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Lay It Out with Visio 2013

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Microsoft Visio 2013 lets you organize and lay out complex data with professional designs in just a few clicks. You can create polished, well-organized diagrams of most types of informational set, including floor plans, business processes, flowcharts, and networks.

Visio 2013 is available only as a stand-alone product, and is not included in any of Microsoft’s Office 2013 Suites. Visio comes in three flavors:

•    Standard – the basic version with tools to create diagrams and org charts with effects and themes. At $300 for a single user license, it’s not priced for the casual user.

•    Professional – adds the ability to link diagram shapes to real-time data, 60+ templates, collaboration tools, and support for BPMN 2.0. The whopping $590 single-user license will keep away all but the most serious users.

•    Office 365 – the cloud-based version allows installation on multiple PCs per users, roaming application support, and auto-installed security and feature updates. It’s $13/month (with annual subscription) price tag is a bit easier to swallow: break-even with the Professional version cames at 3 3/4 years.

What’s New In Visio 2013?

Quick starts with new templates and redesigned favorites that make picking formats to start diagramming easier. There are new organizational charts, timelines, and basic and detailed network diagrams.

New Shape Designs and Containers make finding the right item easier, and many new stencil shapes and containers have been added.

Quicker design with new professional design themes, one-click application, and new theme variants.

SharePoint Workflow template now has stages, steps, loops, and custom actions.

UML and Database Templates now use the same drag-and-drop functionality as other templates.

User Interface Redesign has a more streamlined, easier-to-use interface that simplifies applying styles, themes, gradients, and effects. New formatting options and Office effects improve diagrams.

Page Duplication makes it easier to copy an existing page by right-clicking the Duplicate option.

Replace Shapes by right-clicking, or use the Change Shape gallery on the Home tab to replace a shape inside a container or diagram without affecting the layout or the diagram information.

Collaboration and Coauthoring after uploading a file to SharePoint or SkyDrive lets several people work on a single file at the same time. Everyone works in real time and all changes and saves by each user are updated on the server.

Commenting Pane makes it easier to add, read, reply and organize reviewers’ comments. Click the comment balloons on the diagram to join or read other comments, and add or change threads.

Single File Format is a new default file format (.vsdx) that allows users to access the same file on desktops and on web browsers using SharePoint.

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