TaskMap: Processes Made Easy

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Support >> Help Text >> Creating a TaskMap >> Arranging Tasks on the Page

Arranging Tasks on the Page

Tasks may be placed anywhere on the drawing page and can be relocated at any time by selecting them with the mouse and dragging them to a new location.

To improve readability, you should generally limit yourself to placing eight or ten Tasks on an 8.5-by-11 inch or A4 page. There are circumstances in which it may be appropriate to place a dozen or more Tasks on a page, but you should think carefully about whether people using your TaskMap will find it cluttered and hard to use with that much information on a single page.

If you really want to add several more Tasks to a nearly complete process map, and you don’t want to continue on another page, consider using the TaskMap templates that use a larger drawing page but still print on 8.5-by-11 inch or A4 paper. Alternatively, you can manually customize either the drawing page size or the printer page size – refer to Adjusting Drawing Page and Printer Page Size.

Another factor to consider in placing Tasks on a page is whether you expect to enable the display of supporting Task data. Doing so does require more vertical space for each Task, as shown in the sample below. (Refer to Task Shape and Task Display On/Off for more details about displaying Task data fields.)

To further improve readability, we recommend that Tasks be laid out in the same way that you read a book, from left to right for many languages. The illustration below shows a TaskMap with multiple rows of Tasks.

Multiple row of Tasks in a TaskMap

Hint: Some printers cannot print to the very edge of the page. If your shapes are too close to the edge of the drawing page, they may not print properly.

Aligning and Distributing Shapes

Hint: To further improve the look of your TaskMaps, you can use Visio’s standard shape alignment and distribution options.

To select multiple shapes for alignment or distribution, either click on the background of the page and draw a bounding box around the desired shapes with the mouse, or hold down the Shift Key while clicking on multiple shapes.

Align Shapes

The Align Shapes… option on the Visio Shape menu allows multiple shapes to be lined up based upon their middle, upper/lower edges or right/left sides. All shapes are aligned based upon the position of the first shape selected. Visio identifies the first shape you selected by using small green squares on the edges of the selected shape. The second and subsequent shapes will show small blue squares around their edges.

The first figure below shows four Task shapes as they were placed on the drawing page. The second figure shows the same shapes after using the Align Shapes function to arrange them horizontally.

Before Align:

Tasks Before Align

After Align:

Tasks After Align

Distribute Shapes

The Distribute Shapes… option on the Visio Shape menu allows multiple shapes to be evenly spaced between the two outermost shapes. The Distribute function makes the horizontal or vertical distance between the shapes equal. The first figure below shows four Task shapes as they were placed on the drawing page. The second figure shows the same shapes after using the Distribute shapes function to arrange them so their centers are equidistant.

Before Distribute:

Tasks before Distribute

After Distribute:

Tasks After Distribute