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Microsoft Visio 2013 : A Visual Orientation to a Visual Product - Managing the Shapes window

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11/10/2014 3:36:38 AM

The upper part of the Shapes window contains a list of stencil titles and the lower part displays the shapes from the currently selected stencil.

In this exercise, you will learn various ways to manipulate the Shapes window so it appears in the most useful size and position when you are working on a drawing.

Note

SET UP If Visio is already running, click File, and then click New. If Visio is not running, start it. On either the New or startup page, click Categories, click Maps and Floor Plans, and then double-click the Office Layout thumbnail. Save the new drawing as Exploring Visio 2013.

Important

One of the user interface changes in Visio 2013 is that window boundaries have been designed to fade into the background so they don’t interfere visually with the content of the drawing. Consequently, the appearance of some parts of the Shapes window is less obvious than in previous versions of Visio. In particular, the boundary of the Shapes window is not visible. The only way to know where it is located is to move the pointer slowly across it until the pointer changes to a window resize tool.

  1. Change the width of the Shapes window by dragging the window boundary left or right. The pointer changes to a double-headed arrow as the window border is dragged to a wider or narrower view. (In the following graphic, the pointer is located to the right of the Search tab.)

    image with no caption
  2. Minimize the Shapes window by clicking the Minimize the Shapes window arrow shown in the preceding graphic. Even though the descriptions are now hidden, all of the masters in the stencil are still accessible when the Shapes window is minimized. Consequently, this view is useful when you need more space for the drawing window and the icons depicting the masters in the stencil are very recognizable.

    image with no caption
  3. Return the Shapes window to its former size by clicking the Expand the Shapes window arrow highlighted in the preceding graphic.

  4. To hide the Shapes window entirely, on the View tab, in the Show group, click the Task Panes button, and then click Shapes.

    Tip

    The various subwindows that can be opened or closed within the Visio window are sometimes referred to as task panes.

    image with no caption

    Tip

    The Shapes window can be reopened by clicking the same button you used to close it.

  5. On the View tab, in the Show group, click Task Panes, and then click Shapes. If the window does not already show two columns of shapes, adjust the width so it does. The Walls, Doors and Windows title bar is highlighted, indicating that this is the active stencil. However, the Office Layout template includes several additional stencils.

  6. In the Shapes window, click Office Furniture.

    Tip

    When you click the title bar of any stencil, the title bars remain stationary, and the stencil always opens in the same place, below all title bars. This is a significant improvement in behavior over versions of Visio prior to Visio 2010.

    image with no caption

    You are not restricted to using just the stencils that open in a particular template, as you will discover in the following steps.

    Important

    If there is a sufficient number of masters in a stencil to require scroll bars, the scroll bars are only visible if the pointer is inside the stencil portion of the Shapes window. The downside of this visual technique is that you don’t necessarily know there are more shapes available (refer to the following graphic on the leftw) unless you move the pointer into the stencil portion of the Shapes window (following graphic on the right).

    image with no caption
  7. In the Shapes window, click More Shapes, and then point to General. (Do not click any stencils in the General group yet.) A fly-out menu containing stencil names appears. In the following graphic, the collection of stencils in the General group is visible.

    image with no caption
  8. With the cascading menus open from step 7, click Basic Shapes. Visio opens the Basic Shapes stencil. In a behavior change from Visio 2010, a check mark appears to the left of the stencil you selected, but the fly-out menus remain open, allowing you to select additional stencils from the same or another stencil family.

    image with no caption
  9. Click anywhere in the Visio window to close the cascading menus.

    Although it isn’t actually necessary in this exercise, it’s helpful to know how to close stencils you no longer need, so that’s what you will do in the remaining step.

  10. Right-click Basic Shapes, and then click Close.

Tip

Although you didn’t use it in this exercise, be sure to notice the Search tab at the top of the Shapes window. The enhanced shape search function in Visio 2013 yields more targeted results with fewer duplicate results.

Note

CLEAN UP Leave the Exploring Visio 2013 drawing open if you are continuing with the next exercise. If not, there is no need to save changes.

 
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