Visio 2013

In Programming
Feb 8th, 2015

I recently bought a license for Visio 2013 along with the rest of Office 2013.  I was excited about the prospect of a new version of Visio since I hadn’t upgraded it since the 2007 version.  I uninstalled my 2007 version and installed Visio 2013.  Consider me unimpressed.  There are some cool new features about Office 2013, but this version was clearly designed for tablets and not a desktop PC.  Since I’m mostly sitting in front of a desktop PC, I find these features annoying.  I might get into these in another post.  This post however is about the features Microsoft removed from Visio 2013.

Microsoft has a tendency to release newer versions of their software in which they take out features/components from the previous versions.  I use Visio a lot.  It is great for block diagrams, flow charts, network diagrams, etc.  My biggest use for it is to create Entity-Relationship diagrams (E-R diagram) for databases.  Any time I start a new project, I open up Visio and start defining my tables and how they relate to one another.  So for my latest project, I was going to use my brand spanking new version of Visio.  I start adding some entities (i.e. tables).  The new Visio has all sorts of new styles I can use.  This doesn’t impress me all that much because I’m an engineer by nature which means I am a function over form type of guy.

I then start adding some properties (i.e. columns) to my entities.  I look everywhere to try and define the data types for the columns.  I absolutely cannot find where to do this.  So it’s off to Google.  Turns out Microsoft dropped this from Visio 2013.  Ummm… WHAT?  I really like being able to set what my data types are when I am designing a database.  I consider this an essential feature.  I like being able to see those data types on the actual diagram as well because I usually print out the E-R diagram as reference while working on the rest of the project.  How can you just remove this feature Microsoft?  Ugggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!

Oh guess what else they removed from Visio 2013?  They removed the reverse database engineering feature as well.  This feature was extremely helping for diagramming existing databases.  I always use this feature when inheriting someone else’s craptastic DB design.  It lets me see fairly easily and quickly how much redesign needs to be done.  Now Microsoft has removed this as well.  Why not just come to my house Microsoft and F me in the A?

So I did what any other sane person would do, I reinstalled Visio 2007 (a software program that actually rules).  I had Office 2010 but never had Visio 2010, hence the reason for going back two versions.  Go back to something that you know works.

Back to being productive, except that every time I opened Visio 2007 it wanted to “reinstall” some functionality.  It would popup the window shown below and that would take an extra 20-30 seconds to open the program.

Configuring Visio It doesn’t take a long time for this to run on my machine but I get annoyed by things being “broken”.  After much searching and trying of remedies that did not work, I found the solution in the answer to forum post on a Google result way down on the page.  I wish I had book marked that page so I could give them proper credit but I was unable to find it again.

Anyway, the solution for me was to uninstall Microsoft update KB2767916.  Removing this update allows me to open Visio 2007 without the “configuring” popup being displayed.

That’s the offending bastard above.  Remove that update and your problem should be fixed.  Also, I had no issues with a conflict between which version of Office would be opened when double-clicking a file because I only have Visio 2007 installed from that Office suite.

And as if I didn’t have enough to complain about with Visio 2013, the program takes almost two minutes to open every time I try to run it (and my machine is smoking fast beefed up with memory).  It appears that it went out and installed a bunch of updates FOR VISIO 2007.  WTF?

Uggghh! I hate misinformation (especially if I’m the one providing it). So I had to strikeout the three paragraphs above.

I do not believe there is a solution to this. Apparently, both versions of Visio share registry entries. So when I switch between versions, the version I’m trying to open will go out and fix the registry entries which takes time. If I had run Visio 2013 most recently and then try to open Visio 2007, it will show the popup I have displayed above and take about 30 seconds to finish. If I had run Visio 2007 most recently and then try to open Visio 2013, Visio 2013 will take something on the order of two minutes to load (and I have a beefy machine).

Thanks Microsoft for taking a good product and making it worse.

This post was corrected February 11, 2016