For a decade, Microsoft’s Visio has been the go-to diagramming tool for those who use MS Office. It is not part of the MS Office Suite and can be purchased or subscribed to as an add-on to MS Office 365 and other MS Office products. Microsoft considers it as another product in its MS Office product offerings.
But, until the end of 2016, it had a big drawback. It was that collaborators could not access Visio diagrams unless they were using an MS operating system. This meant that Apple users and users of other OS’ were out of the loop when projects incorporated Visio diagrams. The only way this group could see them was if a screenshot was taken and sent to users via email.
But, for non-MS operating system users that changed with an early Christmas present from MS, actually it was two gifts – gift 1 is an app called Visio Viewer for iPad and the second is Visio Online Preview.
Although some think of Visio as a mapping or topography tool but, it is much more versatile – it is a diagramming tool that helps businesses visualize their processes, visualize projects in progress, create organization charts, create flow charts and more.
It is also arguably the most popular diagramming tool available. However, folks running iOS or another OS such as Linux were unable to view Visio diagrams on their systems. The iOS Visio Viewer for iPad and the Visio Online Preview solves this issue to some degree by allowing Visio document saves on OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online
Nevertheless, both OneDrive and SharePoint are MS offerings that integrate well with all versions of MS Office. With that said, there are many benefits associated with these recent updates to Visio.
Visio comes with a cornucopia of templates that includes stencils. The stencils are sets of images that apply to a specific discipline. Disciplines include professions such as process engineers, IT engineers, workflow specialists and more. The updates to Visio allow access to Visio diagrams by anyone with an internet connection. If collaboration is enabled for a user, he or she can see and make changes to a Visio document.
The purpose of the templates is for use with processes that are performed repeatedly in any business.
There are three steps to opening and starting a Visio diagram.
One of the best features of Visio is that it provides details that might be missed on smaller screens. But, the iPad Viewer is designed to work on Apple’s renowned iPad Retina Display.
Since Visio is part of the MS Office product line it is a cinch to extract information from Excel, Word and other MS Office modules and paste it into Visio making the data even easier to visualize.