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Microsoft Visio 2013 : Collaborating on and Publishing Diagrams - Customizing websites created by Visio

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Web-published Visio drawings already include full support for embedded hyperlinks along with rich navigation and search capabilities. However, you don’t necessarily need all of those capabilities in every Visio-generated website, so it is convenient to be able to change the publishing options.

In addition, you might want to change the format in which Visio creates your website. By default, Visio 2013 creates webpages using the Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML), which is a different format from Visio 2007 and earlier versions. XAML requires that you install Microsoft Silverlight on your computer to view Visio-created websites. If you prefer a different webpage format that doesn’t require Silverlight, you can select one of the five alternatives described later in this section.

In this exercise, you will use the Publish button in the Save As dialog box to customize Visio webpage output.


  1. On the File tab, click Export, and then click the Change File Type button.

  2. In the Other File Types section, click Web Page (*.htm), and then click the Save As button. The lower portion of the Save As dialog box includes two buttons for customizing webpage output.

    Tip

    Visio defaults to saving webpages in the folder that contains your Visio drawing file.

    image with no caption

    You can click the Change Title button to modify the text that will be displayed in the title bar of the web browser. The default page title is the file name of the Visio drawing.

    image with no caption

    The Publish button offers multiple options that you will explore in subsequent steps.

  3. In the Save As dialog box, click the Publish button. The Save as Web Page dialog box opens.

    image with no caption

    The Save as Web Page dialog box provides various ways to customize your website:

    • In the Pages to publish section, you can select a subset of the diagram’s pages to include in the web-published output.

    • In the Publishing options section, you can select which navigation pane options, and which reports, if any, should be included in your website.

      Important

      The only way to view reports in your web-published drawing is via the Go To Page navigation panel. Consequently, if you include reports as part of your website, you must leave the Go To Page check box selected.

    • When Visio creates a website from your drawing, it automatically opens it in your browser. You can clear the Automatically Open Web Page In Browser check box in the Additional Options section to prevent this from occurring.

    • By default, Visio creates a folder to store the majority of website files. You can clear the Organize Supporting Files In A Folder check box in the Additional Options section to have Visio store all website files in a single folder.

    • In the Additional Options section, you can type a different title in the Page Title text box. (This is an alternate method to using the Change Title button mentioned in step 2.)

  4. In the Publishing Options section of the Save as Web Page dialog box, clear the Details (shape data) and Search Pages check boxes.

    Tip

    Visio remembers the settings for these options; the same settings will appear the next time you save a drawing as a webpage.

  5. In the Publishing Options section of the Save as Web Page dialog box, select the Report: Milestones by Start Date check box. If your Visio drawing includes more than two reports, use the scroll bar in the Publishing Options section to view the full list of reports.

    Tip

    Visio does not remember the settings for the reports you choose; none of the report check boxes will be selected the next time you save a drawing as a webpage.

  6. Click OK. One or more progress indicators will appear before your browser displays your new website.

    image with no caption

    The result of the navigation pane choices you made in step 4 appear on the left side of the browser window. Only the Go to Page and Pan and Zoom panels are visible.

  7. In the Go to Page section, click the arrow next to Project Schedule. The Go to Page list includes entries for each page in the diagram and for each report you selected.

    image with no caption
  8. To view the milestone report, click Milestones by Start Date in the drop-down list, and then click the green button containing the white arrow.

    image with no caption

    Tip

    To view other reports or to return to viewing the drawing pages, use the Go to Page list. You can also click the browser’s back button to return to the previous page.

Note

CLEAN UP Save your changes to the Timeline diagram drawing, and then close it.

You may have noticed in step 3 that the Save as Web Page dialog box includes a second tab labeled Advanced.

image with no caption

The Advanced tab provides additional customization options, such as the following:

  • In the Output formats section, you can use the drop-down list to select one of the alternate webpage formats.

    image with no caption
    • VML is the webpage format created by versions of Visio prior to Visio 2010. The features of VML websites are very similar to websites created with XAML but only provide all features when viewed with Internet Explorer.

    • SVG is a specialized format that is supported by some but not all browsers. Like the three image formats described in the following bullet point, SVG websites display fixed-size pages with no Pan and Zoom panel.

    • GIF, JPG, and PNG provide fewer capabilities than either VML or XAML. For example, the viewing window for these formats is a fixed size and does not include the Pan and Zoom panel in the left navigation pane. However, websites produced in these formats retain all hyperlinks and are likely to be compatible with a wider range of web browsers. (Note that you can have the best of both worlds—full navigation functions in Windows Internet Explorer and support for older browsers; refer to the following bullet point.)

  • If you select XAML, VML, or SVG as the output format, Visio defaults to selecting the Provide alternate format for older browsers check box. You can use the drop-down list under this heading to select GIF, JPG, or PNG output as a backup to your primary choice.

    image with no caption
  • In the Display Options section, you can use the Target Monitor, Host In Web Page , and Style Sheet settings to further customize your webpages. The second and third settings, in particular, are intended to help you integrate a Visio-created website with another existing website.

What’s in a Visio-created website and where is it stored?

When you use the Save as Web Page function, Visio generates a webpage that is loaded into your browser and that provides access to the rest of your website. It also creates a supporting files folder that contains various graphics and webpages for each page in the drawing, as well as JavaScript, Extensible Markup Language (XML), and other files that comprise the website.

By default, the Visio-generated files are stored in the same Windows folder that contains your Visio drawing. Visio gives the webpage file the same name as the drawing plus an .htm file extension. For English versions of Visio, the name of the supporting files folder is the same as the drawing name appended with _files.

If you completed the preceding exercise using an English language version of Visio, for example, the folder that contains Timeline diagram.vsd also contains the following:

  • A file called Timeline diagram.htm

  • A folder called Timeline diagram_files

If you want to copy or move your new website, it’s important to copy/move both the .htm file and the supporting files folder to the new location. You can copy your website to a shared drive, to your organization’s intranet, or to any web server in order to provide access to your Visio diagram.

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