- Australia's best PS2 & PC Reviews
PS2PCGameCubeContact UsDVDSearchWin Stuff

PC Reviews: Microsoft Visio Professional 2003


Microsoft Visio Professional 2003 Screenshots

The Final Say!


Microsoft Visio Professional 2003
 - reviewed by Tory Favro
Review Date: March 2004
Review Score: 9.7/10 
Distributor: Microsoft

A valuable application that is guaranteed to streamline the management of your organisation.

Flowcharting has always been a great way for business and even the home user to present ideas and scenarios. This, the latest version of Visio Professional brings all the great features that we have seen in the last version, also covered by impulsegamer.

Integration with other Office applications is key to this version and it's an exciting and innovative addition. It's surprising that every year, despite how damn good these people make the program they find even more stuff to add into it for additional functionality. The program shines and is a must have addition to almost every businesses software collection.

Designers are going to be happy with the native ability to import CAD drawings into your Visio projects and then work on them in greater detail whilst in Visio itself, unlike where some people would have to first finish the pics outside in their CAD program then import the finished product.

For those not in the know, this is the second time that Microsoft have released Visio in their own right since purchasing it. Users are going to revel in this release as it allows for even greater sharing and working together than ever within the same document space using the technologies provided in Microsoft Sharepoint site integration. It's this sort of forward thinking that is revolutionising the way that we work today in the officeless office and the instant gratification of seeing working completed in real time instead of files being double handled.

Programming automation of your shape designs can be facilitated by working on the images with Visual Basic for applications. Another bonus of this new Visio is the inclusion of a lot more templates to work with. These are the lifeblood of the software and Visio Pro 2003 caters to all users whether home or professional.

For those who are new to the software, installation should be a breeze as Microsoft have gone to great lengths to make sure that there is a uniformity to all their productivity products in both appearance and interface. No one should feel at all alienated during the install process; it's quick, easy and over before you know it.

Some menu changes have been made in this version that do differ from the previous effort such as the main command of Choose Stencil has been replaced with Choosing Shapes. It makes more sense this way has that is precisely what you are doing. It's all about streamlining and simplifying the whole process of a package that might appear to be a bit too much for first time users who are not familiar with the ease one can use Visio's powerful features.  

Share and Share Alike

Following on from a previous paragraph discussing SharePoint Site Integration, Visio Pro 2003 also allows further collaborations using a feature called Track Markup. The principles behind this are simple and make honest to goodness sense. If I am the team leader responsible for the project and the whole team are working on something in Visio with me, I want final say over what gets to go in the final product. With Track Markup, I can allow other users to make changes to the project that I can approve or not allow. Other users can also leave me comments regarding the work that I can accept or reject as well. This level of interaction is great and is a risk free way that an entire group can contribute without affecting the final outcome without approval.

Changing Shapes

Another strength to the software is the ability to change shapes on the fly. This means that you can get a shape onto your project and then merely by clicking and dragging on a point of the picture, it can be altered to better suit your needs rather than making do with what is there. Shapes created in Visio 2003 can also be exported out for other users to do with as they will. It shows us that this program is serious about collaborative efforts by not creating a proprietary shape system that only Visio users could utilise, and is a very useful feature.

Other Formats

Visio has built in support for Tablet PCs and we loaded it up onto our Compaq Tablet PC with ease. The program is actually fun to use on the tablet and the stylus makes manipulating the shapes even easier. There is a certain flow to using Visio on this platform that makes sense and I'd recommend it to any business person to definitely at least try it out.

Web Support

Users can share their work online with Visio's ability to export to the web in  a process that is simple for anyone to do. Simplicity is key and this program and the  way that this program works with other software that integrates with XML and other Microsoft.Net enabled software. It's clever and it's the way the Microsoft are building upon strength after strength. It's almost a case of why look elsewhere when the MS Office package is arguably the very best on the market no matter what the reason you need it. In addition, the Microsoft website fully supports the package and offers downloads, hints and tips to make sure you are getting the most out of Visio 2003


Making itself a must have program for business, Visio Pro 2003 is exceptional value and a purchase that will pay for itself time and time again. Expanding on the concept of working as a team or alone with as much power and creativity at your fingertips as you want, Visio 2003 isn't cheap but fully justified. impulsegamer gives this one an extremely high recommendation. Thumbs up Microsoft for yet another great release.

- Tory Favro

Copyright 2004