Visualize Complex Processes with Microsoft Visio

Visualize Complex Processes with Microsoft Visio

Using layers to control visibility and color

Layers in Visio are like different sheets of acetate, one on top of another, like we used to do with overhead projectors at school many years ago. We could add or remove these acetate sheets to show or hide their contents. However, Visio is more complex because all shapes in Visio can be optionally assigned to one or more layers, and all of the flowchart shapes have been pre-assigned to a layer called Flowchart. The Dynamic connector shape has been pre-assigned to a layer called Connector.

Each layer has seven properties, in addition to its name, that can control the appearance and behavior of every shape assigned to it. The seven properties are as follows:

  • Visible: This toggles the visibility of shapes.
  • Print: This toggles the printability of shapes.
  • Active: If checked, then any new shapes that do not already have layer assignments will be assigned to this layer.
  • Lock: This prevents the shapes from being selectable...
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