Press Release

Monday, November 18, 1996 < Prev Next >

Visio Unleashes Power of Visio Technical in New Version

Addition of Microsoft's VBA, Internet Features and New Database Linkages Opens Visio Technical to Boundless Technical Drawing Solutions

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ — Visio Corp. (Nasdaq: VSIO) today announced Visio® Technical 4.5, the newest version of Visio's popular technical drawing tool that will truly expose the product's power to developers and enable improved communication of technical drawings and schematics via the Internet. The upcoming release of Visio Technical, to become available in the first quarter of 1997, will offer users enhanced functionality in the areas of programmability, Internet tools and overall drawing productivity.

"Visio Technical is continuing to gain market share and to compete against the gamut of technical tools now on the market — from specialized single-use tools to higher-end products such as Autodesk's AutoCAD," said Mark Sherman, Visio Technical product manager. "Visio Technical 4.5 offers new developments in the areas that users in our key markets of facilities management, electrical engineering, HVAC (heating, ventilating and air conditioning) design, mechanical engineering and process plant design can utilize every day to solve problems more quickly and share their work more efficiently."

Implementation of VBA

According to Visio's recent installed base customer survey, more than half of current Visio Technical customers have programming skills in Microsoft® Visual Basic®. This existing knowledge of Visual Basic, along with customers' interest in creating Visio-based corporate solutions, makes the fully licensed implementation of Visual Basic, Applications Edition one of the most significant new features in Visio Technical 4.5. The addition of VBA brings to Visio Technical an integrated programming environment that will facilitate and streamline custom applications running within the product. Corporate developers, systems integrators and VARs who use VBA in Visio Technical will experience performance increases and be required to write less code. Those who program with VBA in Visio Technical will also experience tighter control of the Visio environment and assistance in selecting and implementing Visio Interface methods. Since VBA code is part of the Visio Technical drawing, the distribution of Visio solutions is made easier.

"Visio Technical is already in a class by itself as an extensible graphics solution for technical professionals," said William J. Rafajko II, senior programmer analyst, technology support services for Deloitte & Touche LLP. "The addition of VBA in version 4.5 will allow us to develop and deploy a customized solution within the product more easily and efficiently."

Support for New Windows-Based Technologies

Visio continues to capitalize on the latest Microsoft technologies with Visio Technical 4.5. For instance, support for Windows NT® 4.0 provides a more stable environment and enhanced performance for mission-critical technical applications. The product also boasts an identical look and feel to the new Office 97 applications and support for the new IntelliMouse™, which will give users a more intuitive way to navigate their technical drawings.

Internet Features

Visio Technical offers new tools to make the exchange of technical drawings between desktops and the Internet and corporate intranets as simple as possible. The Hyperlinking Wizard automatically creates links from a Visio Technical drawing to a URL address, as well as to another page or document. In addition, the Save as HTML feature allows users to generate a set of HTML pages with image map capabilities, making it easy to navigate between pages on the Internet or intranets. Because Visio Technical supports Microsoft's new ActiveX™ technology, Visio Technical drawings can be embedded within Microsoft Internet Explorer as fully editable objects, rather than bitmap graphics. This permits any Visio Technical user viewing the file on the Internet or a corporate intranet to edit the drawing in-place, or use tools such as zoom and pan to better view the drawing.

Enhanced Database Integration

Originally introduced in Visio Technical 4.1 so users could link to existing data without programming, the Database Connectivity Wizard now offers support for more databases such as Microsoft SQL Server and Oracle, as well as for more database keys. In addition, the improved Database Connectivity Wizard provides users with the ability to generate a stencil of shapes representing all records in a database table, and to link to more ShapeSheet™ cells, where the properties of each SmartShapes® symbol are defined. Also, users can now link shapes to queries and therefore can establish links to multiple database tables.

Productivity Enhancements

Visio Technical 4.5 supports automatic layout and intelligent line routing for diagrams such as process flow diagrams. This technology will reposition shapes and connecting lines, automatically route connecting lines around shapes and other lines, and provide line-to-line spacing for parallel lines, allowing users to focus more time on the content than the appearance of their drawings. For users such as architects and facilities and property managers, Visio Technical 4.5 provides new Building Wall shapes and utilities to join, move and align walls and related shapes. For drawings and presentations that require complex color design, users now have the option of defining a color by its RGB (red, green, blue) or HSL (hue, saturation, luminosity) components. Visio Technical 4.5 also includes 16 new horizontal, vertical and radial gradient fill patterns, allowing users to reach the next level of professional quality in their technical drawings.

Other New Features

Among Visio Technical 4.5's other new features are two stencils of new SmartShapes symbols for HVAC design. Developed by Honeywell Inc. to conform to a proposed HVAC standard, the new shapes for duct work, sensors and equipment will provide users with the most common shapes for HVAC industrial controls. Visio Technical 4.5 will also include an R13 import filter that will allow R13 drawings to be imported as displayable metafiles, giving users the ability to view even their most recent AutoCAD drawings in Visio Technical.

Pricing and Availability

Visio Technical 4.5 has a U.S. estimated street price of $299. Registered users of Visio Technical 4.1 can upgrade to Visio Technical 4.5 for $49; users of Visio Technical 4.0 can upgrade for $99. The upgrade price for customers of any other earlier version of Visio Technical, Visio or Visio Express™ is $149.

Visio Technical 4.5 supports the Windows® 95 and Windows NT operating systems. Visio Technical 4.1 will continue to be provided in the same box for users of Windows 3.1. CD-ROM media is included; 3.5-inch diskettes are available upon request. An updated version of "Developing Visio Solutions," an in-depth guide to creating customized Visio solutions through OLE Automation using VBA, standalone Visual Basic, C or C++, is also included. The product includes 90 days of free technical support and a 60-day, money-back guarantee.

Visio Technical 4.5 will be available from leading national distributors, corporate resellers, retail channels and direct marketers, as well as direct from Visio Corp. To place an order or to obtain more information on any Visio product, customers can contact Visio at 800-24-VISIO (248-4746), ext. 93W. Additional details about Visio can also be obtained on CompuServe or Visio's Web page at

Visio Technical 4.5 Debuts at COMDEX

Visio Technical 4.5 will be demonstrated for the first time Nov. 18-22 at COMDEX/Fall in Las Vegas at Booth L2268 in Hall South No. 2 of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

About Visio Corp.

Visio Corp., a leading supplier of enterprise-wide business diagramming and technical drawing software, was founded in September 1990. The Seattle-based company pioneered the drawing and diagramming market with the release of Visio 1.0 in November 1992. Since then, Visio has released additional Windows-based products for the creation, storage and exchange of drawings and diagrams throughout enterprises. The company markets the Visio product line in more than 26 countries throughout North America, South America, Europe and Asia.

NOTE: Visio and SmartShapes are registered trademarks and ShapeSheet and Visio Express are trademarks of Visio Corp. Microsoft, Visual Basic, Windows NT, IntelliMouse, ActiveX and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are held by their respective companies.

SOURCE Visio Corp.

/CONTACT: Melissa Covelli, 206-637-9097, or, or Johanna Range, (206) 637-9097, or, both of Waggener Edstrom, for Visio/

/Visio's press releases available through Company News On-Call by fax, 800-758-5804, ext. 107036, or at


CO: Visio Corp. ST: Nevada, Washington IN: CPR SU: PDT

RN — SFM054 — 2712 11/18/96 09:03 EST