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Saturday
Aug182007

Advanced Gradients with Visio 2007 and Visual Studio 2008

Summary: You can make surprisingly rich multi-color gradients with Visio 2007 and some code.

Background

The Visio 2007 User Interface Allows multi-color gradient fills (i.e. 2 gradient stops, one at the start and one at the end), but only supports a single transparency for both stops. If we had the ability to specify different transparencies for the stops, we'd be able to create some nice effects.

Here's what we can create:

image

Visio's graphics engine supports this feature, it's just not exposed in the User Interface.

Using this technique we can combine multiple shapes with different colors and transparencies into a single beautiful gradient.

To get the image above, just draw 5 different shapes and then stacks them on top of each other:

image

 

The Code

The code to generate these can be found in the VisioAutoExt project on codeplex.

Another Example

If you get creative with the gradients you can create an image like this.

image

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