Introduction to Diagramming with Microsoft Visio

Hello, and welcome to the new Learn Visio column on! I’m Neman Syed, Commander-in-Chief of Industrial Strength Training, Consulting, and Development.

First and foremost, I’d like to thank Dan DiNicolo for approaching me to write this column and providing such an excellent forum in which to present it. I hope that what we as a community do with this forum proves to be highly beneficial for all involved. I’ve been using Visio since 1998 (version 4.5) and have since become a huge fan of this immensely powerful and fun to use program. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to work with major corporations throughout Canada and the USA, adding significant business value to their diagrams and assisting them in creating effective visual communication tools. In addition to Visio, I work with Crystal Reports, Access, Excel, VBA, and many other products.

Let’s get something clear right away. I’m not an artist, nor do I play one on TV. Truth be told, I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler. Moral of the story? Using the tools in Visio enables me to get across what I need to with clarity, precision, and minimum emotional trauma.

Where are we going today?

The first few columns are going to be about Visio basics. In this column I’ll make some suggestions for installation, then we’ll leap into creating a block diagram to describe interactions between groups. Column two will discuss the important concept of glue, which is what keeps it all together. We’ll use glue to help assemble two network diagrams, one high-level and one detail-level. In column three, we’ll explore page manipulation, including drawing on pages larger than your printer can support, so that a large cross-functional flowchart can be test-printed on your trusty HP before being sent to the colour plotter for an expensive final copy. By then, I expect there will be enough feedback to determine the direction and level of information the 2000Trainers community wants.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.