Help! I am in dire straits. Does anyone know anything about Microsoft Visio?
To be honest this is a bit of a bummer, because if you had asked me only a week ago I would have claimed to be one of the world's experts in using this little rascal.
Honestly, over the years I have spent countless hours (many hundreds if not thousands) creating Visio drawings for use in my articles and technical whitepapers and PowerPoint presentations and books and ... all sorts of things really.
I don’t wish to be immodest, but I flatter myself that I've actually become rather good at using this little scamp. Take a look at an illustration I created for my book How Computers Do Math as shown below, for example (this is a shrunk-down version – the full-size drawing looks really tasty).
The problem is that, I started using Visio way-back-when in the mid-to-late 1990s. The last time I upgraded (until a few days ago) was to Visio 2003 (I remember the learning curve to this version was none-too-easy – it's hard when you know an earlier version to migrate to a later one).
The bottom line is that for the last few years I've been happily using Visio Professional 2010. And then, as you may recall, last week whilst on a trip to England I dropped my computer and smashed the screen (see my Agatha Christie meets Dr. Who blog).
I arrived back from England this past Friday evening and I was scheduled to head out to California to meet with Xilinx (see my Xilinx Multi-FPGA in a Package blog). Thus, this past Saturday I raced down to Best Buy to purchase a new computer.
I'll be writing a full blog on this beast as soon as I find the time. Suffice it to say that it came with Windows 7 and also I had to upgrade to Microsoft Office 2010 (which is taking me a little time to become fully acquainted). But the point of this blog is that I also upgraded to Visio 2010.
Illustration from How Computers Do Math
Now I couldn’t afford the full-up professional version which cost around $550 (give me strength). So instead I went for the Visio Standard 2010 version (which still cost a hefty $250 – I'm still crying real tears about this ... thank goodness for credit cards is all I can say). The problem is that I can't find the Fragment
commands to manipulate shapes
Just to make sure we're all tap-dancing to the same drum beat, consider the three images below. In the first I've drawn three shapes. In the second I've moved them around so that they are on top of each other. In the third I've fragmented the ellipse and the small rectangle and then I've combined the result with the wide-thin rectangle.
First I create three shapes
Next I move them over the top of each other
Finally I use the Fragment and Union commands
So does anyone out there know where these commands are in Visio Standard 2010? Please don’t tell me they aren’t there (I can’t afford to upgrade to the professional version)...
Alternatively, does anyone know of an alternative (more affordable) package (preferable one that can read in Visio files)...