7.x Documentation

features description for

Connecting diagram objects to external data

The Visio function “Link data with shapes” can also be used for objects. This means that you can connect Excel rows directly with objects. This information is stored in the database and can be displayed on all diagrams where the object is used. A simple example shows how to create this connection. 
You have created for example this diagram:


At the same time you have an Excel file in which object properties (such as color, here) are described.


You now want to connect the objects on the diagrams with the Excel rows. Here external data should not be imported as properties in the database, but they should be preserved in the Excel file and be connected to internal objects in the database. To connect to external data, open from the Visio menu Data the entry Custom Import and select Microsoft Excel workbook.



Select the Excel file that should be linked.


Define which Excel worksheet you want to use.


Select here columns and rows that you want to display on the diagram:


Select this column, by which Excel data on diagrams should be identified and later updated. For example, the column Name or ID can be selected.


Then click Finish.


The Excel file is linked to the diagram. An image of the Excel table is displayed on the side (or bottom, depending on your UI settings in Visio) of the diagram.


Now you can link the desired row with the object using drag& drop. The linked data are displayed according to the selected visualization, for example as a text on the right of the shape. The appearance of the text or the type of visualization can be changed by means of the data graphics. This window can be opened on the right of the diagram via the Visio menu Data  Shape Data… and allows you to display the data as text, data bars, icon set or color according to value. In Visio 2060 the data graphics view can be adjusted under menu Advanced Data Graphics:


In our example, there is as yet no property to synchronize with the shape data; therefore, it is now produced and configured. 
Right-click on the shape of the object and choose Equip with p4b properties → Equip the shape with object-properties of Thus, the following window opens.


Now click on the property group e.g. Definition and click the New button to create a new property. Enter a name (e.g. Color), set the property Shape-specific to True and the property sync to Visio => P4B. If you do not want or do not need that the same object has different values of this property on the different shapes, leave the property Shape-specific to False. Now click OK to close the property window. (This process can also be carried out in the Designer).

Now select the property Color to activate the synchronization, and select the value Description for the property Visio Shapes target cell. The Visio shape data have been already generated by Visio. Define the synchronization Visio => P4b. Click OK to close the window.


Then save the diagram. The shape-specific property Color has now the value of the shape data (actually the value from an Excel row). You can see the value also in the Property Explorer window.


Now the Excel document is changed, e.g. the color is changed from red (R) to pink (p) and is saved.


To update the external data to Visio, click Refresh All in the Visio menu.Visio displays a window and informs you about the successful update. This window can be closed. The updated Excel value appears now in the Visio shape data and in the shape-specific property.