IN THIS CHAPTER
Inserting CAD drawings into Visio
Modifying inserted CAD drawings
Converting CAD drawings to the Visio format
Converting Visio drawings to the CAD format
Visio was never meant to be a substitute for a CAD program, such as AutoCAD. If you're producing hard-core architectural or engineering drawings for large or complex projects, you'll need every bit of functionality the CAD application provides—and even then, you'll probably pine for features the CAD application doesn't offer.
Where Visio shines when it comes to CAD drawings is ease of use. Suppose you've been working with an architect to remodel your house and now you want to arrange your furniture. The architect gave you the CAD drawings of the remodeled house, but you don't know the first thing about CAD. What's more, you don't own CAD software. With Visio and CAD integration, you can bring the CAD drawings into Visio and use them as a backdrop for your interior decorating.
Taking a step back from using the finished architect's drawings, Visio is also a handy review tool. When you have Visio, the architect can send the remodel plans in CAD format, and you can review them in Visio. If the palatial master bath looks like it will break your budget, you can let the architect know what you think by adding Ink shapes and text blocks to a separate layer to mark up and comment on the design.
When nothing but editing a CAD drawing will do, you can convert its contents into Visio shapes. Although ...