Visio Series (Title Block) – Borders, Page Size, and Scaling
Visio – Building a template (1 of 8)
I often joke that Visio is my only skill. While that certainly isn’t true I do like to have diagrams that are clean, concise, and help tell a story. This will be the first in a series of posts of how I work with Visio. This isn’t a tutorial but rather design suggestions to improve your Visio workflow.
I have a template that I use to begin all of my diagrams. I am often asked to create a diagram last minute. Being able to focus solely on the content and know that I already have a template simplifies the process. The template has a nice title block and existing stencils that I use often.
This post is about borders, page size, and scaling.
Depending on where you plan to publish your content a border may or may not make sense. For example if you plan to publish inline within an article or document it may break to flow to have a complicated title block and border. You may need only a simple 1 pixel border or no border at all. I find even the most basic drawing looks snazzier with a basic border.
Without a Border
With a Border
To Add a border use the Rectangle tool in the Tools panel. I usually use the grid lines and keep it even against each border. I also add a second line a outside of that. As we develop a more sophisticated title block it will have a better appearance.
Sooner or later you may want to consider a large page size to fit your drawing onto your diagram. There are several ways to do this. One is use a different scale on the diagram than on the page and Visio will scale it for you. I find that usually doesn’t produce the results you want. The other option is to keep a 1:1 scale and change paper size. However; this has its own series of pitfalls. Most notably for those of us in the US. We use a different paper standard than the rest of the world. Here are the sizes of the US ANSI standard vs. the ISO international standard.
ANSI (US Paper Size)
|ANSI A||8.5 × 11||216 × 279||Letter|
|ANSI B||11 × 17||279 × 432||Tabloid|
|ANSI C||17 × 22||432 × 559||n/a|
|ANSI D||22 × 34||559 × 864||n/a|
|ANSI E||34 × 44||864 × 1118||n/a|
ISO – International Standard (A Series)
|0||33.1 × 46.8||841 × 1189|
|1||23.4 × 33.1||594 × 841|
|2||16.5 × 23.4||420 × 594|
|3||11.7 × 16.5||297 × 420|
|4||8.27 × 11.7||210 × 297|
To modify the page size choose the DESIGN tab, then click the small arrow at the bottom right of the Page Setup panel.
A note about scaling
Why are you talking about paper sizes and different standards? I mention this difference because the ISO standard using the A series starts with A0. As you move from A0 to A1 it is almost perfectly halved (rounded to the nearest millimeter). Why do you care? If you use ISO A series then you can scale up/down cleanly. Meaning if you need to print an A0 diagram to A4 paper it will still have the same proportions and vice versa.
US ANSI on the other hand does not scale nicely. This brings up the practical problem of printing. It is a pain to modify a diagram to fit a specific paper size if you have an existing diagram. Taking this into consideration early on will save you time. If you have to deliver printed documentation to customers in the US then sticking with a standard ANSI format (letter, or tabloid)
I normally don’t print or expect to print. I do share most of my diagrams with customers and because of that I stick with standard US sizes. Almost exclusively Letter (8.5 x 11). This does have an impact on diagrams in regards to how much information can put into a single page but we will discuss that another time.
- Visio – Building a Template (1 of 8) Basic Border, Page Size, Scaling
- Visio – Building a Template (2 of 8) Title Block
- Visio – Building a Template (3 of 8) Revisions Block
- Visio – Building a Template (4 of 8) Bill of Materials
- Visio – Building a Template (5 of 8) Technical Service Description
- Visio – Building a Template (6 of 8) Stencils
- Visio – Building a Template (7 of 8) Templates
- Visio – Building a Template (8 of 8) Bringing it All Together