What makes the Visio and AutoCAD integrations so fantastic are the built-in functions that are super handy and time-saving. Because the D-Tools Visio Shapes are linked to product data, you can manipulate them according to your needs while also displaying a lot of product details. Shape Data and the D-Tools Menu makes it easier to produce polished, professional designs.

*This article will focus on these tools for the Visio integration. The AutoCAD integration does not have Shape Data – instead, the Block Reference is where the properties can be changed for each block. The D-Tools Menu in AutoCAD is similar to what is in Visio, though.

Shape Data

Select the shape, right-click, Data > Shape Data.

Shape Data allows you to change properties for a shape such as:

  • Show or hide data (i.e. turn on or off text)
  • Change shape behavior (i.e. auto-rotate text when you rotate the shape)
  • Alter the shape itself (i.e. show rack ears for mounted equipment).

The Shape Data can be changed for multiple shapes at a time. Also, Shape Data will vary, depending on the shape and the page type. Here’s an example of Shape Data selections for a speaker on a plan drawing:

Shape Data selections

D-Tools Menu

Select the shape, right-click, D-Tools.

The D-Tools Menu has D-Tools-specific functions for shapes. The changes you make with these functions will not only apply to the shape, but also the product in the project. Some functions on this menu are simply shortcuts (such as “Replace Products”) so that you can do a lot more work within the drawing itself without switching back and forth to the project. There are quite a few functions available on the D-Tools Menu, so this article will just highlight a few.

Paste Special – Copy and paste shapes with options to clone, create new, or alternate shape

Link to Product (Visio) – Link any Visio shape to make it behave like a D-Tools shape

D-Tools > Shape selections

Assign Product and Category – Assign product, category, and/or subcategory to a shape

Change Shape – Change shape to another shape

Add Smart Callout – Customizable callout to display any product data

D-Tools > Wire selections

Create Off-Page Reference – Drop an Off-Page Reference shape

View Wire Connections – Display connection details for selected wires

Assign – Assign a Location, System, and/or Head End to a shape

D-Tools > Catalog selections

Compare With – Compare product data to catalog

Update To and Update From – Send or receive data to and from catalog

If you have questions about these or any other tools in the Visio (or AutoCAD) integration, please do reach out to the Support Desk at supporthelp@d-tools.com.