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Replacing Visio 2003 org chart shapes in the Org Chart stencil

Posted on 2011-02-17
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

I've experimented with the Visio org chart re-layout options but I'm still not completely happy with the default shapes.

Is it possible to replace the shapes in Visio 2003's Org Chart stencil? I'd like to preserve the ability to still relayout the org chart with the new shapes and maintain some special extracting (e.g., hyperlinks, unique IDs, level names) as specified in a separate .xls that generate the org chart. A very, very wonderful EE expert helped me with the smart formulas and with this outstanding automated solution.

Ideally, I'd like to replace all Tier 1 shapes for another shape ("Big Station"), all Tier 2, 3, 4, 5 shapes ("Small Station")for another shape automatically? I need the custom properties, including the hyperlinks, to remain when swapping over.

The actual .xls file has about 1500 lines, going a total of 5 levels deep.

Any assistance is greatly appreciated. Many thanks!!!!! prototype.xls  
prototype-org-chart.vsd
Desired-Shapes-prototype.vsd
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Question by:radiantjoy
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by:Scott Helmers
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Joy,

My apologies for not responding... as far-fetched as it may sound, my excuse is that I'm writing a book about Visio and I'm in the final two weeks of editing before it goes to print. After that I will actually have a life again!

Nevertheless, don't delete this question... I will get to it later this week. I'll experiment with suggestions 2 and 3 from your previous question and see what's possible.

Scott
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by:radiantjoy
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Please, no apologies, Scott!

I'm very excited to hear about the book! I'd like to learn more about it (so I'll add myself as one of your followers).

Anyway, thank you so much for squeezing this question in when time permits in a couple of weeks!

Joy
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by:radiantjoy
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Just checking in to see
1. How the final edits on the book went.
2. If you've had a chance to see fiddle around with this question.

Thank you!!!
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by:Scott Helmers
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Joy,

I will receive one final set of proofs today for the book, then it goes to the printer on Wednesday. Because of that and a business trip last week, I haven't gotten to your org chart modifications... thanks for your patience.

Scott
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by:radiantjoy
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Just checking on cuz I got am email from the monitors noting this ihas been "inactive" .... Just didn't want them to close this question!

Hope all went well with the book proof.
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by:Scott Helmers
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Well -- not an entirely successful experinment, but you can see whether it's worth continuing...

I've attached a stencil that contains "Big station", "Small station" and "Small station - no submap" masters. They behave somewhat like the Executive, Manager and Position shapes.

The good news is that if you create an org chart manually, they do behave reasonably well. (I have not copied the right-click menu actions, so you won't find them.)

The bad news is that when you run the org chart wizard, it will use its own shapes. Even if you have this stencil open and have closed the normal org chart stencil.

I can see two approaches that might work:
1) Copy the modified stencil to the place where Visio stencils live, rename it to have the same name as the standard org chart and see what happens. (News flash: typing that sentence caused me to try it; it didn't work; the wizard crashed when I tried to run it.)
2) Write a macro that "post-processes" the org chart. That is, create the chart the way you do now, then run a macro that substitutes each current shape with a station shape.

Let me know whether you think #2 is worth pursuing after you see how the modified station shapes behave.

Org-chart-station-shapes.vss
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by:radiantjoy
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Can we try option #2? Do you think I coud impose on you to help with a macros?

My current org chart goes 5 levels deep, so could we use
Big station = Executive
Small station = Manager
Small station - no submap = Position

Thank you for considering this request.
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by:Scott Helmers
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I'll give it a shot -- stay tuned.
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by:radiantjoy
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EE Administrators: Please keep this question active - we are still working on a solution. Thank you!
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by:Scott Helmers
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Joy -- made some progress tonight... but this is surprisingly tricky... still working on it though.

Scott
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by:radiantjoy
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Awesome, Scott - I really appreciate your time and your brain juice on this one!  :-)
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by:Scott Helmers
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Joy -- I decided to post an intermediate sample so you can tell me what you think: it's the before and after from a simple org chart. It's obviously not your data but let me know whether this is even heading in the right direction.

Scott
Org-chart-substitution-2011-03-2.zip
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by:radiantjoy
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This looks great, Scott! Yes, it's definitely the direction I wanted to go.
Thank you, Scott!
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by:Scott Helmers
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Do you want the text in the current location? At an angle up to the right? Large/smaller? Bold/Not bold?
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by:radiantjoy
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Thank you for focusing me on specifics...here's a mock-up of what I hope for.
All text angled to the right, centered, within a set dimension text box (not auto expanding as some titles may be long with all the fields that will export from .xls): Hard paragraph after each data type (#, Title that will wrap, ROT tag)
Executive (Fred) bold
Employees and their children non-bold appearing in a linear line rather than a hierarchal fork (I’m sorry I’m not describing it correctly).

Org-chart-for-shape-conversion--.vsd
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by:Scott Helmers
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The attached zip file contains three things:
-- a sample org chart made from data you sent a few months ago
-- a Visio document that contains macro code ("Replace Org Chart Shapes v02.vsd")
-- a custom stencil that contains modified org chart shapes

1) Unzip the file into a folder of your choosing
2) Copy the stencil into My Documents>My Shapes
3) Open "Replace Org Chart Shapes v02.vsd"
4) Follow the instructions on page 1

The macro will convert the sample diagram correctly, though the result is likely to be aesthetically challenged! To resolve that:
1) On the main Visio menu, select Organization Chart>Change Spacing
2) Click "All pages" on the right of the dialog box
3) Click "Custom" on the left, then click the "Values" button
4) Change the "Horizontal spacing" to something like 1.25 inches (you'll need to experiment with various values to find something that looks best with your data)
5) Click OK twice

Then -- try this with your real data and let me know what happens!

Also, let me know whether there are any adjustments you'd like, e.g., smaller font size.


Replace-org-chart-shapes-v02.zip
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by:radiantjoy
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Thank you so much - I will play with this in between meetings today. Thank you, again!
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by:GRayL
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Scott:  We're you at Core 2010?
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by:Scott Helmers
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Yes, Ray -- one and the same!
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by:GRayL
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Can't believe it's been a year since we crossed paths.  Good to see you are still around.
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by:Scott Helmers
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A year since a terrific conference and that final night of excellent conversation over a glass of your Canadian whiskey.

Joy -- sorry for the diversion from the topic at hand! Ray and I met at an EE-sponsored conference last year.
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by:radiantjoy
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No problem! :-)
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by:radiantjoy
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It looks good on a prototype which looks good but my actual data Visio is freezing up...I'm sure it's because it's so large. I'll try again tomorrow.
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by:radiantjoy
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Hi, again!

I was wondering if it's possible for
the text to diagonal up to the right (see screen print on how actual data is running together...I couldn't find a spacing option to modify that)
the children to appear in a linear line rather than branch (see the linear children tab)

Thank you so much!!   data-after-macros.vsd
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by:radiantjoy
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Hi there - just checking into see if this is possible. Thanks for letting me follow-up!
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by:Scott Helmers
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It's amazing how your occasional, pleasant reminders coincide with a surge in my guilt over not having gotten back to this for a while... Earlier this week I had put this on my calendar for Thursday night and there you were, reading my mind...

In any event, the diagonal text is in the updated code below. The angle is currently set to 25 degrees; let me know if you want a smaller or larger angle. BTW, you can see the shape angle and experiment with different settings by opening the Size and Position window (View>Size & Position Window) and then selecting the text part of a shape. You'll see the Angle setting in the small window and can type new values.

Re the layout: to achieve the result shown below, I did two things:
1) select the executive then click Horizontal Layout>Center
2) select all manager shapes then click Vertical Layout>Align Left
I'm not convinced that doing this form of layout can be automated but let me know whether this comes closer to what you have in mind.

BTW, this combination layout would look even better if you had only "Managers" and no "Positions" directly under the "Executive" but I know that's not the case for your data.
Replace-Org-Chart-Shapes-v03.vsd
combination-of-center-and-left.jpg
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by:radiantjoy
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Dear EE administrators, please keep this open. I'm still applying this solution. Thank you for your patience and kindness.
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by:radiantjoy
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Thank you very much, Scott! The angle and layout are great.

Two questions:

1. Is it possible to automate the subordnates as I did manually (as noted in the screen print)?

2. Is it possible for the Small Position share (small, non-gray circle that is used for positions) to be used for Managers?   subordnates tweak Org-chart-after-macros-v03-plus-.vsd
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by:Scott Helmers
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1) Maybe. Because the org chart is a Visio add-in, many of its functions can't be automated in any of the usual ways, so I'll need to experiment with it.

2) Yes. Do you mean that you want to use the same shape for both Managers and Positions? I.E., there will only be two identical shapes in the stencil?
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by:radiantjoy
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Hi ya

1) YAY!!! thanks for researching

2) Yes - same shape for manager and positions (only executive would be a gray circle)

THANK YOU
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Scott Helmers earned 500 total points
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Joy -- revised code is attached that uses the same shape for both Manager and Position shapes. Still haven't cracked the layout problem...
Replace-Org-Chart-Shapes-v04.vsd
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by:radiantjoy
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Thank you for the Manager = Position shape tweak!
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by:Scott Helmers
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Joy -- I may have found a technique for handling the re-layout. But it's going to take some work and I know I won't get to it this week because I will be out of town starting tomorrow. My suggestion is to close this l-o-n-g-standing question and ask a new one about re-layout sometime next week.

Scott
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by:radiantjoy
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ok will do - thank you!
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Author Closing Comment

by:radiantjoy
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Will reopen another Visio relayout question during the week of 05/02/2011 to note the 2nd half of this complext request.
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by:GRayL
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Joy:  Don't forget to post the URL of the new question back here so that anyone following this question knows where to go for the rest of it.
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by:radiantjoy
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Ok - will Truro remember to do that next week when I repost
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Ok - will Truro remember to do that next week when I repost
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by:radiantjoy
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Continuation of the last request to relayout the defalt org chart layout has been started here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Microsoft/Applications/Microsoft_Visio/Q_26988890.html
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