Who needs Visio?

January 7th, 2011

Microsoft Visio is a program that is commonly used in my field.  It is a versatile program that lets you do flowcharts, mindmaps, swimlanes, wireframes and even interactive prototypes. Being so full featured it does not come cheaply, and it is not one of the standard applications installed at work.  I do have Adobe Illustrator, so I have no problem with creating wireframes and other graphics, but I have always found it to be a poor tool for flow charts.  I then discovered how to do flow charts simply using MS Word. To draw flowcharts with Word you must use drawing shapes. The trick to get the connectors to lock to the boxes is:

  1. On the Insert ribbon, click Shapes, then select “New Drawing Canvas
  2. Draw your boxes
  3. Click Shapes, and select a line style
  4. On the first shape, hover over the shape, point to where you want to attach the connector (one of the blue dots), and click the first connection spot
  5. Do the same with the second connection spot on the second shape
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