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Visio, now truly useless

2004-03-26 , ,

For a long time the defacto standard for mid-complexity diagraming has been Visio. Microsoft bought Visio back in late-1999 and the Visio 2000 and 2002 releases were rather nice updates. Except that they dropped most of the keyboard shortcuts and discontinued the stencils for “enterprise” computing- but the old ones worked well enough- so I used it. I recently received an “upgrade” to Visio 2003 and created a number of diagrams. Good, but here is the lock-in: they dropped support for export to Postscript and Encapsulated Postscript (eps). You get the choice of exporting a XML document that nothing can use or a brain-dead SVG that nothing can use. Visio never exported well but now if you want something other than a bitmap or windows metaformat you’re completely hosed. Abandon any cross-platform hopes.

Shame on me. I should have known better than to use it. It’s pretty and powerful and even somewhat convenient but now it’s absolutely poison for any serious work. Hopefully, the demo of [OmniGraffle](http://www.omnigroup.com/applications/omnigraffle/) will handle the files and I can export. If not, I’ll use XFig and redraw a half-dozen diagrams and rue all my wasted time. – - – Follow-up
Hah! My co-worker had a clever suggestion: print to PDF using Adobe Distiller
and then export from PDF to Postscript with Acrobat. Good enough but I’ll
be damned if I’m going to use Visio again. Might be time to actually get
skilled with [PSTricks](http://www.tug.org/applications/PSTricks/).

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