Paul Wherly

Microsoft Visio connectors

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

Connection points are positioned at specific points on many shapes, as shown in figure 1.

Connection points

Figure 1 – connection points

Glueing shapes

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:

Glue appearance

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.

Point to point connection

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:

Shape to shape connection

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.

Connector tool icon

Move the mouse pointer closer to a shape and connection point appear around the shape.

Starting a point to point connection

Move the mouse pointer over a connection point

Mouse over connection point

Drag to a connection point on another shape.

Completed point to point connection

Click back on the Pointer tool  Pointer tool icon Or Press [Ctrl]+1.

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.

Shape to shape connection middle of a shape

Figure 5 – positioning of the mouse

Drag to the middle of another shape, as shown in Figure 6, and release the mouse.

Result of a shape to shape connection

Figure 6 – completed shape to shape connection

Click back on the Pointer tool  Pointer tool icon Or Press [Ctrl]+1.

To learn about Microsoft Visio, give us a call on 020 8203 1774 and find out how we can help your organisation get better results.  If you are looking for more information on Microsoft Visio try the following blog Microsoft Visio blog.


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