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Visio 2013 - How to Extract comments from all shapes on one page and place them in Excel worksheet.

Posted on 2014-03-12
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Last Modified: 2016-09-01
I have a diagram with about 200 shapes.  I would like to extract the names of those shapes and the contents of the COMMENTS field.  I would like to place these on an Excel worksheet.

How can I do this?
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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Scott Helmers earned 500 total points
ID: 39924502
The Visio report writer will do that for you quite easily.

Select Review>Shape Reports then step through the wizard, selecting <Displayed Text> as one of the fields you want in your report. Then when you run the report, choose Excel as the output type.
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by:HvdH62
ID: 41549711
"Displayed text" will not show comments under Review/Shape reports in Visio 2013. Any other solution?
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by:Scott Helmers
ID: 41550340
I can think of two alternatives:

1) Because the report writer doesn't seem to have direct access to the Comments cell, you can create a Shape Data field or a User cell and then equate it to the Comments cell. After than, just include your Shape Data field or User cell in the report definition.

2) If your shape doesn't already display other text, you could Insert>Field, use a custom formula and set it equal to Comment. That will display the comment text on the shape but will also make it available in a report via the <Displayed Text> field.

Let me know if you need additional help with either technique.
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Expert Comment

by:HvdH62
ID: 41550580
Hi Scott,
1) Shape data field doesn't see comments. User field is not known in Visio 2013.
2) Nice idea, but 'Comments' is not in the Fields list and thus cannot be added.
Other ideas?
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Expert Comment

by:Ryan M
ID: 41779836
I'm also not having any luck with this and would love suggestions.  Thanks!
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by:Scott Helmers
ID: 41779991
Suggestion #2 in my reply above does work. This image shows how to insert the Comment field so its contents displays on a shape:commentThen the text of the comment will be available as <Displayed Text> when you are defining a report.

Also, you said that User fields are not known in Visio 2013. They certainly are (they've been in every version of Visio since the beginning). However, they are not accessible via the Visio user interface. You need to learn how to edit the ShapeSheet to work with user cells. To get started with the ShapeSheet you might try part 1 of the "Becoming a Visio Power User" series I recorded for Microsoft Virtual Academy.
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