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Microsoft Visio 2010 : Formatting Individual Shapes (part 2) - Curing Menu Cascade-itis

2/9/2014 8:08:47 PM

3. Curing Menu Cascade-itis

Visio 2010 reduced toolbar clutter by combining toolbar buttons with cascading menus. I find the right-click mini-toolbar wonderfully convenient, and most of the formatting options come with live preview, which is an extra bonus.

If, however, you are making lots of formatting edits, frequent cascading is tiring. For example, I often find myself changing the color, weight, pattern, and arrowhead style of a line. This requires four separate, multilevel trips into the Line drop-down.

In the last exercise, you saw how the Line, Fill, Shadow, and Text dialogs enable you to make multiple changes at once. If you are in the middle of a formatting frenzy, using these dialogs is often faster and easier. For all but the text options, however, you still have to expand a drop-down list just to get to the dialogs. You can speed up the process by customizing the Ribbon or Quick Access Toolbar so that you can directly access the dialogs with one mouse click.

Creating a Custom Ribbon Tab for Quick Line, Fill, and Text Editing
Start with a new, blank drawing.

Draw a few test rectangles on the page. Add some text to the shapes. Play with formatting the shapes via the controls on the Home tab or by right-clicking.

Change the line color, line weight, and line pattern for a shape using the Line drop-down and cascading into the Weight and Dashes items. Imagine doing this many times. Feel the pain.

Right-click any area on the Ribbon and choose Customize the Ribbon.

In the Customize Ribbon dialog, click the New Tab button on the lower right. Notice that a new tab and new group are added to the list. Controls on a tab must be in a group.

Right-click New Tab and choose Rename. Change the name to Using Visio.

Similarly, rename New Group to Format. Make sure Format is highlighted in the list.

In the Choose Commands From drop-down list, pick All Commands.

Select Fill Options... in the commands list and then click Add >>. Fill Options is added to your custom Format Group on the right.

Similarly, add the items: Shadow Options, Line Options, and Text to your custom group. If you make a mistake, select an item in the Main Tabs list on the right and then click the Remove button.

Change the position of the Using Visio tab by selecting it and then pressing the up or down arrow on the right of the dialog box.

When you are satisfied with your changes, click OK. You should see your new Using Visio Ribbon tab, as shown in Figure 1. Clicking the buttons in your new Format group instantly launches the Line, Fill, or Shadow options dialogs.

Figure 1. The custom-built Using Visio Ribbon tab relieves the suffering caused by frequent cascading through Fill, Line, and Shadow drop-downs.

If you don’t want to bother creating a new menu tab, you can add the same items to the Quick Access Toolbar. If you look closely at the top-left corner of Figure 1, you can see I’ve done this already. To add these buttons, just right-click on the Fill Options, Shadow Options, and Line Options menu items and then choose Add to Quick Access Toolbar.

Other -----------------
- Microsoft Visio 2010 : Working with Individual Shapes - Resizing and Rotating Shapes
- Microsoft Visio 2010 : Working with Individual Shapes - Copying and Duplicating Shapes
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- Creating DVD Movies with Windows DVD Maker (part 2) - Adding Photos and Videos to Your DVD Project - DVD Storage Issues and Formats , Arranging Content
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