Press Release

Wednesday, January 20, 1999 < Prev Next >

Visio Announces Visio Technical Design Suite

Intelligent Diagramming, Native DWG Editing Together Address Broad Range of Technical Drawing Users Within the Enterprise

SEATTLE, Jan. 20 /PRNewswire/ — Visio Corp. (Nasdaq: VSIO) today announced the introduction of the Visio® Technical Design Suite, a bundle of two complementary Visio software products into a single solution that offers both intelligent technical diagramming and unparalleled Autodesk AutoCAD compatibility. Composed of Visio Technical 5.0 Plus and IntelliCAD® 98 by Visio, the Visio Technical Design Suite provides engineers and other technical drawing users with a complete toolkit for creating technical diagrams and working with legacy CAD drawings that utilize the DWG file format. The versatility and cost savings found in the Visio Technical Design Suite represent a significant first step by Visio in providing large organizations with an integrated, affordable technical drawing tool that delivers drag-and- drop productivity while leveraging the organization's investment in legacy CAD drawings.

"To fulfill our mission of having our products become the standard for creating, storing and exchanging drawings in business, Visio must serve the needs of the corporate customer wherever valuable drawings are created, and that includes CAD," said Mark Sherman, director, technical product marketing at Visio. "Our corporate customers tell us that the difficulty and expense of deploying traditional CAD has prevented them from fully realizing the return on their past investment in creating CAD drawings. Because of this, Visio's corporate customers have asked us to marry the drag-and-drop appeal of Visio- based technology with robust, flexible DWG integration. The Visio Technical Design Suite provides a bridge between the organization's investment in CAD and a Visio-based drawing technology that breaks down the barrier of complexity that would normally keep this knowledge trapped within the CAD department."

Why a Technical Design Suite Makes Sense

Customers in large organizations need a cost-effective technical drawing platform for use outside the CAD group, where employees need to access DWG files. These users — engineering managers, designers, technical writers, field sales engineers and others — don't consider themselves CAD professionals but must work with legacy CAD data to create drawings they then share with others. With the Visio Technical Design Suite, these users have the diagramming and drafting tool set they need to view, edit, annotate, diagram and share technical drawings with other Visio users throughout the organization.

The diagramming component of the suite, Visio Technical 5.0 Plus is the pioneering and leading technical diagramming software worldwide, with more than 330,000 users. Its drag-and-drop approach to drawing and 4,000 industry- standard intelligent shapes helps users work faster and more intuitively. Its CAD-based partner, IntelliCAD 98, has become the critical benchmark for compatibility with AutoCAD, receiving recognition for its native DWG file format and extensive support of AutoCAD commands, menus and third-party applications. Together, these products are used to address complementary technical drawing tasks just as customers combine different Microsoft Office applications, such Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, with Microsoft ActiveX technologies to handle related office automation tasks.

Usage Scenarios

The Visio Technical Design Suite addresses the needs of the large number of non-CAD users who frequently work with drawings created by CAD professionals. The suite's affordability and ease of use make it appropriate for deployment to drawing users that may have been previously limited to working with paper-based drawing output. Such types of users include the following:

  • Building systems engineering. Building systems engineers frequently need to modify architectural plans. Using the Visio Technical Design Suite, these engineers can add ceiling grids in IntelliCAD 98. Then, by dragging and dropping industry standard intelligent symbols, they can use Visio Technical for laying out HVAC ductwork, fire and security systems, and electrical wiring on top of the background drawing.
  • Technical documentation. Technical writers who create manuals, assembly instructions and other technical documents often need to incorporate, manipulate and annotate drawings stored in DWG files. The IntelliCAD native DWG editing environment, plus Visio Technical's ease of use, annotation tools and ability to import and export a broad range of popular file formats, makes the Visio Technical Design Suite a desirable tool for the technical writer.
  • Engineering design review. The engineering review cycle is often a lengthy and iterative process. Visio Technical gives engineers an easy-to-use tool for viewing and annotating DWG and Bentley Microstation DGN files electronically, thereby shortening the review process. IntelliCAD 98 is appropriate for engineers who edit the underlying DWG file using CAD commands and tools.

Pricing and Availability

The Visio Technical Design Suite is scheduled to be available in the United States on Jan. 29, at an average selling price of $499 (U.S.). This price represents a $200 savings over the price of Visio Technical 5.0 Plus and IntelliCAD 98 sold separately (at $349 each). More information about the Visio Technical Design Suite can be found on the Visio Web site after Jan. 22 at

About Visio Corp.

Visio Corp. is the leading supplier of enterprisewide business diagramming and technical drawing software, with an installed base of over 2.5 million users worldwide. Founded in September 1990, the Seattle-based company pioneered the drawing and diagramming software market with the release of Visio 1.0 in November 1992 and has since released additional Windows-based graphics applications that offer users a unique and effective way to communicate and work. Visio's powerful product line is becoming a worldwide standard for graphical solutions in business, with the support of partner programs and third-party relationships in key market segments. Visio products are available in as many as 12 language versions and are sold in more than 45 countries.

For more information about Visio Corp. and its products, customers can contact Visio at (800) 24-VISIO (248-4746), ext. 93W, or visit the company's Web site at

Visio and IntelliCAD are either trademarks or registered trademarks of Visio Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

All other trademarks, trade names or company names referenced herein are used for identification only and are the property of their respective owners.