I have an authoring application in MS Visio, which outputs data in JSON format to drive a web-based application. Visio was chosen as a development tool because intelligent shapes greatly reduce expert authoring time and reduce authoring errors. However, there is a substantial section of entry-level authoring which simply involves typing formatted text and numerals into 20-30 visio Shapes, each of which gathers data for a separate JSON content field.
I am considering removing this entry-level authoring layer out of the Visio application, and having the text and numerals entering into fields in a more widely available and less expensive application, such as MS Word or an Office form. As a result the entry level authoring would be cheaper and easier.
I ask whether there is a practicable way of capturing text (some of which is multi-paragraph) from defined 'fields' in a word document, and converting each to a public variable, or dictionary item, in VBA. Then I can 'suck it up' into the visio application.
A key issue is the formatting of the entered text. Currently an expert author carries out typical microsoft WYSIWYG text formatting in Visio. The format of text in each shape is defined by format code in each Shape's shapesheet. VBA converts thisVISIO text into the HTML that is required for the JSON output to send to the web-based app.
One additional complication is that It would also be necessary for the Word-derived text variables to be displayed in Visio shapes: this to meet layout requirement in the visio authoring app.
I do know that the format of text written in Word can be copied and pasted into Visio shapes, without loss or change of format. So I feel there must be a common formatting system at work in both applications.
My questions are:
1. Can I use MS Word as an intelligent 'form' to receive data in effectively 20-30 'fields' (a few of which with be multi-paragraph text.
2. Can that text be stored as VBA public variables (eg in dictionaries) which can be shared with the Visio app.
3. If this is a go-er, how is text formatting data managed in Word and transmitted in data strings?
This is a preliminary question, seeking a practical way forward and advice on avoiding bad strategies (possibly including the above?). If you could point me in the right direction via urls etc, I'd hope to wise up and think further.
PS: from what I understand, MS SharePoint cannot be used for the entry level author to type text into visio fields on a web-based view of a visio diagram.