)
kind of thing


sounds like trying to build a list control or one of the new list containers...
al :)

Visio Guy

Hi jensie,

Simply Group...and Subselect!

Here's a simpler way. It requires that your users understand sub-selecting shapes.

1. Get the rectangle tool
2. Draw three or four boxes
3. Select them all
4. Group them (Ctrl + G)
5. Format > Behavior: Uncheck "Edit text of group"

Now you can select the shape (the group), then click again on a rectangle. Just start typing to edit text.

Since you've turned off the group's text, the top-most sub-shape will take the text if you only select the group and start typing. Ctrl+Shift+F and Ctrl+Shift+B will bring shapes to Front or send them to Back.

If you want to edit the text of a sub-shape (instead of overwriting) you can sub-select the shape, then press F2 to get into text edit mode. This is how Explorer works when renaming files, so it isn't exactly a completely hidden feature.

Again, teaching your users to sub-select and use F2 will solve a lot of your problems.

Or Get Fancy With List-separators

A different attack can be see in these articles, but the ShapeSheet smarts are much more complicated than what I've described here:

- Automatic Chevron Process Shape
- Design Web Pages With This Visio Breadcrumbs Shape

The shapes in these articles allow you to enter a list of text items, separated by semicolons: "one;two;three;four". The smarts behind the shapes then parse the list and assign each bit of text to a different sub-shape.

The process chevron shape:

The user-experience breadcrumbs shape:

For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
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