Thursday 6 July 2017

SmartAlign - Guide Functions

SmartAlign leverages the power of Visio's guide functions.  Guides are vertical or horizontal lines that other shapes are snapped/glue to.

New shapes can be added to the guide automatically aligned. In addition you can drag the guide and the shapes glued to it also moved as a set. This allows you to realign groups of shapes quickly and accurately.

The standard way of creating a guide is to drag it from the top or edge of the page and place it where its needed.  The problem with this is that the guide is not automatically connected to the shapes it is placed on. Another problem is that adding further shapes to a guide is a manual task. SmartAlign addresses both these these problems.

To create a guide, and glue shapes to them requires just two SmartAlign shortcut key presses.

Creating a guide on a shape

To create a guide, select a shape and hit the smart align key. SmartAlign will create a horizontal guide and glue it to the centre of the shape.  Press the SmartAlign key again and a vertical guide will be created instead.

Select a shape and press the SmartAlign shortcut key. A new horizontal guide is created and glued.
When pressed again, the horizontal guide is replaced with a vertical one. 

In otherwords, SmartAlign toggles between creating a vertical or horizontal guide.

If there are already guides present that are linked to other shapes, these are not removed.

Selecting on or near the guide

If you DoubleTap a shape with a guide, SmartAlign creates selects all the shapes on or near the guide.

The DoubleTap selects the shapes on the guide and also those near the guide.

Press the SmartAlign again to align the shapes on the guide and glue them on to it.

The end result is super quick alignment to guides.

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