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Useful items, FAQs, and anything else - all sorts of other Visio stuff

Tips and Tricks Training FAQ
Tips and Tricks
Want to make Rack shapes yourself?
This "LineShape" is a 19" "snap to rack" line shape that has built-in scale, properties, equipment label etc. The very few instructions are included in the document. Its made to be extremely easy for anyone to create shapes that snap to standard racks.  It can also be used for any other size of shape that you want to act as a snap-to shape - like for a disk drive that snaps into the front of a server, for example.
Clean-It Utility.
This Visio2003 and older "Addon" reduces the size of your drawings by cleaning up the temporary cached shapes in the drawing file

Visio 2007 and 2010 have their own built-in clean-it type functions. Just go to "File", "Remove Hidden Information", and on the second tab called File Size Reduction, tick all three boxes, and hit OK.
Keyboard Maps
These Keyboard Maps help to learn Visio's many keyboard shortcuts.
   for Visio 2000, and for Visio 2002 
Training sites and materials
Cal State LA Visio 2007 Training Videos
Cal State has some free Visio training tutorials that people who are new to Visio could check out to learn the basics.   They have eight videos covering basic drawing, connecting shapes, and many others, and hope to add more in the future.

You can get to their Visio playlist at
Visio MVP Sessions
The Visio MVPs Scott Helmers, David Parker, and Chris Roth, have teamed up to create these Visio training sessions. There are also downloadable files to work along with the videos.

You can find the videos and downloads at the following link Visio MVP Sessions.
Visio Cafe FAQ
What is Microsoft Visio?

Microsoft Visio is a commercially available Drawing and Diagramming software application.  Visio integrates into Microsoft Office and is a standard diagramming tool used by many companies for their diagram solutions.

Which Version of Microsoft Visio can I use?

Most of the collections on VisioCafe are in Visio2003 format which can only be opened with Visio 2003, 2007 and 2010.

A few of the older stencil collections are still in Visio2000 format which can be used by Visio 2000, 2002, but this will become much more rare in the future.

They all work with any "edition" of Visio, such as Standard, Professional, and Enterprise Edition.  The "edition" only differs in the amount of extra features and stencil sets included by Microsoft.

What is a Stencil?

Microsoft Definition:  A collection of masters associated with a particular Microsoft Visio drawing type, or template. By default, stencils that open with a template are docked on the left side of the drawing window. You can open stencil (.vss) files independently of a template.

Basically, a Stencil contains Shapes that are used to create a diagram.  The Shapes can range from simple flow chart boxes or lines to more complicated Shapes like Servers, Racks or anything else that needs to be represented in a graphical form.

What is a Shape?

Microsoft Definition: 
1.) An open or closed object that is created using Microsoft Visio drawing tools or commands. 
2.) A grouped collection of shapes. 
3.) An instance of a master dropped in a drawing.

Shapes are drawing objects that can range from simple flow chart boxes or lines to more complicated Shapes like Servers, Racks or anything else that needs to be represented in a graphical form.

What is a Master?

Microsoft Definition:  A shape on a stencil that you use repeatedly to create drawings. When you drag a shape from a stencil onto the drawing page, the shape becomes an instance of that master.

What is a "Logical" Stencil?

A Logical Stencil contains Shapes that represent the internal components of a product and the components that fit into it.  Please see the example below of a shape from the HP ProLiant-DL-Logical.vss Stencil.

What is a Visual Solution Document?

A drawing that shows a visual representation of the configuration of a product and the various part numbers associated with that product.  Example:  A ProLiant DL580 Rack Mount Server.  Visual Solution Documents are created entirely in Microsoft Visio using "Logical" Shapes developed by VSD Grafx Inc.  Currently HP is the only collection that has Visual Solution Documents.

Can I create my own Visual Solution Documents?

Yes.  In order to create a custom diagram like the Visual Solution Documents, you will need the "Logical" Stencils for the products you wish to represent.  Creation of the Bill Of Materials and other text, as seen on the Visual Solution Documents, would have to be created manually.

Are you going to replace all the old Golden Egg Documents?

No.  The existing HP Golden Egg Documents archive will remain available in its current form.  All new products when released will have Logical Visio Stencils available, so you will be able to create your own "Visual Solution Documents" like the ones on the HP download page.

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VSD Grafx VSDfx
Updated, 03-Mar-2020
VSD Grafx develops Premium Visio Stencils including detailed front views
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detailed rear views
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and 3d isometric views
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