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Microsoft Visio 2010 : Adding Sophistication to Your Drawings - Adding ScreenTips and Comments

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In some drawings, you want to provide your reader with additional information that doesn’t need to be visible at all times. Visio provides two convenient options with very different characteristics:
  • ScreenTips display pop-up text when you point to a shape but they are otherwise invisible. Indeed, there is no way to know that a ScreenTip exists unless you point to a shape containing one and a pop-up appears.


    Warning:

    Important

    ScreenTips are part of a shape. Consequently, they move with a shape and are deleted when you delete a shape.


  • Comments provide a visible indication of their presence but require you to click on them to see the text of the comment. The comment indicator displays the initials of the person who created the comment, along with a unique sequence number. Each comment also stores and displays the name of the comment author and the date on which it was created.


    Warning:

    Important

    It is important to understand that comments, unlike ScreenTips, are attached to the drawing page and not to specific shapes. Consequently, they may appear near shapes in some circumstances but they bear no relationship to, and operate independently from, Visio shapes. You will see evidence of this in the exercise in this section.


In general, use ScreenTips to provide useful but noncritical information about a shape. You should make the assumption that the reader may happen upon a ScreenTip but also may not. Use comments when it is vital that the reader know that they exist and when it is important to know who created the comment and when.

In this exercise, you will add a ScreenTip to a shape. You will also add and edit a comment.


Note:

Click the File tab, and then click New. In the Template Categories section, click Network, and then double click the Basic Network Diagram thumbnail. Save the drawing as Text and Data on Shapes.


  1. In the Shapes window, click Computers and Monitors. The Computers And Monitors stencil opens.

  2. Drag a PC shape onto the page.


    Screen Tip


  3. On the Insert tab, in the Text group, click the ScreenTip button. The Shape ScreenTip dialog box opens.

  4. Type I need a new PC to overwrite the text in the dialog box, and then click OK.

  5. Point to the PC and observe the pop-up text that you’ve created.

  6. Drag a Laptop shape from the Computers and Monitors stencil onto the page.


    New Comment


  7. On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click the New Comment button.


    Tip:

    Comments are part of the review feature set in Visio. Consequently, you will find comment buttons on the Review tab and not on the Insert tab where you found ScreenTips.


    Visio drops a comment indicator and an edit box for the comment body onto the page. The indicator contains the author’s initials (taken from the Visio settings) and a sequence number. In the following example, the comment indicator shows SAH1.

    The comment edit box displays the author’s name and the current date. The insertion point just below the author’s name indicates that you can start typing the body of the comment.

  8. Type This laptop contains Visio Premium 2010.

  9. Click anywhere on the background of the page to close the comment edit box. The border of the comment indicator has dimmed to show that it is not selected.

  10. Point to the comment SAH1 but don’t click the shape.

    Visio displays the author and the creation date of the comment. The pop-up text remains on the screen only as long as you continue to point to the indicator.

  11. Click once on the comment SAH1.

    Visio displays the comment header as in the previous step but it also displays the body of the comment in the minimum required space. The comment body remains on the screen until you click elsewhere on the page or press Esc.

  12. Click anywhere outside the comment balloon to close it.

  13. Double-click the comment SAH1, and type It also contains Office 2010.

    Visio opens the comment in edit mode so you can make changes to the text. The comment body remains on the screen until you click elsewhere on the page or press Esc.

  14. Click anywhere outside the comment balloon to close it.


    Warning:

    Important

    Visio placed the comment SAH1 near the laptop only because the shape was selected when you clicked the New Comment button in Step 7. However, the shape and the comment are not connected in any way, as the next steps in this exercise will illustrate. If no shape is selected when you click the New Comment button, Visio places the comment in the center of the drawing window.


  15. Drag the laptop to the left. Note that the comment indicator does not move. Similarly, neither selecting nor deleting the laptop affects the comment, and vice versa.

  16. Right-click comment SAH1, and then click Delete Comment.


Note:

Save your changes to the Text and Data on Shapes drawing, and then close it.



Tip:

If your Visio diagram contains more than one comment, you can navigate among them using the Previous and Next buttons in the Comments group on the Review tab.

You can turn all comment indicators in your drawing on or off by clicking Show Markup in the Markup group on the Review tab.

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