Sometimes, nothing communicates your business objectives or needs as well as a chart or diagram. When those charts or diagrams are basic and require basic data, you can create them in any number of programs, especially Microsoft Word.
However, when you have more complex information and need more nuanced images, those basic programs fail to deliver. In such situations, you need a program that is far more advanced, the best of which is Microsoft Visio.
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What does Microsoft Visio do?
The diagrams Visio creates are far more professional looking and customizable than those you might be used to in programs like Word. There are more than 250,000 shapes and symbols available for use within the program to tailor each diagram to a specific and ideal look. The large number of design templates available can accommodate every business need. These diagrams can also be in many different forms themselves, from block diagrams, to flowcharts, to timelines.
Visio 2016 Professional
In 2016 Visio Professional, you get everything from all the previous editions, plus there are ever more improvements in the team collaboration department. You can share diagram projects with others from anywhere in the world, and then work together to co-author the diagrams and annotate them. For even better communication, Skype for Business is already integrated into the program, if your business supports it. There are, of course, still more new diagram options available, including new options that are Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers compliant. One-step data connectivity with Excel has been added to make sure you can check that all of your data matches as quickly as possible. Finally, it’s now possible to integrate your data-linked diagrams with Power BI to get even more business insights through Microsoft’s business analytics service.
Visio 2016 Standard
With 2016, Visio made a major leap, much like the rest of the Office suite. All the new Office features are present, including the Tell Me feature, which allows you to search more easily for what you need. There’s also now a starter set of diagrams that allow you to quickly create a diagram when time is of the essence. One of the best new features of Visio 2016 Standard is the ability to encrypt all your diagrams, so you can keep them safe at all times.
Visio 2013 Professional
Once again, you get more templates that can accommodate the needs of more technical businesses such as software development and engineering. These now also include process diagrams (including BPMN 2.0) and maps and floor plans. That isn’t all Visio Professional 2013 has to offer, though. Of particular note is the new ability for multiple people to work on a diagram together while also commenting on the project as it happens. You can also now link diagrams to real-time data.
Visio 2013 Standard
The 2013 editions build on 2010 by adding more and better options. That means more templates and more shapes to work with, an ever more fluent drawing process, and new effects for shapes, such as shadows and glow. The preview is also much improved, allowing now for zooming in and out, while also showing you exactly where the page breaks are, so you can avoid awkward, broken up charts. 2013 Visio Standard also has more connection to the cloud through SkyDrive.
Visio 2010 Professional
The Professional version of the 2010 edition has all the features of Standard, but with far more templates for the specific needs of a number of industries, including Engineering, Software, Wireframe, and Database diagrams. There’s also the ability to use SharePoint to upload your diagrams so everyone can see them, even those who don’t have Visio.
Visio 2010 Standard
The 2010 Office Suite has been much lauded in the eight years since it was released, and Visio 2010 is no different. With the introduction of the Ribbon menu at the top, features are better organized and more easily found. MS Visio 2010 Standard is stable, reliable, and still very popular because it offers all the basic Visio features for a much lower cost. These features include a large number of templates and diagram options, as well as ShapeSheet IntelliSense, which can help you complete formulas even as you type them. There’s also a Backstage View, which allows you to preview your diagrams as you build them.
The Best Option
The best option for you all comes down to your business needs. From 2010 Standard onward, Visio offers a large number of shapes and templates to design high-quality, easily-understood, professional diagrams. If your needs are minimal in this department, one of the 2010 editions should work fine.
Meanwhile, 2013 editions are a great middle-of-the-road option if you need more than 2010 can offer and want some sharing and team-communication abilities without needing all the most recent feature additions. Of course, if you want the most efficient, streamlined, and comprehensive product, you need to go with 2016 Professional.
Essentially, the more your business relies on team communication, the more advanced edition you should consider. In addition to this, if you work in a more technically advanced business, you may want to consider a later edition to get the full benefit of all the templates and design options.
Beyond that, perhaps the strongest recommendation for getting 2016 Standard or Professional over other editions is the inclusion of data encryption. With cyber security becoming such an important issue for businesses in recent years, keeping your data secure is a crucial part of your job performance.
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