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Microsoft Visio 2013 : Adding Sophistication to Your Drawings - Orienting shapes on the page

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When you drop shapes onto the Visio drawing page, they are usually oriented the way you want them to be. However, there are times when you will want the shapes to appear at a different angle. Visio provides several ways to accomplish this.

In this exercise, you will add several shapes to the Visio drawing page and rotate the shapes to different angles.

Tip

The font size for some of the graphics in this exercise has been increased for readability. The font in your shapes may be smaller.

Note

SET UP Click the File tab, and then click New. Click Categories, click General, and then double-click the Block Diagram thumbnail. To improve visibility of key diagram elements for this exercise, on the Design tab, in the Themes group, click the More button in the lower-right corner of the Themes gallery, and select No Themes. Save the drawing as Orient Shapes and Text. Then follow the steps.

  1. On the View tab, in the Zoom group, click the Page Width button, and then position the page so you can view the top edge.

  2. Drag a Box shape from the Blocks stencil and drop it so the center is approximately 8 inches (200 mm) up from the bottom and 3 inches (75 mm) in from the left side of the page.

    Tip

    Use the ruler on the left and top edges of the drawing page to guide shape placement.

    Important

    The shapes in the US Units version of the Block Diagram stencil contain the word text, whereas the same shapes in the Metric Units version of the stencil do not. Because the examples in this chapter were created using the US version, you will notice the word text. If you are using the Metric stencil, add the word text to each shape.

    image with no caption

    In addition to the regular selection handles surrounding the box, notice the rotation handle at the top center just above the box.

    When you point to the rotation handle, the cursor changes from an arrow to a circular arrow. Notice also that a dot appears in the center of the rectangle. This dot shows the geometric center of the shape, that is, the point around which the shape will rotate when you drag the rotation handle. Though you won’t do it in this exercise, you can alter the rotation characteristics of the shape by dragging the center of rotation handle to a different location.

    image with no caption

    Tip

    If a rotation handle does not appear above a shape, it’s because the shape designer has turned off the rotation feature.

  3. Grab the rotation handle and rotate the shape 90 degrees to the left (counterclockwise). Both the shape and the text rotate.

    Tip

    If you keep the cursor near the rotation handle as you drag it, the shape rotates in 15-degree increments. However, if you move the cursor away from the rotation handle as you drag it, the shape rotates in 5-degree increments, giving more precise control.

  4. Drag the rotation handle counterclockwise another 90 degrees so the box is inverted. Notice that the text is also upside down—more about that in the next exercise.

    image with no caption
  5. Return the box to its original upright position to continue with this exercise, thereby demonstrating that you can rotate the shape freely through 360 degrees of arc.

  6. Drag a Circle onto the page so its center is approximately 3 inches (75 mm) to the right of the center of the box, using the Dynamic Grid to align it with the box.

  7. Right-click the drawing page and select the Connector Tool from the Mini Toolbar .

    Tip

    The Visio 2013 Mini Toolbar introduces a single use Connector Tool: the pointer reverts to the Pointer Tool as soon as you draw one connector.

  8. Draw a connector from the right side of the box to the left side of the circle.

  9. With the new connector still selected, type Demonstration Text and then press the Esc key.

  10. Draw a bounding box around all three shapes to select them.

  11. On the Home tab, in the Font group, in the Font Size list, click 14 pt. to make it easier to read the text in the steps that follow.

    Tip

    You can apply the same change to multiple shapes at one time.

    image with no caption
  12. Draw a bounding box around all three shapes to select them, and then rotate the entire selection 90 degrees clockwise. Notice the difference in behavior between the text in the box or circle and the text on the connector.

    Tip

    You can rotate selections of shapes as easily as you can rotate individual shapes.

    image with no caption
  13. Rotate the selection another 90 degrees clockwise so the shapes are inverted.

    image with no caption

    At this point, it’s quite obvious that the text in some shapes seems to behave better—or at least differently—than the text in other shapes when the shapes are rotated. The next exercise will make this even clearer and will show you how to change the text orientation.

Note

CLEAN UP Press Ctrl+Z twice to undo the last two rotations. 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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