Book Review - Visio 2007 Bible by Bonnie Biafore
Visio is one of those software packages I use just often enough to get by, but end up frustrated as I know I could have done things differently (and easier). That's why I keep close tabs on my copy of Visio 2007 Bible by Bonnie Biafore. It makes all the difference between struggling along and actually producing useful documentation...
Part 1 - Understanding Visio Fundamentals: Getting Started with Visio; Getting Started with Drawings; Working with Visio Files; Working with Shapes; Connecting Shapes; Working with Text; Enhancing Diagram Appearance with Formatting
Part 2 - Integrating Visio Drawings: Inserting, Linking, and Embedding Objects; Importing, Exporting, and Publishing to the Web; Linking Shapes with Data
Part 3 - Using Visio for Office Productivity: Collaborating with Others; Building Block Diagrams; Constructing Charts and Graphs; Working with Organization Charts; Building Visio Flowcharts; Documenting Processes, Workflows, and Data Flows; Scheduling Projects with Visio; Documenting Brainstorming Sessions; Analyzing Results with PivotDiagrams
Part 4 - Using Visio in Information Technology: Modeling and Documenting Databases; Building UML Models; Building Software Development Diagrams; Mapping Web Sites; Creating Network Diagrams
Part 5 - Using Visio for Architecture and Engineering: Working with Scaled Drawings; Creating and Managing Scaled Drawings; Laying Out Architectural and Engineering Plans; Planning Space and Managing Facilities; Integrating CAD and Visio; Working with Engineering Drawings
Part 6 - Customizing Stencils, Templates, and Shapes: Creating and Customizing Templates; Creating and Customizing Stencils; Creating and Customizing Shapes; Customizing Shapes Using ShapeSheets; Formatting with Styles; Customizing Toolbars and Menus; Automating Visio
Part 7 - Quick Reference: Installing Visio 2007; Visio Help Resources; Additional Resources for Templates and Stencils; Keyboard Shortcuts; Template and Stencil Reference
For me, this book serves a couple of purposes. First off, Bonnie does a great job documenting the software. It's easy to find the subject or information you want, and her style of writing is clear and concise. I've not yet found an instance where I was unable to follow along and learn what it was I was after. Second, and most important, is that I pick up a number of ideas that I hadn't even considered. For instance, I learned about mapping web sites in her Visio 2003 Bible title a couple of years ago. I had no clue that was possible, and it allowed me to offer some very cool solutions to my customers. This year, I learned about creating customized templates and stencils for my own use. Again, a very timely feature as I'm spending more time producing certain types of documentation that require the use of Visio. I usually spend far too much time hunting through templates trying to find just the right shape or symbol I need. Now I can produce my own custom UML and Flowchart templates, and save all kinds of time. It's a question I never thought to ask, but I definitely grasped the application of the idea once she spelled it out. It's rare that I find such a good combination of reference and idea material in a single title...
Unless you're already a Visio guru, you'll benefit greatly from going through this book. And even if you *are* the resident Visio guru, I'd be willing to bet you'll find something in here that will make you think "I didn't know I could do that..."