What is in a Name?

The standard name for a Visio shape is Sheet.nnnn and most people change it to a more logical name. You can do this with the sub shapes that make up a grouped shape. So, what happens if you decide to revert back to the original Sheet.nnn style? Select the subshape from the Drawing Explorer (Open the Drawing Explorer from the Developer menu).

Select the Shape Name from the Shape Design Section of the Developer ribbon. Remov the unique name.

Problem solved, the name is now gone.

Save and close the file and go do something else. Return and “What?” the unique name is back.

Back in the old days, all Office apps had proprietory file formats. Several versions back the Office teams standardized on a common file format, OpenXML, a Zipped directory of XML files and other images. That way, things like company logos can be changed without the requirement to have that specific Office app. Several versions later, Visio adopted that file format.
So, rename the vsdx to zip, uncompress and look at the XML. Comparing the problem shape to a shape that did not have a name revealed the following four attributes.

NameU=’Wash 3′ IsCustomNameU=’1′ Name=’Dots’ IsCustomName=’1′

So, the obvious solution is just to remove those attributes. The attributes were removed, the directory was compressed and the extension changed back to VSDX.
Open the new file and …. ERROR!

Comparing the old and new vsdx files showed the new file was smaller. So, it appears something was lost. Since the change was minor, I rechecked the theory that a Visio file can be round tripped through a Zip file.
rename to zip,unzip, do not make any changed, Zip, rename to VSDX Open -> ERROR!

Okay, try a different route. save the Visio file as XML. Sorry, unlike the other Office apps, like PowerPoint and Word, XML is no longer an option in Visio.

So, Visio team, can you provide a way to unname shapes?
For my Visio fanatic friends, can you confirm what I have observed?

John… Visio MVP in x-aisle

Published by johnvisiomvp

The original Visio MVP. I have worked with the Visio team since 1993

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