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Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Sophistication to Your Drawings - Orienting shape text

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As you observed in the preceding exercise, shape text does not always rotate as you rotate the containing shape. Whether it does depends on how the underlying shape was designed.

In this exercise, you’ll discover additional examples of automatic text rotation, and you’ll rotate text manually and reposition text blocks on shapes.

Note

  1. Drag a 2-D single arrow shape from the Blocks stencil onto the drawing page and position it below the box shape from the preceding exercise.

  2. While the arrow is still selected, type ABC.

  3. In the Shapes window, click Blocks Raised , drag a Right arrow onto the page, and position it to the right of the arrow you placed in the previous step.

  4. While the arrow is still selected, type ABC.

  5. Draw a bounding box around both arrows to select them, and change the font size to 14 pt.

    image with no caption
  6. Select the arrow on the left and use the rotation handle to turn it 180 degrees, and then do the same thing with the right arrow.

    image with no caption

    Although the two arrow shapes are similar in some respects, their designers made different choices for how text should be handled. In the left arrow, the text rotates along with the shape. In the right arrow, the text responds to gravity, or more correctly, it responds to a mathematical function that sets the text angle based on the shape angle so that it appears to be responding to gravity.

    Tip

    For the technically inclined, if you look in the TxtAngle cell in the Text Transform section of the ShapeSheet for the right arrow, there is a function named GRAVITY(). You will learn the basics of the ShapeSheet in the Appendix.

    To get a better sense of how the gravity function works, rotate the right arrow in several steps from its current position to its original position.

    image with no caption

    As shown, some shapes are designed so the text will be upright as the shape is rotated, but what do you do with shapes that aren’t designed that way? Enter the Text Block Tool.

  7. On the Home tab, in the Tools group, click the Text Block button.

  8. Click the left arrow one time and notice that the selection handles appear as usual.

  9. Drag the selection handle clockwise. Notice that because you are using the Text Block Tool and not the Pointer Tool, only the text rotates. Stop when you have rotated the text 180 degrees.

    image with no caption

    You can use the Text Block Tool to reorient the text in virtually any shape. However, be aware that a shape designer can lock the text in a shape so that the text can neither be altered nor repositioned. If you click with the Text Block Tool on a shape whose text is locked, the rotation handle will not appear, as shown in the following graphic. (If you zoom in on such a shape, you’ll notice that the resize handles include a dotted diagonal line.)

    image with no caption

Note

CLEAN UP Save your changes to the Orient Shapes and Text drawing but leave it open if you are continuing with the next exercise.

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