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Accessing Displayed Text property?

Started by UGABulldog80, July 22, 2013, 07:05:50 PM

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Hey everyone,

I'm trying to add some efficient shapes to my team's stencil, and I was wondering if you might help. I was mainly wondering if there was a way to access the "Displayed Text" property, but I'll outline what I'm trying to do in case there is a better way (which there probably is).

I want to carve a normal process shape into 2 parts -- basically the top line will be a new text box dedicated to a Field connected to a property called "Process Step ID". I added this without any problems.

The main part of the process shape is the normal text box that comes with it by default. Ultimately I plan to connect these shapes to SharePoint to basically pull in the process step ID's from a list (or Excel file) so that we don't have to go back in and type them in one by one. I also need the ability to run a Shape Report that will include the swimlane that it's attached to (normally handled with "Function" property), the Process Step ID and the "Displayed Text" field. So far I haven't been able to get these all on the same line in the report.

Is there a way to reference the Displayed Text from a User-defined cell? Normally I would just edit the shape and insert my own custom "Name" field and include that in the "on-drop" display box, but folks on my team are editing these diagrams in front of the customer in real-time and they feel more comfortable with double-clicking on the shape to edit the text which of course would erase my inserted field. Which is why I was hoping that I could simply reference the "Displayed Text" and then export that property along with the Swimlane name and the Step ID property.

Hopefully I didn't confuse you with my ranting. Thanks in advance for the help!



Hello Paul,

If I understand the problem correctly, you're trying to create a shape that includes an inserted field but still allows the user to edit part of the shape text in the normal way (F2 or double click) - is that right?

If this is the case then one technique you can use is to create a group shape and have one of the sub-shapes carry the visible text (field + free text).  In this situation, the group shape becomes a proxy for the user editable part and its text is hidden (unless it's in edit mode).  You can either hide the group shape's text by setting the HideText cell to true or by setting the DisplayMode cell to none (0).

If you then include Shape Data rows to hold the various text elements and, potentially, the concatenated version you can easily use these is Shape Reports.

I've attached an example if that helps, but let me know how you get on.

Best regards

John Goldsmith - Visio MVP


Thank you so much for the quick reply! I'll give it a shot and let you know if I run into any problems.



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