Author: Adam Stone

Enhanced Schematic and Wire Shapes for SI 2017

We just distributed some user requested enhancements to our Visio Schematic and Finish wire shapes.  For the Schematic shapes you can now right click or use the Shape Data UI to choose from the standard Si Color pallet.  The text for these shapes, like most of the Visio SI shapes are aware of the background color and the text will automatically change from black to white based on the color choice.  Pretty handy. In addition to the color choice UI we added the ability for the user to display additional information from the database on the shape from the following choices:  You can also edit the text in the Shape Data UI to combine multiple fields.  In the example below I just picked the IP Address field from the drop down and then added {Location} in the Display field UI and both of the fields were added to the shape.  You can string as many of these together as you want and there are some field width options so you can easily manage lots of text.  Keep in mind you can multi select the schematic shapes on the drawing page to modify all of them at once as well. Component ID Category Sub-Category Model Manufacturer Installation Price MSRP Phase Short Description Long Description Volts Amps Watts BTU IP Address Serial Number Part Number Location System Custom Fields 1…14  ...

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Bundled Wire Packages in SI 2017 v2

We introduced shapes and blocks for packages late last year and as I was writing the introductory blog post and documentation at that time I realized that I had omitted an important feature in the specification as it relates to wire pulls and decided to hold off on fully introducing this feature until we could resolve that issue in a future release.  Well SI 2017 is here and I am proud to be able to (re) introduce Shapes and Blocks for Packages v2 with the new ability to discount labor time in packages.  I will explain exactly how this works as it relates to wire pulls and how it can greatly simplify your drawings while making estimating more accurate. In previous versions of SI we never had the ability to easily render a device package as a single shape or the ability to represent a package of wires as a single shape.  This was not too much of an issue on the schematic and elevation pages but the line and especially the plan pages can benefit from this new enhancement. The use case that we created for this new feature was a company that installs a lot of structured wiring where multiple cables are run from a single headend/location to wall plates in the specific room where the wall plate can contain multiple products.  The best we could do...

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PDF is the New DWG

This is going to be longer than I intended, but there is a lot of information and I want to make sure I cover it all.  First a bit of history.  I have been working with an AutoCAD (DWG) insert into Visio since 1996. For the most part it has been a challenging experience to get a DWG floorplan into Visio in scale, and then back out again either as a print or as a PDF. Most recently, I was working with the Visio product team on improving this process and I am happy to say that the Current Channel...

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New and Enhanced Visio shapes for SI 2015

Based on your feedback we have been busy creating and enhancing new shapes and templates for the upcoming SI 2015 release. New Location and System Shapes I think the most useful group of shapes will be the new Location and System shapes. The new Location/System shapes use Visio container technology (only Visio 2010 and above) to allow the user to easily set location and system for any object within the boundaries of the shape. It will also let you clone the objects and the spatial relationship between the objects within the container shape. Check out the hotel example below....

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Solution for Blurry CAD files in Visio 2013

When Visio 2013 first came out in early 2013 we noticed a bug where inserted AutoCAD files did not display at the full resolution and looked blurry at high zoom levels.  We documented the issue in the D-Tools support wiki and I notified my contacts within the Visio division at Microsoft.  After a couple of emails Microsoft said that they would fix this issue in the Visio 2013 Service Pack 1, due in March 2013. I am pleased to announce that this fix has been implemented by Microsoft and SP1 is available for download at the following link. I...

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