IN THIS CHAPTER
Using macros to automate procedures
Writing add-ins to automate Visio
Using the Visio Drawing control
More resources for automating Visio
Visio is more than software for creating diagrams by dragging shapes onto a drawing page. Almost the entire Visio user interface and object model is open to interrogation and modification. You can write code to create or update Visio drawings based on information stored in a database; update a database as changes are made to a Visio drawing; or manipulate the shapes on a page. In every corner of capabilities of Visio, you can extend or utilize those features through automation.
If you're not a programmer, you might think that any kind of Visio automation is beyond your reach, but you would be wrong. Even if you use Visio only for creating simple diagrams, the Visio macro recorder is a time-saving tool that saves the steps you perform so you can easily repeat them in the future. You can save the macro as is or modify it using Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) to make it more flexible.
If you are a programmer, or can at least find your way around a programming language such as Visual Basic, you can write code to develop more sophisticated automated solutions. Visio documents, windows, drawing pages, shapes, and ShapeSheet cells are all accessible through code. Extending capabilities of Visio is achieved with the help of Component Object Model (COM) add-ins, similar to the add-ons that are packaged with Visio, ...