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Microsoft® Office Visio® 2007 Training : 

Microsoft® Office Visio® 2007 Training Expertly position, stack, and group shapes

Course contents : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Course contents Overview: Arranging shapes Lesson 1: Expertly position shapes Lesson 2: Stack shapes to relate shapes Lesson 3: Group shapes together Each lesson includes a list of suggested tasks and a set of test questions.

Overview: Arranging shapes : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Overview: Arranging shapes The arrangement of shapes in a Visio diagram is the key to communicating information. Well-controlled shape arrangement strengthens each shape’s significance and makes the relationships among shapes crystal clear. Visio offers more shape arrangement options than you might expect. This course shows you that variety and helps you learn how to position, stack, and group shapes effectively.

Course goals : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Course goals Position shapes quickly and effectively. Stack shapes to show their relationships. Group shapes so that they move and function as one.

Lesson 1 : 

Lesson 1 Expertly position shapes

Expertly position shapes : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Expertly position shapes One of the main reasons you create diagrams is that they’re much more efficient at communicating information than using a bunch of text. But some diagrams fail because the position of their shapes is sloppy. It’s amazing how orderly shapes make things easier to see and understand. Positioning shapes on the page expertly and neatly not only will make your diagrams look good but also will clearly communicate the information within them.

Use AutoConnect arrows : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Use AutoConnect arrows You want neatly placed shapes. But most of the time you want them connected to other shapes too. One way to accomplish both is to use the AutoConnect arrows. Make sure AutoConnect is on by clicking the AutoConnect button . How do they work? In a stencil, select the shape you want.

Use AutoConnect arrows : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Use AutoConnect arrows You want neatly placed shapes. But most of the time you want them connected to other shapes too. One way to accomplish both is to use the AutoConnect arrows. Rest your pointer over the shape you want to connect to, and then click a blue AutoConnect arrow. How do they work? A new shape is added, connected, and positioned neatly on the page.

Use the grid and the rulers : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Use the grid and the rulers AutoConnect is great, but there will be times when you want to simply put something in place yourself. And you may not want to connect anything yet. So another way to neatly arrange shapes is to arrange them by using the grid and the rulers. When you position shapes on the page—or first add shapes to the page—use the grid lines to keep them straight. Keep an eye on the grid to make sure your shapes are evenly spaced.

Use the grid and the rulers : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Use the grid and the rulers The rulers are also invaluable. These numbers are especially important if you’re creating a detailed office layout or building plan that will control physical measurements. By default, shapes snap to the grid lines and the measurement lines on the rulers. This behavior makes it much easier to position shapes. Use them to see the exact distance between shapes or to determine just how big a certain shape is.

Follow the guides : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Follow the guides Even more visible than the grid lines are the guides: vertical or horizontal lines that you can place on a page to keep things orderly. You drag them from a ruler, and by default they appear blue, as in the illustration. Guides help you organize your diagrams according to their content. And guides don’t show up on printed diagrams; they’re your secret.

Open the Size & Position window : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Open the Size & Position window Sometimes using a mouse to position or size a shape can be difficult or imprecise. Say you’re working on an office layout: you’ll want a desk to be positioned just so. But what if Visio snaps it to a location you don’t want? Or what if you can’t seem to let go of the mouse button at the right time? The cure for these woes is the Size & Position window, and it is found on the View menu.

Open the Size & Position window : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Open the Size & Position window The location of a shape is stated in terms of X and Y coordinates. The X coordinate is the position on the horizontal ruler at the top of the page. The Y coordinate is the position on the vertical ruler at the left of the page. The point where these meet is the shape’s pin . For most shapes, the pin is the center of the shape.

Open the Size & Position window : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Open the Size & Position window The location of a shape is stated in terms of X and Y coordinates. To move the shape, type in new numbers for the coordinates. The shape will automatically shift to that exact location. To size the shape, type new numbers for width and height. The shape edges change to those exact dimensions, while the shape pin stays where it was.

Command shapes to align themselves : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Command shapes to align themselves Grid, rulers, and guides are great when you create a diagram in a planned, organized way. But sometimes you may prefer to work freely and spontaneously, saving the organization for the end. While you’re working freehand or when you’re finished, you can tidy up your diagram by using the Align shapes command on the Shape menu.

Command shapes to align themselves : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Command shapes to align themselves Grid, rulers, and guides are great when you create a diagram in a planned, organized way. Select the shape you want the others to line up with, and then click the alignment option you want. In the example here, a vertical alignment button got these shapes in line. It’s like a sheepdog for shapes.

Distribute shapes evenly : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Distribute shapes evenly You can use the grid, rulers, and guides to position shapes one by one, but what if you’ve got dozens of shapes in your diagram? The Distribute Shapes command on the Shape menu turns odd distances into even ones. It’ll get you home in time for dinner.

Distribute shapes evenly : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Distribute shapes evenly Say you’ve got the shapes you want on the page, but one is too close to another, and another is too far away. The ideal arrangement is equal amounts of space between shapes. You can do this in three steps, without any fussy mouse work. Just select three or more shapes, click the Distribute Shapes command, and choose a distribution option. In this example, a horizontal distribution button evened things out.

Rotate shapes : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Rotate shapes Sometimes a shape is placed, sized, and spaced right but still needs one good turn. To rotate 2-D shapes, you use the rotation handle . Just click and drag that handle to the new position. To rotate 1-D shapes, you click and drag either the beginning point or the ending point, swinging the shape around to where you want it.

Flip shapes : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Flip shapes Sometimes you need to rotate a shape not by turning it around, but by turning it over to create a mirror-image reversed version. This is called flipping a shape. Just like a pancake. When you flip a shape horizontally, the flip action occurs from side to side. When you flip a shape vertically, the flip action occurs from top to bottom. You can flip shapes horizontally or vertically.

Suggestions for practice : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Suggestions for practice Use AutoConnect arrows. Examine a finished diagram. Use the rulers and create some guides. Position shapes using the guides and grid. Use the Size & Position window; practice nudging. Align shapes and distribute spacing. Rotate shapes and flip a shape. Online practice (requires Visio 2007)

Test 1, question 1 : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 1, question 1 How do you access the Size & Position window? (Pick one answer.) Select a shape, and then double-click the Width or Height values in the status bar at the bottom of the program. On the Shape menu, click Size & Position Window. On the View menu, click Shapes Window. On the View menu, click Size & Position Window.

Test 1, question 1: Answer : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 1, question 1: Answer On the View menu, click Size & Position Window.

Test 1, question 2 : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 1, question 2 Suppose you have a shape of a house with a tree on the left side. If you flipped the shape vertically, what would the result look like? (Pick one answer.) The house would be upside down, the roof would be pointing down, and the tree would be pointing down as well. The house would be flipped sideways, with the tree on the right-hand side. The house would be tipped sideways, with the roof and tree pointing to the left. It would look the same, because flipping returns the shape to the original position.

Test 1, question 2: Answer : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 1, question 2: Answer The house would be upside down, the roof would be pointing down, and the tree would be pointing down as well. When you flip vertically, the shapes flip from top to bottom or vice versa.

Lesson 2 : 

Lesson 2 Stack shapes to relate shapes

Stack shapes to relate shapes : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Stack shapes to relate shapes Location isn’t always everything. Sometimes the position of shapes isn’t enough to convey a relationship. Additional visual information is required. The underlying circles in this diagram show that each department has two computers and one printer. Without the circles, the situation wouldn’t be so clear. Each circle is said to be below the computer equipment; the rectangle is below the two circles. This concept of shapes being under or on top of each other is called stacking order.

How shapes stack up : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes How shapes stack up This illustration may illuminate the concept of stacking order. While you’ll never see stacked shapes from the side in Visio, imagining them like this helps you get the picture. By default, Visio puts shapes in a stacking order as you add them to the page. The rule to remember for how Visio establishes stacking order is, “The last one in wins.” That means that the last shape you place on the page is highest in the stacking order.

How to change the stacking order : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes How to change the stacking order The picture shows where to change the stacking order for a shape. Select the shape, and then point to Order on the Shape menu. You’ll see four options. Bring to Front and Send to Back move a shape all the way in the stacking order. And here’s how:

How to change the stacking order : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes How to change the stacking order The picture shows where to change the stacking order for a shape. If you want to move the shape forward or backward only a step at a time, choose either Bring Forward or Send Backward. And here’s how:

Suggestion for practice : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Suggestion for practice Add a rectangle and circles to a diagram and then change their stacking order. Online practice (requires Visio 2007)

Test 2, question 1 : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 2, question 1 Why might you want to specify a stacking order for shapes? (Pick one answer.) To show a sideways view of how boxes are stacked in a storeroom. To show relationships by placing shapes in front of or behind each other. So that you can number shapes in a specific sequence. So that you can arrange the shapes in an even and orderly fashion.

Test 2, question 1: Answer : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 2, question 1: Answer To show relationships by placing shapes in front of or behind each other. Stacking order lets you indicate which shapes belong logically with other shapes, and it makes separate categories visually distinct.

Test 2, question 2 : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 2, question 2 How do you move a shape to the back of the order? (Pick one answer.) On the Shape menu, click Lay Out Shapes, and then click Shallow or Deep for the Depth option. On the Shape menu, point to Order, and then click Send to Back. On the Format menu, click Behavior, and then click Send to Back. On the Shape menu, click Operations, and then click Send to Back.

Test 2, question 2: Answer : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 2, question 2: Answer On the Shape menu, Point to Order, and then click Send to Back. You can also right-click a shape and follow this same process. After right-clicking the shape, click Shape on the shortcut menu. Then point to Order, and click Send to Back. And here’s one more tip: The keyboard shortcut is CTRL+SHIFT+B.

Test 2, question 3 : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 2, question 3 You add a square to the page, then a circle, and then a triangle. Finally, you move the square to one side. Now the square is at the top of the stacking order. (Pick one answer.) True. The square was touched last, and it will now be in the front of the order. False. The triangle remains at the top because it was added to the page last.

Test 2, question 3: Answer : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 2, question 3: Answer False. The triangle remains at the top because it was added to the page last.

Lesson 3 : 

Lesson 3 Group shapes together

Group shapes together : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Group shapes together Suppose you’ve made a map. You’ve got several buildings clustered together. It looks perfect. But oops… The cluster of buildings is on the wrong street. You need to move all the buildings down one block. You could select each one and move it down separately. But does that sound efficient? With Visio, you can group the buildings so that the cluster stays bound together, and you move them all at once.

Select, then group : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Select, then group The first step in grouping shapes is to select the shapes. You can do this by holding down the SHIFT key while clicking them or by dragging a selection net around them. When you’ve got the shapes selected, on the Shape menu, click Grouping and then click Group. That’s it: The shapes are now grouped.

Select, then group : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Select, then group The first step in grouping shapes is to select the shapes. You can do anything to a group of shapes that you can do to a shape: resize it, rotate it, align it with others, and so on. Visio treats a group as one big 2-D shape.

Change just one shape within a group : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Change just one shape within a group Even after you’ve grouped shapes, you can still edit just one of the shapes in the group. Let’s use our cluster of buildings as an example. If three buildings are grouped together as one, how do you hone in on one of the buildings to resize it a little? Or maybe you want to change its color.

Change just one shape within a group : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Change just one shape within a group Even after you’ve grouped shapes, you can still edit just one of the shapes in the group. Click the group to select it. Click again to select a shape within the group. The picture illustrates how simple it is.

Change just one shape within a group : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Change just one shape within a group When one shape is selected, it appears with green handles, but these handles have Xs in them. This is a signal that the shape you selected is a part of a group. Now you can change that one shape any way you like.

Ungroup shapes : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Ungroup shapes Sometimes you need to ungroup a group of shapes. For example, you may want to move the group but leave one building behind or make extensive changes to a single shape. Select the shape. On the Shape menu, point to Grouping, and then click Ungroup. The process is simple:

Shapes that are grouped from the start : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Shapes that are grouped from the start You might have worked with grouped shapes without knowing it; many of the shapes in Visio are actually grouped already. This makes them easier to work with. Here’s what the factory shape looks like when you put it on the page. But if you ungroup it, you’ll find it is actually a group of several component shapes. This factory shape is a perfect example.

Suggestions for practice : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Suggestions for practice Group portions of a sample diagram. Change a single shape in the group. Ungroup shapes. Online practice (requires Visio 2007)

Test 3, question 1 : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 3, question 1 Which of the following is a reason you’d group shapes together? (Pick one answer.) To move or resize several shapes as one. To make particular changes to each shape on the page. To connect several shapes with arrows. To save shapes for later use.

Test 3, question 1: Answer : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 3, question 1: Answer To move or resize several shapes as one. Grouping is most useful when you need to modify several shapes as one.

Test 3, question 2 : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 3, question 2 True or False: Every shape in Visio is actually a group. (Pick one answer.) True. False.

Test 3, question 2: Answer : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 3, question 2: Answer False. Although many shapes are complex and are actually many shapes grouped together as one, this is not always the case. Some shapes consist of only one shape. One shape is not a group.

Test 3, question 3 : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 3, question 3 Which of the following is a reason you’d ungroup shapes? (Pick one answer.) You need to make a simple change to one shape within the group. You need to add text to the group. You need to connect the group of shapes with a line. You need to move one shape independently from the others in the group.

Test 3, question 3: Answer : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Test 3, question 3: Answer You need to move one shape independently from others in the group. You’d also ungroup shapes if you needed to make extensive changes to one of the shapes.

Quick Reference Card : 

Expertly position, stack, and group shapes Quick Reference Card For a summary of the tasks covered in this course, view the Quick Reference Card.

USING THIS TEMPLATE : 

USING THIS TEMPLATE See the notes pane or view the full notes page (View menu or tab) for detailed help on this template.