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Visio 2013 - How to adjust height of Swimlane columns

Posted on 2014-03-13
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Last Modified: 2014-03-17
I created a swimlane diagram and need to squeeze more swimlanes on a sheet of paper.  I'd like to squeeze out some white space above and below my shapes but it's not letting me do that.  It keeps "resetting" my swimlane height.
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Question by:brothertruffle880
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by:Visio_Guy
ID: 39928123
When does it reset the heights? I was able to get my down to a minimum that still allows some room for connectors to go around (shrunken) shapes, but I never saw the lane-height "pop back"...
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by:Scott Helmers
Scott Helmers earned 500 total points
ID: 39928977
Swimlanes are Visio containers and containers have a setting for the margin surrounding contained shapes.

If you look at the shapesheet for the swimlane container, you'll see that margin setting is based on a setting in something called CFF Container, which happens to be the parent container (technically, it's a type of container called a list, but that doesn't affect what we're about to do).swimlaneIf you then look at the shapesheet for the parent list, you'll find that it's set to a value of .25 inches.parent listAll you need to do is type a smaller margin value in the parent list and all swimlanes will inherit the new value.

Note: the swimlanes will not automatically resize just because you changed the margin. However, at this point you can drag the bottom edge of the swimlane upwards to shorten the bottom white space to match the margin. The top is a bit trickier to manage because when you try to drag the top of one swimlane you are actually dragging the bottom of the swimlane above. The solution is to manually drag the shapes in a lane up to where you want them, and then to adjust the bottom edge.

One more thing: to select a container or list (in order to view the shapesheet in this case), you must click on the header or exactly on the edge. Clicking anywhere inside the container will not select the container.
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Scott Helmers earned 500 total points
ID: 39929006
Having typed the above, I just discovered that fiddling with the shapesheet isn't actually necessary! Simply select the parent list, then on the Cross-Functional Flowchart tab, click Arrange>Margins and select one of the preset values between zero and one inch.
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