Visualizing Diagrams with Data Graphics

One of the great advantages in using Visio to create diagrams is the ability to add data graphics to shapes.  This allows the shape to change its appearance according to the values contained within it — a little bit like the conditional formatting found in Microsoft Excel.

Data Graphics Reside in the Visio Diagram

When you create data graphics for shapes they are stored along with that diagram in which they were created.  You may, therefore, find that you have created some new data graphics in one diagram that you wish to use in another.  But as they are stored in the diagram itself, how can you apply the same graphics in another drawing?

Adding Data Graphics to a Visio diagram

Copy your data graphics to another diagram

The answer is actually exceptionally easy.  Simply copy the data graphics from one diagram to another in the same way that you would a theme — all you need to do is to copy a shape that has that data graphic applied to it from the original drawing and paste it into the new drawing.  Once the shape is pasted into the new drawing the data graphic that has been applied to it will appear in the data graphics task pane for the new diagram.

If you wish to, you can easily delete the shape that contained the data graphic from the new drawing and the data graphic will remain in the task pane.  If you want to change any of the data graphic’s details, you can do so exactly as you would with any other data graphic.

Editing Data Graphics

To modify existing data graphics, simply hover your mouse pointer over it in the data graphics task pane until a down pointing arrow appears then choose “edit data graphics” from the shortcut menu.  Alternatively, right click the data graphic to see the shortcut menu then add or edit any of the visual elements.

After you have created or edited any data graphics in the task pane the graphic can be applied to any shapes on the drawing by simply selecting them — either by clicking on the first, holding down the shift key and clicking successive shapes, or simply by dragging a rectangle (or bounding box in Visio parlance) around the shapes you want to include — then click the appropriate one from the selection of available data graphics to apply it to the shapes.

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