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Chapter 3. Connecting Shapes > Laying Out Shapes Automatically

Laying Out Shapes Automatically

Many of the drawing types in Visio incorporate automated layout behavior so that you don’t have to manually rearrange connectors and shapes. For example, the dynamic connector can route itself around shapes that get in the way and find the best point to connect to shapes. It will also jump over other connectors that cross it. At some point, you will probably encounter the results of the built-in layout and routing behavior—which behaves logically for the most part, but yields surprising results occasionally. Understanding how layout and routing works will make your drawings easier (and more fun) to revise.

The language for describing this behavior is a little peculiar. For example, almost all shapes can be detected by connectors and “routed around.” In Visio-speak, shapes with this attribute are called placeable, which means simply that Visio recognizes they are there and tries to route lines around rather than through them. The route that a connector can take varies depending on whether you create point-to-point or shape-to-shape connections, as Figure 3-6 shows. Most of the time, when a connector has extra bends or seems to have taken a circuitous route to a shape, the explanation lies with the type of connection that Visio is trying to preserve.


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