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Use, Misuse, and Abuse of Visio 2003

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  • User profile image
    mnpoor

    I have been developing applications that generate graphics objects for a long time, in fact since VB Version 1.  Some of this was influenced by the Mandelbrot book, others by writeups on geneating bSplines, and some of it on prosaic stuff like making GANNT charts out of production schedules.

    When VBA was incorporated in Corel Draw I started to put togehter some program code, but I immediately found a lot of the Corel objects weren't actually supported.  I've upgraded from V10 to V12, but I'm not sure how far I want to go with Corel.

    I could use Autocad, with it's stuff, if I'm willing to fork over $4000.  Since I'm not, Visio is looking like an interesting product.  I've upgraded my Office stuff to 2003 and bought Visio new.

    I am attempting something a bit different now, which is to take a collection of pictures (currently represented as .BMPs) that each overlap one or more of the others and get applications software to properly organize them into a mosaic.

    The real significance of this has to do with robot navigation: if you can take pictures of a floor (particularly one rich in features) and figure out where the new picture is with respect to all the pictures that are already 'on file', then you 'know where you are'.  This allows one to validate a robot's position without GPS, ultasound, lidar, etc., etc.

    Among the reasons I'm interested in using Visio for this is that I can have the VBA application arrange the .BMP images on the drawing as they are processed.  Unrelated to that, I can use VBA to create other objects that are 'rich' or at least complicated.  Some of these things might eventually be stuff that goes out to NC machine shops.

  • User profile image
    mnpoor

    The work I've done so far is in Access 2000, and I migrated the Access .MDB to 2003 without any difficulty.  It runs, pretty much with the same performance as the 2000 version.

    I was able to move the module code from Access to a Visio VBA project.  Now I would like to move a form, and what I'm finding is that Access can export forms to other Access type formats, but all Visio will import is stuff from Visual Studio.  What I need from Access is a way to export to Studio .FRM files, or a way to import Access forms (or what it can of them) into Visio.  I don't know what can act as an intermediary, but as I think about it various ideas come to mind.  Maybe I can use HTML as a transporter.

  • User profile image
    mnpoor

    The Microsoft Access programmer is used to right-clicking on a text box and pulling up properties for that object.  So when I created my first Visio drawing I attempted to do the same thing and all I can do is set Custom properties.  I'm sure that shapes have properties, but I've never been able to pull up a property sheet.  At this point, however, I haven't spent more than five hours on any of this.

  • User profile image
    mnpoor

    OK, figured out that on Visio one right clicks, selects Behaviors, then the Double Click option there to select the behavior of a shape.  One option is to open the Shape Sheets, which is a bewildering collection of properties.  This is also the platform for running macros, if that option is selected.

  • User profile image
    bitmask

    If you have Visual Studio .NET you will want to check out the Visio 2003 Software Development Kit. Comes with samples in C# and VB.NET.

  • User profile image
    mnpoor

    I would like to see, perhaps as an installable option, the ability to highlight all the controls on a Microsoft Access form and copy the form contents to the clipboard.  Then I would like to switch to Visual Studio and 'paste' the Access Form onto a VB form.  Obviously not all the properties would convert, but those that are common to both would be a great start.

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