Screen Elements and Visio Navigation

Visio screen elementsIt helps to familiarise yourself with the screen elements and menus in Visio to help find your way around. Once you’ve selected the template category to use in Microsoft Visio 2007 a blank drawing is opened with all the necessary Stencils available to use.  To familiarise yourself with the interface it might be useful to run through the various screen elements, menus and tool bars available.

Visio Screen elements – the Menu Bar

For anybody used to other Microsoft Office products the menu and toolbars will look comfortingly familiar.  Across the top of the screen is a Title Bar with the name of the document on the left hand side and the three familiar icons on the far right which minimise, restore down or maximise, and close from left to right.  Beneath the title bar is the Menu Bar which starts with File and continues with Edit,ViewInsert and so on and beneath the menu bar lie the Standard and FormattingToolbars. The toolbars may be visible, and can be turned on and off by using the toolbars command from the view menu.

Visio Screen elements – the Task pane

The task pane on the left contains the Stencils which are opened in conjunction with the Templateyou have chosen for the particular drawing type. The top of this task pane contains the title “Shapes” and beneath this is located a Search Box which can be used to search for specific shapes not available in the stencils shown. Underneath the search box, the open stencils are listed beneath each other.  Clicking the title bar of each stencil reveals its contents and minimises the contents of the others.

To the right of the Shapes task pane is the main drawing area. The drawing page is shown in the centre of this window and around it is a grey area known as the Pasteboard.  Rulers are visible across the top of this area and down the left-hand side, and these can be used to accurately place shapes on the page.

The bottom of the drawing area contains a series of icons on the left hand side that represent the first, previous, next and last and refer to the pages in the drawing. There is only one page shown by default and tab and that represents this page is visible to the right of the icons. To the right of the page tab there may be a scrollbar shown and there may be another scrollbar on the right of the drawing pane depending on the magnification. Across the bottom of the window, underneath the page tab is a status bar, which contains amongst other things a page number and number of pages on the right hand side.

This is the basic window shown by default in Visio, but there may be other screen elements including toolbars and features shown depending on how the interface has been customised. Another search box usually appears at the top right hand side of the window into which a word or phrase can be typed in order to get help on that particular subject. A blue “question mark” icon also appears on the right hand end of the standard toolbar, and of course help can always be obtained by pressing F1.

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