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Microsoft Visio 2010 : Visualizing Your Data - Editing Data Graphics

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1/8/2014 1:04:56 AM
The placement and appearance of data graphics are controlled by an editable set of parameters. Although you can’t control every attribute of a data graphic without resorting to writing code, the Visio 2010 user interface provides tools to effect a surprising number of changes.

In this exercise, you will modify the data graphics that you applied in the preceding section. First you will change the placement of one data graphic, and then you will alter the display attributes of several elements within a second data graphic.

Set Up

image with no caption

Data Graphics

  1. On the Data tab, in the Display Data group, click the Data Graphics button to open the gallery. (To see a graphic of the Data Graphic gallery, see Step 2 in the preceding exercise.)

  2. Right-click the Topology 2 thumbnail, and then click Edit. The Edit Data Graphic dialog box for Topology 2 opens.

    Set Up

    In the upper half of the Edit Data Graphic dialog box, you can add, edit, or delete individual items within the data graphic. In the lower half, you can modify the characteristics of the data graphic as a whole. You will use the lower half for this exercise.

    Important

    You establish the default position for a data graphic in the lower-left corner of the Edit Data Graphic dialog box. (Both the horizontal and vertical position are relative to the shape to which the graphic will be attached.) Data graphic items in the upper half of the dialog box whose Position is set to Default will appear at this location.

  3. In the Default position section of the Edit Data Graphic dialog box, click the arrow next to Horizontal, and then click Center.

  4. Click the arrow next to Vertical, and then click Above Shape.

    Tip

    You will need to scroll up to locate Above Shape in the list.

  5. Click OK. You have relocated the data graphic so it appears above the center of the server shape.

    Important

    Tip

    The data graphic in the preceding graphic has a border around it. You can turn the border off by clearing the Show Border Around Items At Default Location check box in the Display Options section of the Edit Data Graphic dialog box shown in Step 2.

    In the remaining steps of this exercise, you will alter the Topology 1 data graphic to make the display of the network name for the server consistent with the format used in the Topology 2 data graphic. You will also change the display of CPU speed from text to a graphical presentation.

  6. On the Data tab, in the Display Data group, click the Data Graphics button to open the gallery, right-click the Topology 1 thumbnail, and then click Edit.

    Important

    The upper half of the Edit Data Graphic dialog box shows the parameters for the items contained in this data graphic. Looking at the row for the Network Name data field, you see that it is displayed as Text and is positioned in the Center, Below (the server) Shape. Similarly, the CPU (MHz) field is displayed as Text in the Default location for the data graphic.

  7. With Network Name already selected in the Data Field list (notice the highlight on that item), click the Edit Item button. The Edit Item dialog box opens.

    Tip

    You can also double-click anywhere in an item row to open the dialog box.

    Important

    In the upper left of the Edit Item dialog box, you see the shape data field name, the display type of Text, and a predefined style called Bubble Callout.

    In the upper-right corner of the dialog box, note that the Use Default Position check box is cleared. As a result, the positions set in this dialog box for Horizontal and Vertical override the default position of the data graphic as a whole. (You saw the result of this setting in the graphic in Step 8 of the previous section’s exercise. The main part of the data graphic is to the left of the server shape, but the name is below the shape.)

    The lower half of the dialog box displays customizable parameters for this data graphic item. Be sure to notice the scroll bar in the parameter list; there are additional parameters that are not currently visible.

  8. In the Display section of the Edit Item dialog box, click the arrow next to Style. The list shows a set of predefined text callout styles. (Scroll to see all of them.)

    Important
  9. Click Heading 3.

  10. In the Position section of the dialog box, display the Vertical list, click Above shape (You might need to scroll up to locate this selection), and then click OK.

    You have changed the location of the server name display. Next you will change the way that CPU speed is presented.

  11. In the Edit Data Graphic dialog box, click the row containing the CPU (MHz) item, and then click the Edit Item button.

  12. In the Display section of the Edit Item dialog box, click the arrow next to Displayed as. The list shows the four display options for data graphic items.

    Important

  13. Click Data Bar.

  14. In the Display section of the of the Edit Item dialog box, click the arrow next to Style.

    The list shows the predefined data bar types. As you can see, data bars are designed for showing relative values in a variety of ways.

    Important

    Tip

    The collection of data bars offers a variety of interesting ways to display numeric data. You will use one of them in this exercise but you should take a few minutes to explore some of the other choices for potential future use.

  15. Click Data bar 3.

  16. In the Details section of the Edit Item dialog box, type 5 in the Maximum Value field.

    Important

    The Minimum Value and Maximum Value fields are critical for data bar graphic items. These two values set the boundaries for the values in the selected shape data field and allow Visio to scale the data bar graphic accordingly.

  17. In the Details section, click in the Label Position field, and then click Not Shown from the list. This action turns off the display of the shape data field name.

  18. In the Position section of the dialog box, clear the Use default position check box.

    The Edit Item dialog box should now look like the following graphic.

    Important
  19. Click OK in both the Edit Item and Edit Data Graphic dialog boxes.

    Your revised diagram has several advantages over the initial version:

    • It uses a consistent presentation style for the server names; they are displayed above the server in white text on a blue background.

    • The display of CPU speed is much more effective as a proportionally sized icon than it was as text. It’s easy to tell at a glance that several of the servers on the left of the diagram may be underpowered.

    Important

Clean Up

Save your changes to the Network with Data Graphics drawing, and then close it.

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