The first thing that will confront most uses of the new version of Visio 2010 is the new “Fluent” interface, and in particular the ribbon. For anyone migrating from an earlier version of Visio without the benefit of having used another Office 2007 product, the learning curve will seem steep indeed.
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The Visio 2010 Ribbon
For those of us who have used other Office 2007 products, the ribbon will appear more familiar; however Microsoft have clearly taken on board the feedback from their users because they have reverted to the File menu in 2010 and abandoned the Office button that appeared in the 2007 series. The File Tab now opens an entirely new area called Backstage View, and this area contains a number of innovative features in addition to the commands one would expect from a File menu.
The Fluent interface has a clean, uncluttered look that is mirrored in all the other Office programs. This allows new users in particular to become familiar with any of the Office suite since they all now share a familiar appearance; where it does become difficult is with the user who knows his or her way around a previous version, since the interface is so different in the new version.
The changes have been made, according to Microsoft, to “improve the user experience” and some of the new features do indeed live up to that claim. The templates are much improved from earlier versions and the ability to create simple but very effective diagrams that are linked to data dynamically makes Visio the leader of the pack when it comes to diagramming software.
Other changes include an enhanced AutoConnect feature, automatic alignment tools, an extended page feature that automatically adjusts the page size if you stray beyond the limits and Containers – something like the Drawing Canvas feature in other Office programs. The Live Preview feature does exactly what the name suggests – it allows formatting and alignment changes to be previewed in real time without the need to commit to the change.
Visio 2010 Articles
In this series of article we introduce the new features of Visio 2010 and describe the changes that have taken place in this new version. Our aim is to make the transition from earlier versions of Visio as smooth as possible, and we have a series of Training videos to augment this process.