Network Diagrams With Visio
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Network Diagrams With Visio

Faster, Better Network Diagrams with Visio 2007

About the Book

I have been working in Data Network Engineering and Design for about 20 years. Over that time I have been using Visio to draw network diagrams for all areas of networking. Originally, it was the implementation details, or for documentation and then for the design of the network.

Recently, while working on a diagram, a fellow worker asked me to show him how I did certain things in Visio. I thought this a bit strange at the time, but when other co-workers started asking the same questions I was surprised. I started to blog on some topics for drawing which were enormously popular, but came to the conclusion that small book would address this in the best possible way.

So I wrote this as if I was sitting next to you, showing how to get things done. I have used practical examples, and put all the menu options in and worked through practical examples on how to create diagram elements that are useful for networking. It is highly visual so that you can work through the book very quickly because you need to get things done, not because you want to understand the theory behind it.

I don’t claim that this book is a definitive guide. It’s just the way that I do it and people told me that these tips are good advice. So I wrote it down, and here it is. 

Please NOTE: This book is wirtten for Microsoft™ Visio 2007 and 2003. 

This book was written in January 2010 when Visio 2007 was the dominant version of Visio. I was using a proprietary software tool to write the book and I wasn't able to publish the book in a practical way until I worked out how to export the book into a format. For those using Visio 2010 or 2013,  then many of the examples are still relevant and practical however, I do not have any intention of updating the book because I no longer use Visio. 

What is not is this book.

This book is written for at people who work in IT and related roles. The object and elements that are produced are mostly relevant to those people. While it would be relevant to to anyone who is drawing technical diagrams, it would be less useful to people who want to do more artistic or simple Visio work. 

I assume that you have some experience in drawing and diagramming, and know your way around the basics of Visio diagrams. If you are a beginner or new to Visio, then this book is not for you. This is not a textbook, but a collection of tips and techniques to draw better and faster.

I also assume that you have good network experience and under- stand many basic networking concepts. I would suggest that you will also need good commercial experience to make good drawings, but that could not be taught in any book. 

About the Author


Greg Ferro is a Freelance Network Architect & Engineer currently working in Great Britain for Fortune 100 companies. He has spent most of the last decade designing, building and operating data centre networks and security gateways. 

He is well known for his EtherealMind blog which has become well known for commentary, insight, analysis and opinion. 

He is more well known as the co-host of the Packet Pushers Podcast - a weekly podcast on data networking. Covering all areas of networking, Packet Pushers is a roundtable discussion from users, customers and vendors to cover the networking industry. Mostly focussed on Enterprise and Cloud networking. The show is highly opinionated, technical, nerdy, sponsored by vendors, and reaches an audience in excess of 10000 people per week. 

Greg also writes regularly for mainstream media such as GigaOm, Network Computing and Tech Target (among others) where he covers a range of networking topics including product and strategy from the vendors, technology reviews and 'coalface' experiences.

He has some certifications like CCIE#6920 and stuff but that doesn't mean he knows everything but he has a good start on being able to learn stuff quickly. 

Table of Contents

  • 1 Network Diagrams with Microsoft Visio 2003/2007
    • 1.1 Introduction
  • 2 Visio Interface and Layout
    • 2.1 Clearing the Visio Interface
    • 2.2 The Shape Window
    • 2.3 Turn off the Rulers and Gridlines
    • 2.4 Removing Buttons from the Toolbar
    • 2.5 Reset the Toolbar and Buttons to Default
    • 2.6 Turn off the Status Bar
    • 2.7 Setting Some Defaults
  • 3 Page and Printing Tips
    • 3.1 A Blank Page
    • 3.2 Printing and Paper Size
  • 4 Some Network Diagrams Basics
    • 4.1 Creating Network Diagrams
    • 4.2 Drawing a VLAN Connector
    • 4.3 Connecting Network Shapes with Shape and Glue
    • 4.4 Glue is vital to your Diagrams
    • 4.5 Setting the Snap and Glue Options
    • 4.6 Why Grouping and Glueing Don’t Work Well Together
    • 4.7 Connection Points
    • 4.8 Creating Connection Points
    • 4.9 Connecting Two Shapes
    • 4.10 Using the Straight Connector
    • 4.11 Working With Straight Connectors
    • 4.12 Curve Connectors
    • 4.13 Dynamic Connector Tool or Lines
    • 4.14 Why use Dynamic Connectors
  • 5 Working with Text
    • 5.1 The Text Box
    • 5.2 Overriding the Default Text Box Style
    • 5.3 Choosing Fonts
  • 6 Freehand Lines
    • 6.1 Basic Freehand Lines
    • 6.2 Working the Endpoints Directions
    • 6.3 Creating Directional Mid Points
  • 7 Shape Ordering and Backgrounds
    • 7.1 Shape Ordering
    • 7.2 Grouping Objects
  • 8 Advanced Tips and Features
    • 8.1 Title Blocks, Fields and Static Information
    • 8.2 Page Border
    • 8.3 Getting More Shape Stencils
    • 8.4 Starting your own Shape Stencils
    • 8.5 Cisco Shape Stencils (Icons)
    • 8.6 Using Right Stencils and Shapes
    • 8.7 Using Callouts for Key Features
    • 8.8 Using Format Painter
    • 8.9 Interface Shortcuts, Repeat Last Action
  • 9 Suggested Idea for Drawing Network Diagrams
    • 9.1 Using Transparent Shapes for Functions
    • 9.2 Appealing Background Shapes
  • 10 Wrap Up
    • 10.1 More On Network Diagrams
    • 10.2 More Network Content
  • 11 Feedback

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