About the Database Wizard

You can use the Microsoft Office Visio Database Wizard to create a one- or two-way link between shapes in a drawing and records in a database table. By linking shapes to records, you can see your data in both a visual form (your drawing) and a tabular form (your database table).

After you've established the links, you can keep the drawing and table synchronized so that changes you make to either of them are reflected in both.

You can use the Database Wizard to create a linked drawing in four different ways.

Link shapes in an existing drawing to a database table

You can link an existing drawing, such as an office plan, to database information, such as equipment lists. You can either link to an existing database table, or you can create one from within the wizard and fill it out later.

Note: If you are linking to a Microsoft Office Excel spreadsheet, you must set up a workbook to accept the data before you start the wizard. In your worksheet, name the range of cells that include your data. See the Excel documentation for more information on how to name a range of cells.

To get started, on the second page of the wizard choose Link shapes to database records; on the third page choose Shape(s) in a drawing. The rest of the wizard will guide you through the remaining steps to connect your existing shapes to records in a database table. For help as you go through the wizard, press F1 with the wizard page open.

Create one master shape that can link to any record in a database table

You can link a master, such as a computer shape or a person shape, to database information, such as equipment lists or personnel records. You can then drag the master onto the drawing page, choosing which database record you want each instance of the shape to represent as you go. You can either link to an existing database table, or you can create one from within the wizard and fill it out later.

Note: If you are linking to an Excel spreadsheet, you must have a workbook ready to accept the data. In your worksheet, name the range of cells that includes your data. See the Excel documentation for more information on how to name a range of cells.

To get started, on the second page of the wizard choose Link shapes to database records; on the third page choose either Master(s) on a document stencil or Master(s) on a Visio stencil. The rest of the wizard will guide you through the remaining steps to connect a master shape to a database table. For help as you go through the wizard, press F1 with the wizard page open.

After you have completed the wizard, be sure to save the changes to a revised Visio stencil or a new stencil containing the linked master and note where it’s saved.

Create a separate master shape for each record in an existing database table

If you want to represent many instances of the same record in your drawing, you might want to create a stencil that contains a separate master shape for each record in an existing database table. For example, if you have a database table of office chairs in which each record (or row) represents a different model, you might want to include many instances of each model in your office plan.

Note: If you are linking to an Excel spreadsheet, you must have a workbook ready to accept the data. In your worksheet, name the range of cells that includes your data. See the Excel documentation for more information on how to name a range of cells.

To get started, on the second wizard page choose Generate new masters from database. The rest of the wizard will guide you through the remaining steps to create a stencil of masters from a database table. For help as you go through the wizard, press F1 with the wizard page open.

After you have completed the wizard be sure to save the new stencil containing the linked masters with a recognizable name and location so you can easily find it again. All of the masters will look the same, but they will be labeled according to which record they’re linked to.

Create a drawing that represents an existing database table

You can create a drawing that contains a separate shape for each record in an existing database table.

Before you start, you must already have a master shape that is linked to a database table. If you haven't done that yet, choose the Create one master shape that can link to any record in a database table option above first, and then try this option again.

Note: If you are linking to an Excel spreadsheet, you must have a workbook ready to accept the data. In your worksheet, name the range of cells that includes your data. See the Excel documentation for more information on how to name a range of cells.

To get started, on the second wizard page choose Create a linked drawing or modify an existing one. The rest of the wizard will guide you through the remaining steps to create a drawing from a database table. All of the shapes will look the same, but their shape data fields will be populated according to which record they’re linked to.

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