Visio Series (Title Block) – Revisions
Visio - Building a template (3 of 8)
If you read my earlier post of Visio Borders then you already know that Visio is my only skill. This isn't a Visio tutorial though. It is a recommendation on how to create a visio template to save you time and give your diagrams a more professional look. Once you have the basics you can change this to fit your specific individual or organizational needs.
This post is about dealing with document revisions.
What is a revisions tab?
This is another tab created for recording revisions. If you saw my quick tip on file naming then you know that you can quickly decide if the file you have is older or newer than another copy. However; what isn't clear is what changes were made between a revision last year and a revision today. This will provide insight into what changed from the creation of the document until the most recent revision.
Why add a revisions tab?
Most often I am the only person to modify a document. I don't have any problems with version control and revision history. When working with a group or if you will be publishing either for a customer or internal support group though you need to consider your audience. With groups it is easy to lose version control and being vigilant about revisions can help. There isn't a magic bullet though and I'd say that only works for documents that have infrequent update cycles. When publishing the documents may live for years as a copy on a hard drive. If a user downloads the latest copy it can be useful to understand what has changed.
What is in my revision block?
The first thing I do is add a new background, 'AlternatingColors-BKGD'. I do NOT want this to be editable while I am adding revisions. On this background I add nearly full width rectangles with alternating white/off-white lines. This adds contrast when reading the document. I set my revisions background to use the title-block background.
Next I create a new tab, 'Revisions', and set the background to my newly created background with rectangles. Now I add a 'TITLE' text block at the top. This serves as a place holder for the customers name, project, title, etc.
The last step is a new text block. Left and Top aligned. I use default 12pt, Arial font. And adjust it so each line is a single document revision. My revision begin with the year YYYY-, the month MM-, and the day DD. Completed as YYYY-MM-DD
I suggest brevity in revision descriptions. Examples:
- Added tab x
- Edited tab y to include a
- Deleted text blocks from tab z describing b
Final revision block example
We are done with the revision block.
As you use this tab you will begin to decide the scenarios that make it most useful. If you are working with a team that often updates the same files then I encourage your team to develop a method for tracking changes. This is one but as mentioned in the quick tip above a formal version control system might be applicable.
- 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