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Chapter 6. Associating Data with Visio S... > The Custom Properties Section of the...

The Custom Properties Section of the ShapeSheet

Because of the inherent issues with the Data1, Data2, and Data3 fields that I discussed above, under Visio 3.0, Visio created Custom Properties. This was a brilliant step forward in the capability to store data in association with SmartShape symbols. There is a wizard under Visio 5.0 that enables you to add Custom Properties to a ShapeSheet. Under Visio 2000, it is even easier. What I am going to do next is address how, as a developer, you add Custom Properties through the ShapeSheet. When I have finished, I will then show you the method newly available to you under 2000 from within the User Interface. You then can decide for yourself how you want to add the Custom Property cells and how you want your users to access the data stored there.

Let's start by dragging out a rectangle and placing it on the page. Turn your creativity loose and imagine that the rectangle symbol is a plan view of a desktop. There are many different bits of information that might be very important to store in association with that desktop—the manufacturer, the model number, the price, the material, the finish, who the desk is assigned to, and in what office it is located. It doesn't make sense to devise a scheme for delimiting all of this information and storing it in the Data1, Data2, or Data3 fields, so I will create a Custom Properties dialog box to make entering and accessing this information easier.


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