Tips & Tricks for Powerpoint & Visio

MS Powerpoint is still the number one architecttool. Especially for our international readers we present several MS Powerpoint Tips & Tricks in English.

Zoom in, zoom out, get dizzy, do it again

Using only a mouse is fun (especially if you have wrists made of rubber), and using the keyboard alone makes you look super-cool. But we put them together to create one sharp shortcut.

To zoom in and out of a diagram or drawing

To zoom in, press CTRL+SHIFT, and then click in the page.
To zoom out, press CTRL+SHIFT, and then right-click in the page.

Go on, be a nudge and line up those shapes

The quickest way to line up shapes that are just a little out of alignment is to nudge them using the arrow keys on the keyboard. Could there be a cuter term for it? Note Nudging is special. It was introduced with Visio 2002. If being able to nudge isn't a good enough impetus for upgrading, what is?

To nudge a shape

Select the shape.
Press the arrow key that points in the direction you want the shape to move.

Tip To nudge a shape exactly one pixel over, hold down SHIFT while pressing an arrow key. I like to call that movement "a smidge of nudge."

Sometimes you have to color within the lines

If you're creating a drawing and your content extends beyond the borders of the white drawing page, you can quickly resize the page before anyone notices that you're not coloring within the lines. But seriously, it's important to resize the drawing page to contain all the drawing content, because content that falls outside of the borders of the white drawing page will not print.

To resize the drawing page

Position your mouse pointer on the edge of the drawing page, and then hold down the CTRL key. When the pointer changes to a two-headed arrow, drag the page edge.
Resizing the drawing page won't cause problems when it comes time to print the drawing. You can print any drawing so it fits on a letter size printed page or, if you have access to a printer that supports a variety of paper sizes, you can print the drawing so it fills a large printed page.

To enter Full Screen view

With the drawing open that you want to view, on the View menu, click Full Screen.

To exit Full Screen view

Press the ESC key. Ask for directions: Use guides to position shapes
Guides, those non-printing lines that can be placed anywhere on the drawing page, are great if you want to position shapes precisely or to align several shapes and move them together. I'm thinking this would be a handy tip for a coach explaining strategy to a group of football or soccer players.

To place a guide on the drawing page

Place your mouse pointer over the horizontal ruler (which is above) or vertical ruler (which is to the left) of the drawing page.
When the pointer changes to a two-headed arrow, drag, baby, drag (away from the ruler).
Release the mouse button when the dashed blue line is at the location where you want the guide to be.

To attach a shape to a guide

Drag a shape to the place on the guide where you want to attach it.
When you see a red square on the guide, the shape is glued. This means that when you move the guide, the shape will move along with it.

Show them your work, not the toolbars

If you want to use a drawing in a demonstration or presentation, show the drawing in Full Screen view. In this view, toolbars and menus, the status and title bars, scroll bars, and stencils are hidden, the drawing page grid is turned off, and your drawing fills the entire screen, mesmerizing and enchanting your audience, who is used to big screen TVs.
Note This handy little tip works for several Office programs (as well as for Microsoft Internet Explorer).

To navigate in Full Screen view

If your drawing has multiple pages, you can navigate between pages using the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard.
To go to a specific page, right-click the drawing, point to Go To, and then choose the page.
To follow a hyperlink on a shape or on the drawing page, click the shape or page.
And there you have it, my Visio-loving pals. Now you know how to guide it and nudge it, thanks to your favorite Curmudgette.

Source: Annik Stahl /

afbeelding van markpaauwe
Mark Paauwe
Dragon1 Inc. - CTO

Mark is zeer actief in het enterprise architectuur vakgebied. De kans is groot dat je hem op een evenement tegenkomt en dat het gesprek al gauw over architectuurvisualisaties en architectuurprincipes gaat.

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