Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Review: MS Visio 2010 - End Text overlap, unable to move text

This complaint is that I still cannot find a way to move text attached to connectors (i.e. links, associations, etc.). I always resort to hiding all the text and using a generic text box which is much easier to handle and update. I just do not understand why MS Visio just cannot do basic tasks well. 80% of the work uses the same basic components.

1. The default endpoint text is only four characters long, and already overlaps if two connectors are next to each other (see End5 - End8, or yellow highligh). If you try to rotate, the rotation is static to a certain rotation point.

2. As you can see in End11 (blue highlight), this rotates into the box. Makes me really thing how Microsoft even tests these functions. How is this not obvious during a development test, system test, user acceptance test, or any other test?

3. If you rotate the text all the way around for End9 (red highlight), this will overlap with the other end text if the objects are too close. Not only that, the text is inverted in reference to the other endpoint (End10). I do not know whether I am more surprised that this did not bother anyone in testing either or more surprised that there are some people who cannot read sideway texts without moving their head.

On top of that, connector names are not defaulted to show. Even if I show, it is static and cannot be moved or rotated. It's auto-draw of connectors is pretty poor. And this does not come with the office suite, so there are extra securities I have to go through to get Visio for work.

If you are looking for a free UML designer, I've used ArgoUML in the past and found it satisfactory. There are pros and cons compared to Visio, although it has been several years since I last used ArgoUML.