Microsoft Visio Connectors
When creating flowcharts, shapes need to be joined together to show the logical flow of information. Visio provides many easy and quick methods to connect using what it calls connectors. Visio connectors are attached to shapes using connection points. Learn how Visio connectors work in this 5-minute video backed up by the written steps underneath.
Connection points are positioned at specific points on many shapes, as shown in figure 1.
Figure 1 – connection points
After glueing, shapes remain connected when moved. When repositioning shapes in a drawing, glue saves the time it would take to drag shapes and individually reattach the connectors to them.
What appearance does glue take?
When glueing a connector to a specific point on a shape, the shape’s connection point changes colour, showing that glue is in place. Figure 2 below shows a glued point:
Figure 2 – Glueing
Point to point connections
With a point to point connection, the 1-D connector is glued to one specific point on each 2-D shape and stays glued to those specific points.
A point to point connection, as shown in Figure 3, is appropriate for an organisation chart, which represents a reporting hierarchy. A position shape connects from the bottom middle to the top centre of a manager shape. In this example, Peter Chillberg is the manager shape, and Toni Scoble is the position shape. When a position shape, is moved, the connector needs to remain static and not shift to any other connection point on the manager shape.
Figure 3 – Point to point connection
Shape to shape connections
With a shape to shape connection, moving a shape causes the glued connector to reposition at the closest available connection point.
This connection, as shown in Figure 4, is appropriate for a flowchart, representing the steps in a process. This connection joins each step to the previous step, but not necessarily in a specific set direction. When moving a shape, the connector needs to shift and reconnect at the closest two connection points, as shown in Figure 4:
Figure 4 – shape to shape connections
Using the Connector tool
Creating a point to point connection
Click the Connector tool in the Tools group on the Home tab.
Move the mouse pointer closer to a shape and connection point appear around the shape.
Move the mouse pointer over a connection point
Drag to a connection point on another shape.
Creating a shape to shape connection
Click the Connector tool and then position the mouse in the middle of one shape, as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5 – positioning of the mouse
Drag to the middle of another shape, as shown in Figure 6, and release the mouse.
Figure 6 – completed shape to shape connection
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