Circular Text Generator (version 2)
Getting text on a circle in Visio was always a pain until the Circular Text Generator (version 1) appeared on Visio Guy. V1 was evidently a big hit, but you wanted more! Version 2 adds some more control over text spacing and placement on the circle. So if you need to place Visio text on a circle, read on!
Be sure to check out the latest incarnation of text on a circle in: Text on a Circle Visio Shape. It offers a self-contained shape that works without VBA macro code, and can be freely edited without the “regeneration” step offered by this article’s tool.
Edit 2008.01.14: The original post was created as an offering to help the Seattle Seahawks defeat the Washington Redskins in the 2008 playoffs. It did…and they did. But it would have required Visio text on a five-dimensional object to overcome Green Bay in the snow. Seahawks: RIP 2008.01.12, Lambeau Field, Wisconsin.
Here’s the original ha-ha-intro text for history buffs, or you can just skip to “What’s New”
Original introduction: I hinted that Santa might deliver, but Art reminded me that Christmas is long gone and V2 still wasn’t here!
So I’m placing version 2 on the “alter” today, with the hopes that this offering might please the NFL gods and help our beloved Seahawks triumph over the Redskins. Perhaps we’re in luck. As I type, Njord and Thor have turned the skies gray, and are busy brewing up a most unpleasant wind- and rain-storm — Northwest-style — for our guests today.
And for folks like Art, who’s Bears finished 7-and-9, there’ll be some new features to play with while the TV is off.
Version 2 ads three new features. You can now do this:
- Flow the text clockwise or counter-clockwise
- Place text on the inside or outside of the circle
- Adjust the character spacing for tighter or looser text
The new features are accessible via the Shape Data Window (or Custom Properties Window for Visio 2003 and older versions). You can show this window via: View > Shape Data Window or View > Custom Properties Window.
Simply select the “guide circle” to see the fields, then edit to your heart’s content!
If you put your text on the bottom of the circle, you might not want it to be upside down. In this case, you can switch the text direction to be counter-clockwise using the “Text runs clockwise” data field:
For text that sits right on the outside of the circle, use a baseline of 0%. For text that is centered on the circle, use a baseline of 50%. As you increase the value, the text moves toward the center of the circle. Decreasing the baseline value — even into negative values — move the text outward.
The “Text baseline” data field has several built-in choices that you can quickly try using the roller on your mouse. All three examples in the image below have the same-size circle, so you can see how the baseline settings affect the look of the text:
Yes, Visio has already has settings for stretching fonts and adding spacing between characters (see: Format > Text > Character tab…), but we’ve made this a more directly accessible feature by adding the “Horizontal spacing” data field. Smaller values cram the characters together, larger values give each letter some breathing room:
As with version 1, you’ll need to allow the VBA macros inside of the document permission to run. If you’re not familiar with VBA macros, and the related security issues, please have a look at VBA Macro Security first. Once you’ve downloaded the file, opened the document, checked the code, and enabled the macro code to run, you’ll be ready to rock-n-roll!