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Using Visio built web pages with IE11

Posted on 2015-02-18
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I build web pages using Visio 2010.  The pages contain shapes with embedded data.  When a user control/clicks on a shape on the web page, a details window opens which contains the embedded data.  This functionality does not appear to be available to users accessing these pages with IE11.  I understand that IE11 blocks outdated activeX controls. Could this be what is happening? If so, would building the pages with Visio 2013 resolve the issue?  Is there any work around which would allow IE11 users to utilized the embedded data functionality of Visio build web pages?
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Question by:GWAllen
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by:Scott Helmers
ID: 40619345
The explanation for the problem you've encountered is summarized nicely in this blog post by VIsio MVP John Goldsmith:
    http://visualsignals.typepad.co.uk/vislog/2012/09/visio-vml-and-ie10.html
Essentially, Microsoft removed support in IE 10 and later for the Vector Markup Language that Visio uses when it creates web pages.

John provides a workaround that involves adding one HTML tag to each Visio-created html file -- it works, but it may not be practical depending on the frequency with which you publish Visio diagrams. OTOH, it would be pretty easy to write a script or VBA to make that change automatically...   I don't know enough about group policy settings but it might be possible to accomplish the same thing via Windows group policy.
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by:GWAllen
ID: 40619568
Thank You Scott:

Thank you for the thoughtful explanation and the link.  I encountered the issue concerning building pages with VML back when IE10 was released and addressed it by changing the output format to XAML.  So the pages are built with XAML, not VML, and they seem to work fine with IE 10.  The issue I am encountering with IE 11 seems to be a little different.  As described in the linked article, with IE 10 and VML the Visio shapes are not visible.  In this case, the shapes are visible, but the control/click details window does not function.  The pan and zoom and search features are also absent.  So I am wondering if IE 11 is blocking by default some active content, and if so if there is a work around?  Also there could be an issue with XAML?  Thanks again.
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Scott Helmers earned 500 total points
ID: 40623448
I did a bit more testing and the problem does appear to be that IE 11 does not support the left-pane navigation features for web pages created by Visio using either VML or XAML.

However, the fix suggested by John Goldsmith (above), i.e., adding
   <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=7, IE=8" >
in the <head> section of the Visio-created htm file does solve the problem in both cases, with one caveat: XAML also requires Silverlight to provide the left-pane features.

So it looks like we're back to the awkward problem of needing to insert a tag into each Visio-generated file. Is that workable?
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Author Closing Comment

by:GWAllen
ID: 40623557
Thank You Scott:

I will give that a go.  I like your idea of using VBA.  I imagine that I could add a command button to each Visio page that would activate VBA instructions to build the web page and also insert the script from John Goldsmith.  That would make the process not much different than what it is currently.  It may be a few days before I can get to that, but once I have given it a go, I will add a follow-up comment to this discussion reporting on my progress and/or issues.  Thank You Again!
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by:Scott Helmers
ID: 40623796
As another option, you could also add a button to an existing tab on the ribbon, or create a custom tab with a "Publish" button. Clicking the button would do as you suggested above: save as HTML and then add the extra line of code.

If you've never worked with the ribbon before, it can be a bit tricky. I'd be happy to provide a sample if you'd like it.
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