Getting Started – what is Visio?

Visio is a diagramming tool created by Microsoft.  Many organisations use it to construct diagrams for a number of purposes, such as:

  • Describing the organisation’s hierarchy
  • Visualising a specific process within the organisation
  • Plotting manufacturing schedules
  • Planning sales campaigns
  • Recording network assets

and 101 other tasks where a picture is far more effective at communicating the message than any other type of media.

Visio is so Versatile

But it isn’t confined to commercial applications – many individuals use Visio diagrams to help organize their workflow, make sense of complex plans or simply making their family tree. Microsoft Visio is used by some people to create project plans and timelines, others use it to prepare drawings for planning applications or to see how a room layout would look if it was remodeled. Visio is so versatile it can be used for purposes we have never even dreamed of – the imagination is the only limitation for some of us!

In this short presentation-style video tutorial we look at the concept of using diagramming software and give a thorough overview of Visio 2007 and the various uses to which it can be put.

These uses can include diagrams that represent Data, Processes and Systems.  We discuss the variety of different templates included that make it easy to create architectural diagrams, network diagrams, engineering drawings, process diagrams, flowcharts and organisation charts, timelines, and maps and floor plans.

Visio comes in Different Editions

In addition to the different versions available – this site focuses on Visio 2007 and Visio 2010, but at the time of writing, Visio 2013 has just been released – there are different editions available which vary in complexity according to what you need. For example, if you are using it to produce commercial entity relationship diagrams which record the structure of a database you will probably want a more sophisticated edition than if you just want to create a flowchart for a report.

Bear in mind that there are two versions of Visio, Standard and Professional.  if you have school-age children, or work in education yourself, you may be entitled to purchase an educational edition of Visio that is fully featured and available at a greatly reduced price.

This Student edition is normally based on the Standard version, so if you have that one you may find that many of the stencils and shapes featured in these video tutorials are missing.