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Chapter 4. SmartShape Symbol Reuse > Inheritance Versus Local Formatting

Inheritance Versus Local Formatting

As I just pointed out in detail, when you drag a Master from a Stencil into a diagram, Visio first makes a copy of that Master in the diagram's Local Stencil and then instances it on the drawing page. The next time you perform the same operation, Visio looks at the Local Stencil first and asks, “Do I have a copy of this here?” If it finds a copy in its Local Stencil, Visio simply uses that definition to instance another of the symbols at the appropriate location.

Why is this important? Let me illustrate via another brief tale. Suppose that you had just used Visio to complete the drawings for your new corporate headquarters. Now suppose as the Fire Warden reviews the plans for egress and access regulation confirmation, he discovers that all of the fire doors in the building are currently 34 inches wide, contrary to regulations that clearly state they must be 42 inches wide. Furthermore, the doors must be marked in red and have a special symbol associated with them to annotate them on the drawings as a fire door. If you did not have a master for the Fire Door, you would have to go to each and every door and manually change the door opening width, the color, and add the special tag, a daunting and tedious process at best. However, because you are indeed using Visio, you can open the Local Stencil, open the Master for the fire door, change its opening width from 34 to 42 inches, change its fill to red, and add the wee symbol to annotate it. You need do this only once and then close the Master. Instantly, every fire door in the building is updated. This saves many, many hours of work!


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