Visio Discussions > ShapeSheet & Smart Shapes

SmartShape "Containers"

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Is it possible to make smartshapes that are aware of other shapes being dropped onto them or, conversely, aware when they are being dropped onto other shapes?

Visio Guy:
Hi Gordon,

Under Format > Behavior, there are two settings for this sort of thing:

* Add shape to groups on drop
* Accept dropped shapes
This, of course, takes "two to tango". A group that can accept and another shape that can be added. When you drag the add-ee over an acceptor, you get a funny highlighting around the group that lets you know that the add-ee is going to go into the group.

Unfortunately, you can't build any rules or categorize who can belong to what, and the shapes don't pick up any real ShapeSheet capabilities. I.e.: you can't build a formula that "suddenly knows" about the newly-begotten parent.

There are a few "magic" callouts in in the Visio Extras Callouts stencil that link to the shapes they are pointed to. There is a Visio add-on that sets up some of the cross-referencing ShapeSheet formulas to get this done. (The add-on comes with Visio, you don't need to worry about it) It is possible that this could be exploited.

Thanks (chris?)

That's too bad about the lack of capability for a shape to "know" it has a parent or a child.  Thought that kind of event might be a common requirement.

I'll look into the "magic" callouts (I understand you wrote most of them?) and get back to the board if I discover anything earth-shattering...(unlikely).

Thanks again,


Visio Guy:
If you are incorporating code into your app, then there are lots of events that you can trap to help refine your solution.

The "magic" callouts are fairly new - since they work in conjunction with a small amount of add-on code. I've been looking at them lately, because I think that little add-on could be put to other purposes. Let's just hope they don't cut it from Visio 2009! :)

I'm working with your idea to use Grouping and adding the Format > Behavior to create the child-parent relationship between shapes.

Is it possible to access the Parent property from a child object (for example to get the text of the Parent object from the child) from a shapesheet formula?



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