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Visio 2010 - Moving the same shape on all 20 pages

Posted on 2013-12-06
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Last Modified: 2013-12-12
Is there any way to move a single shape --say-- a half an inch down on a page if that shape exists in the same place on all 20 pages?
Let's say a circle needs to be moved down 1/2" inch on every page and that circle exists on every page.  How can this be done?
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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by:Scott Helmers
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Two thoughts; the first is very simple; the second requires a bit more work.

1) Create a background page, put the circle on the background page, and then assign the background page to all 20 foreground pages. When you move anything on a background page, the changes appear automatically on any other page that references the background page. This technique will work fine if you don't ever need to click on and select the circle on any foreground page.

2) It is possible to create shapes that obtain their page position information from another shape. In essence, the circles on pages 2-20 would "read" their page position from the circle on page 1.
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by:brothertruffle880
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Hi Scott:

How can I implement the second solution you mentioned.  I am fascinated by that alternative!
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Scott Helmers earned 500 total points
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Several bits of arcane Visio knowledge are required to make this work:
Knowing a bit about the Visio ShapeSheet (if you've never played with the ShapeSheet, let me know and I can provide a couple of references to useful information about it).
Knowing that every shape has two names, one in the form of Sheet.n and another that can be assigned by the shape designer.
Knowing that you can find both shape names by using the Shape Name button on the Developer tab (the .n portion of Sheet.n is the ID at the top of the Shape Name dialog).
Using the Pages[ ] function in the ShapeSheet to refer to another page, and therefore, to shapes on another page.

I've attached a sample diagram that uses a combination of these tricks to link the X/Y coordinates of shapes on pages 2 and 3 to the X/Y position of a shape on page 1. Move the circle on the first page then see the result on pages 2 and 3.

Another important note: for reasons I've never understood, when you use the Pages[ ] function into a ShapeSheet cell and then want to refer to a specific cell in a shape on that page, you must type the "sheet name" of the target shape. However, when you press Enter to complete the cell formula, Visio will immediate change the formula to the other shape name. For example, to enter the formulas you see in the sample diagram, I typed
   =Pages[Page-1]!Sheet.1!PinX
but Visio immediately changed it to what you see
   =Pages[Page-1]!Circle.1!PinX
Typing the formula in the second format produces an error.
Pages-function-to-link-shapes-to.vsd
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