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Data driven shape size

Started by nnakizo, May 19, 2008, 07:44:06 PM

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OK...I get this data-driven shape thing.  What I can't figure out is whether I can use external data to drive a shape's size???  Simply, I would like to drive the height and width of a rectangle by 2 columns of external data (perhaps an Excel spreadsheet) AND I would love to do without programming....any thoughts???


We've already had this discussion on this forum:
Try this link

Greetings Lars


DOH! Helps to read other posts!  Ok...other question.  I am trying to build a product configurator.  So I am designing custom shapes that represent objects that a salesman would drag and drop onto drawing.  These shapes have attributes like dimensions that are data driven externally and will resize accordingly (thanks to other post!).  Other attributes, like weight and cost, are easy enough to get, but what I really want to do is summarize (i.e. total) this data somewhere else on the page.  I really really would like to avoid VBA programming.  Any thoughts or examples of this?  Kinda like a BOM (bill of material).


There are some external programs that do this, I've tried some (trials) but personally I don't need the extras they offer over the build in option. So I'll explain my favorite (Visio its self):

Go to the menu: Data-->Reports.
1. A window will open, create a new report.
2. Select either shapes on this page, or all pages (depending on what you need)
3. Select all the shape properties that you want to list (check them) if theres a property you want to list, but don't see it in the list. Check show all properties.
4. Name the report
5. Tell Visio which items need to be summed up.
6. Tell Visio how to sort the list
7. Save the report (can save it in the document so it's build into the template)
8. Double click the report you just created
9. Visio can export the report into 4 types (Excel, XML, HTML or Visio shape)
Visio shape will make an excel table inside Visio (I think this is what you want)

10. All done...

Also try this site
And this one (Though the link to the file seems to be dead)

Try.., if you cant get it to work... let us know.

O yes, if you want to try the 3d party software that can try QuotePix


Visio Guy

Doh! Lars-Erik beat me to the Sales Force Automation aka: Candy Factory Demo

It's nice to know this thing is still useful, especially since my coworkers laughed at me when I originally created it ('cause it said "candy"...)

For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
Get my Visio Book! Using Microsoft Visio 2010


Very cool.  Are answers here always so fast :)  The report works great but puts seemingly random blank rows between data.  I tried sorting and that did group data but left blank lines between column headings and data.  I can manually clean up...but if report ever updated does same thing all over.  Source data is from an Excel spreadsheet with no blanks.  Maybe I will try and Access data source...Weird....


My mistake, go back to the reports screen and select your report.
Next, edit it. When asked if it checks shapes on this page or all pages, select advanced.
Here you can set it so only shapes with a certain cell, show up. The empty cells show up because there are shapes on the page that don't have the listed data.
I suggest setting it so that the shapes need the main (name or something) data to exist.

- Lars


Chris, your candy example seems to be off line? at least the link doesn't seem to work anymore?


Great stuff.  Can I make shapes behave more parametrically?  For example, I want to have a dimension changed by external data apart from just height and width.  What if I put a circle in a rectangle (to simulate a hole) and put 2 dimensions on...can I drive those dimensions with external data too? Can the circle appear/hide in a custom shape based on a condition or a true/false flag? I am trying to see how much geometry I can manipulate without resorting to programming or using a more expensive CAD tool like SolidWorks.


You can, the shapesheet is pretty flexible.
If you draw a circle it will show up in the shapesheet as a geometry section.
It will have a cell named: Geomitry1.NoShow
Setting this to true will hide the shape.

So if you want a excel sheet to make this visible or hidden.
You can use the build in option to link the sheet to your shape (some information is on this forum, like this topic).
Then link the property cell to the NoShow cell. (the excel sheet should hold either a 1 or a 0, or true false.
Any other value and you'll have to write something like If(Property = Yes, "True", "False") in the NoShow cell.

Thats all I can write now (busy busy) if you need more help, just ask. Ill have plenty of time tomorrow :)

- Lars

Visio Guy

Quote from: Lars-Erik on May 19, 2008, 09:38:03 PM
Chris, your candy example seems to be off line? at least the link doesn't seem to work anymore?

Ah I see, the MICROSOFT link isn't working. Didn't remember that I didn't include a download. Anyway, I've posted the file in the article now, so you can download the Sales Force Automation With Visio demo file directly from Visio Guy now, without having to jump to Microsoft to get the goods.
For articles, tips and free content, see the Visio Guy Website at
Get my Visio Book! Using Microsoft Visio 2010

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