AutoAdd and AutoDelete
Two new functions have been added to the Visio 2010 arsenal which aim to reduce the time spent fiddling with connectors and alignment issues – AutoAdd, also known as the Shape mini-toolbar, and AutoDelete. Both of these are automatic and can literally save minutes from each stage of a drawing, so the cumulative effect can be seriously time-saving, particularly on a complex drawing or one that spans several pages.
The great benefit of AutoAdd is that a diagram – let’s say a flowchart for simplicity – can be created in a few mouse clicks with all the connections and alignment being handled automatically by Visio 2010. With the framework complete you can then spend a little longer adding text to the shapes or making any other modifications you wish safe in the knowledge that AutoAdd has ensured that all the measurements are accurate, the alignment perfect and each shape the optimum distance from its neighbour.
AutoAdd makes creating a diagram child’s play
So quick is this feature that I have created a flowchart in literally a couple of minutes, and the process is so intuitive that even someone without any specialist or technical knowledge can quickly and easily replicate this themselves. But inevitably, once the drawing is finished the parameters of the project will change and this will almost always result in a change of layout in your drawing. This is where the magic really happens, as the new AutoAdd feature makes it incredibly easy to simply drag another shape from the appropriate stencil and drop it onto the drawing in the required position. The connection points adjacent to the new position will turn red, and as soon as the mouse is released the new shape will be inserted automatically thanks to the AutoAdd feature.
Not only is this a great saving in terms of time and effort, the shape will automatically be connected and aligned to the neighbouring shapes – AutoAdd is truly an incredible advance!
Spend more time on important tasks with AutoAdd
When your diagram is finished to a high standard you feel better about it, your credibility with your peers rises and you may find that your line manager becomes aware of your skills as word gets around. Automating functionality such as AutoAdd helps you maintain the standards and frees up time you might have spent correcting irritating problems in the past.
In addition to AutoAdd, Visio 2010 now has AutoDelete to complement the existing AutoConnect feature. This excellent feature will remove redundant connection lines if a shape connected to others is deleted. It tries to predict which lines should go based on the shapes to which they connect, and most of the time it does a great job.
There will always be occasions where the connectors are not removed as accurately as you would like, but for an automated function it is extremely good and a feature you will very quickly miss if you have to revert to an earlier version at any time. As I often train on client sites, I know from personal experience how this can affect your temperament!
Combined with the other features introduced in this version, AutoAdd and AutoDelete are other examples of how Visio 2010 ha tried to cover all the bases and speed up diagram creation for busy people, and, in my opinion at least, has succeeded.