Tuesday 26 May 2015

Upcoming Posts

Free Document Productivity Tools For Word, Visio and Excel

Visio Posts to Come Soon

In the next few weeks I will publish:


This tool ensures that a set of shapes are consistently sized. Change the size of one of them, and, with a couple of keypresses, all the shapes in that set are resized automtically.

I use this tool when preparing presention style diagrams. For example, to keep set of text boxes the same size.


This tool ensures that a set of shapes are consistently aligned, either horizontally or vertically. When you move a member of the set, with a couple of keypresses, all the shapes in that set are religned automtically.

I use this tool in process modelling. If I have to move a task up or down in a swimlane, all the other shapes that align with it are also moved up or down.

SmartAlign also has tools to help you select the shapes that align with the currently selected shape. This speeds up realignment of process flows.


This tool breaks the connector links to the current shape and allows me to move a process flow task to another location without dragging the connectors attached to it.  It also allows me to substitute a differnent task into the vacated location, allowing the connectors to attach to the newly arrived shape.

Word Posts to Come Soon

Once the set of visio tools are done, I'll publish:


Neat tools to annotate and record review suggestions.


Neat tools to navigate through a document by tables, annotations, header, or a selected style type.

Advanced Table Formatting

Tools to insert subheading style rows into a table, ensuring two tables have consistant columns size and headings, 

Monday 11 May 2015

Hand-drawn Process Flows: Part 5 - Final Hand-drawn Post

A Free Document Productivity Tool For Visio

This is the final post in the hand-drawn series. Earlier posts where

  • Part 1 - Introduction - How the hand-drawn look is created. Shows all shapes.
  • Part 2 - Basic Shapes - Good for most process flows.
  • Part 3 - More shapes - For more advanced models.
  • Part 4 - Building a hand-drawn template.

New Shapes

This is a quick post to advise that the final hand-drawn stencil now contains two triangles (right angle and isosceles) and a line shape.

I have also included a comment bubble shape from the Visio Guy (see links in the side bar).  I wanted to use this as a prompt for you to visit this site where you can find a number of other hand-drawn shapes including ones for drawing graphs, and a neat cube that has controls to control its layout.

Downloading the shapes

You can download the template and the related stencil shapes from the Visio Downloads page here.

I am keen to hear how you find the shapes, so please leave a comment.