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Microsoft Visio 2010 : Creating and Validating Process Diagrams - Reusing Existing Validation Rules

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1/22/2014 2:47:35 AM

Four Visio 2010 templates include predefined validation rule sets. Their existence raises a number of questions, such as the following:

  • Is it possible to use those rule sets with other documents?

  • Is it possible for a diagram to have more than one rule set?

  • How do you find out what rules comprise an existing rule set?

  • Is it possible to modify an existing rule set?

  • Is it possible to create new rules?

In this exercise, you will learn the answer to the first two questions by importing a rule set into a flowchart created with Visio 2007. You will learn the answer to the third question in the text at the end of this section, and will learn about modifying and creating rule sets in the next section.

Set Up

image with no caption

Check Diagram

  1. On the Process tab, in the Diagram Validation group, click the Check Diagram button.

    Set Up

    Visio tells you that the document does not contain any rule sets and also tells you what to do about it. Because you’ve opened a flowchart created in an older version of Visio, you will import the flowchart rule set.

  2. On the Process tab, in the Diagram Validation group, click the Check Diagram arrow (not the button), and then point to Rules to Check. The submenu confirms that there are no rules in this document.

    Set Up
  3. Point to Import Rules From, and click Flowchart Rule Set. Visio displays a dialog box confirming that one rule set was copied to the current document.

    Tip

    The flowchart rule set is available to import into any diagram. In addition, if you have other diagrams open that contain rule sets, you will see them listed and can import their rules.

  4. On the Process tab, in the Diagram Validation group, click the Check Diagram button. Visio runs the imported rule set against your diagram and reports the results in the Issues window.

    Set Up

Clean Up

Save your changes to the Visio 2010 Flowchart drawing but leave it open if you are continuing with the next exercise.

Now that you know you can import a rule set into a diagram, you have probably guessed the answer to the second question in the list at the beginning of this section: you can have more than one rule set attached to a Visio diagram.

The following graphic indicates that the current diagram uses two rule sets. The check marks in front of both Contoso Business Rules and Flowchart indicate that both rule sets are active. Consequently, when you click the Check Diagram button, the diagram will be validated against both of them.

Tip

You can clear the check box for any rule set to remove it from the active list.

Clean Up

The answer to the third question posed at the beginning of this section is a bit trickier because the Visio 2010 user interface does not provide a way to list the rules in a rule set. However, an experienced Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) programmer can write a short program to list the rules contained in a rule set. Even better, Visio MVP David Parker has already done the work for you by including code samples for this and other diagram validation purposes in an article he wrote for MSDN.

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