CONVERTING MICROSOFT VISIO TO
ABR Consulting Group, Inc.
has been using Microsoft Visio as a graphics and design tool as part of our business
since the graphics software was called Sysdraw. Sysdraw was purchased by Visio which
was in turn purchased by Microsoft. We like this product. We
currently use Microsoft Enterprise Visio 2000.
ABR Consulting Group, Inc.
has been using Autodesk AutoCAD LT for many years. Recently, we upgraded
to AutoCAD 2000i.
For over a decade, it has been
necessary for us to convert any number of graphics products into Autodesk
AutoCAD as many of our clients are architectural teams that universally use the
Microsoft Visio provides a very
simple two-step instruction. Step 1, Go to the Visio drawing page that you
want to convert, and then click Save As on the File menu.
Step 2, Under Save as type, select the CAD drawing file format, for
example, AutoCAD Drawing (*.dwg) and then click Save.
What Microsoft instructions fail
to tell you is that most vendor stencils and user-created blocks WILL
NOT convert. Thus, if you build an intricate
elevation drawing showing Visio vendor stencils, most won't convert. When
calling up the AutoCAD drawing, they will not appear. Saving as a .dxf or
Windows Metafile (.wmf) will not work either. We have contacted Microsoft
Visio's Technical Support on this issue and they confirm that most stencils will
not convert. A second thing the Microsoft documentation will not tell you
is that text does not transfer as well as you would like.
What will work is to unblock the
stencils and taken them down to their raw elements. This is also a
two-step process. Step 1, Click on the stencil and then go to Shape/Grouping
and then Ungroup. The first time you do this for each stencil, you
should receive the message "This action will sever the object's link to its
master". Click on OK. Step 2, repeat Step 1 and click on Ungroup.
You will not receive a message on this second attempt. What you will see
is the entire stencil ungrouping.
You Definitely Won't Like
First, the good news. Once
you ungroup everything, the document will convert completely to AutoCAD.
Now for the things you definitely won't like.
Ungrouping the vendor
stencils can take a very long time. It is not uncommon for one of our
large Visio drawings to take over 2 hours to completely ungroup (one stencil
at a time). The
reason is that some of the stencils we use contain over 9,000 elements and
we can have 30-40 of these on a drawing.
Ungrouping increases the size
of your drawing file. In the drawing above, our original drawing was
about 2.5 megabits (even with stencils, our drawings can get up to 5-6
megs). Once ungrouped, this 2.5 megabit drawing increased to just
under 10 megabits or 4 times the original size* This then becomes a
very cumbersome drawing to convert.
All text converts but the
sizing and registration is not always the way it looked in the Visio
drawing. You may have to modify the text to make it look and fit
* The conversion
process above is based on our experience in converting drawings from Microsoft
Visio to Autodesk AutoCAD. You're drawing conversion experience
may differ greatly depending on the quantity and type of vendor stencils
Contact us at www.abrconsulting.com
Phone: 925.872.5523 Fax: 916.478.2814