New extension: Copy/Move with Base Point

Many drawing products feature so-called “base point” operations. In particular, AutoCad has “Copy with base point”, “Move with base point”.
This operation may be quite useful for precise positioning of the content being copied/moved. To achieve this, at the first step a “base point” is selected, and on the second step a new position for this “base point” is selected. Check out this video to see how it works:

Go to the Extension’s page

VisioWixSetup 1.2 – now with full functionality of Solution Publishing

A milestone of the VisioWixSetup project I’ve been working on – now it can be used to publish anything Visio Solution Publishing Tool could publish, and Visio could understand =)

The changes in this version:

– Added support for publishing ADDONS (EXE/VSL) and help files.
– Fixed an issue with x64 install
– Simplified “starter” wxs file.
– Created project page (with detailed information about all supported attributes)
– Added tests to verify correctess of generated installer.

The new project page

Visio Wix Installer Project Template

The WiX project template for Visio allows you to create an installer for installing Microsoft Visio content (stencils, templates, VSL and EXE add-ons, help files).

This project brings the functionality of Visio Solution Publishing tool from Visio SDK into WiX, so now you can author setup which includes registration (publishing) of Visio-related stuff completely in WiX.

Check it out in Visual Studio gallery:

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To add Visio publishing to your files to the installer, you can just use one of <visio:Publish > wix extension elements (nest under <File> element). The wizard creates a “starter” sample wix file to build your installer, with two sample Visio files – a template and a stencil.

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Improved Visio WiX Setup (version 1.1) – Compiler Extension

I have improved the WiX project template by creating a real WiX compiler extension.
That is, now you can register Visio files with WiX like this (minimalistic example includes just one extra line to publish file):

          <Component>
            <File Name="Stencil_1_M.vss">
              <visio:Publish MenuPath="Group\Stencil 1"  />
            </File>
          </Component>

The updated version is available in Visual Studio Galery:
http://visualstudiogallery.msdn.microsoft.com/68d12e2d-eb42-4847-808a-7d80863bb90d

Continue reading“Improved Visio WiX Setup (version 1.1) – Compiler Extension”

Visio WiX Setup project in Visual Studio Galery

The Visio Wix setup project was improved a bit. To simplify things, I’ve published it as a project template for Visual Studio in Visual Studio Galery. This is the first time I publish anything in Visual Studio Galery, so that was a bit interesting how to make the wheels rolling:

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In fact, this turned out to be rather easy actually. A good introduction how to publish stuff to Visual Studio Galery can be found on codeproject. That article gives a good  overview, how it all fits together. Anyways, the main result is that now it is possible to create an WiX-based installer project for Visio just like any other project in Visual Studio, please check out the video in the post.

Note that you must have WiX installed to be able to use this project template =)

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Hans Rosling and data visualisation

Just a wonderful example of data visualization, and what can be done with diagramming.

http://www.gapminder.org/

I first encountered Professor Hans Rosling talks on TED – really exciting. For example, see the recent talk about Religions and Babies where he shows what the world population will be, or the talk “washing machines” (“Even the Hard Core of the Green Movement Use Washing Machine”). I wish I had him as a professor when I studied in Uni =)

PS. Now the technology was acquired by Google, and is is available as part of the the project Google Public Data.

Creating an installer for Visio with WiX

If you develop addins / templates / stencils for Visio, sooner or later you come to a question, how do you deploy them. Visio allows you to deploy your solution / template in such a way that template / stencil can be embed nicely in Visio user interface, thus showing up just like all other Visio built-in templates. For Visio developers, Visio SDK provides the Solution Publishing Tool, which is an official way to publish Visio-related components. However this nice tools has a number of limitations, in particular:

– It does not integrate well into automated build process, when you e.g. use a continuous integration using a build server.

– it uses scripting custom vbscript actions which may become a problem with some stupid anti-virus programs or in some very restricted environments.

Windows Installer Xml (WiX) builds Windows installation packages from XML source code, and integrates seamlessly into build processes. The toolset originates from Microsoft, which used it internally to build Microsoft Office installers. The tool is super-cool and rock-solid =)

This post explains the magic behind the Visio Solution Publishing tool and shows how you can do the same thing with WiX, by creating an installer which will install template and stencil. Also the post includes sample / template WiX solution to install Visio files, both for Visio x86 and Visio x64.

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Map of Russia in Visio – version 1.0.1

Updated the recently published map:

– Added related page to the with some pictures and video =)
– Now all regions are stored alphabetically (yep, they were not)
– Now you can install this template using installer (and it will show up in Visio templates – in category “Maps and Floor Plans”.
– Preview picture for the template enhanced using technique described here.

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