I think MS Visio is one of the most misunderstood, mainstream software applications in the market today  You can do so much with it but for whatever reason (actually I think I know the reason but I have pissed off enough major corporations this year) it seems relegated to the somewhat boring world of flow charts and BPM.  If you dig down it is a credible competitor to AutoCAD, Photoshop and Illustrator with amazing automation capabilities in one low cost package.

However there is ray of light in the fog that surrounds MS Visio in the form of the Visio Guy blog.  I have known Chris Roth, the author for over 10 years and he is one of the most knowledgeable resources on the planet when it comes to MS Visio.  Chris “gets” Visio from not only from the code and flowchart/BPM side but from what I like to call the “Artistic Automation”side.

Artistic Automation is the science of creating great looking shapes that can be automated so you do not have to draw the same basic thing over and over again.  This has been one of the core competencies of the D-Tools products since I started working with the software in 1996 and I do not think it has been truly recognized until Chris wrote about our speaker shapes in this post.

The beauty of this shape is that not only does it look great but it works at all scales and sizes and is very efficient from a number of internal shapes standpoint.  This one speaker shape can represent ALL of the round speakers in the world by just changing the data that controls the size.  Now contrast that with some Adobe Illustrator geek spending hours to create ONE speaker that looks this good and then spending the same amount of time creating another one and another one and another one… that are all basically the same.